The 8th annual Tommy Douglas Institute at George Brown College is pleased to announce this year’s event Our City & The Green New Deal: Educate! Organize! Transform!
Modern cities have grown into centres of production and progress, commerce and consumerism, industry and innovation - They are the economic and cultural capitals of the world. However, their density and inexorable appetites also place them among the foremost consumers of global energy resources and the largest emitters of carbon pollution and (non-biodegradable) waste… making them a centre of the Climate Crisis.
As temperatures warm - Canada at twice the rate of everywhere else - and oceans rise, urban centres face challenges of food and water scarcity, disappearing biodiversity, crumbling infrastructure and finite energy reserves. Where pre-existing inequalities mean historically marginalized communities will be the first, hardest and longest hit by the crisis, cities are struggling with deepening inequality as they grapple with the question of whether to give sanctuary to the desperate and displaced or give in to xenophobia and divisiveness. Yet, more and more cities are rising to these challenges … making them a centre of Climate Justice.
As municipal governments lead the way in setting targets for emissions reduction, retrofitting and renewables; activists and communities are advancing the idea that as the Climate Crisis is rooted in a predatory economic system bent on environmental exploitation and social inequality, Climate Justice must be partnered with Economic and Social Justice within a Green New Deal.
In 2019 the City of Toronto unanimously voted to declare a climate emergency and undertook the TransformTO climate action strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions towards net-zero by 2050. That same year, the youngest members of our communities led us in a global mobilization to fight for life on this planet. And in the run-up to the Federal Elections, a non-partisan coalition of over 100 activist groups, held over 150 town-halls in cities across Canada to send our political leaders the clear and urgent message that the only answer to the Climate Crisis lies within the radically transformative, global and people-powered Pact for a Green New Deal.
This year the Tommy Douglas Institute continues its climate focus by spotlighting Toronto and the question of what a Green New Deal would look like for our city.
Throughout a day of dynamic speakers and performers, interactive exhibits, roundtable discussions, and community organizing for action; educational communities, wider communities and the public are invited to join with climate justice organizers in committing to:
- Educate ourselves and our communities on the meaning and urgency of a Green New Deal
- Organize for just, fair and sustainable communities from where we live, work and play
- Transform our city in our lifetime, so our children can enjoy security, hope and fulfilment in theirs
A Green New Deal for Our City, Means a City for Us All