Nineteen Trailblazing Communities Using Collective Impact to Advance an Equitable Climate Transition

Posted on February 3, 2022
By Laura Schnurr

A key takeaway from COP26 in Glasgow last fall was that given the urgency of the climate crisis and insufficient action on the part of nation-states, the potential for real change lies at the city and community level. Canadian communities are already showing tremendous climate leadership, while demonstrating the potential to do much more.

Introducing: The Climate Transitions Cohort

This month, through Tamarack’s Climate Transitions Cohort, communities across Canada are embarking on a 10-month learning journey to advance a just and equitable climate transition through collective impact.


A Collective Impact approach

Collective impact is a proven approach for tackling complex challenges through multi-sectoral collaboration, making it well suited for addressing ‘wicked problems’ like climate change and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.

Each of the communities involved has formed a team of 2-9 individuals from across sectors – local governments, nonprofits, community organizations, citizen-led groups, post-secondary institutions and private sector – who are committed to taking a collaborative approach in pursuit of shared goals.

Through workshops and coaching, participating communities will deepen their understanding of how to develop and implement community climate transition plans through collective impact and community engagement. Alongside the work of putting theory into practice in their communities, they will be connecting with peers from across the country to exchange stories, ideas and lessons learned.


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The communities

The 19 communities taking part, and the organizational affiliations of the individuals involved, are:
  • Antigonish, NS: A group of concerned citizens, affiliated with multiple organizations

  • Canmore, AB: Town of Canmore, Biosphere Institute

  • Cape Breton Regional Municipality, NS: ACAP Cape Breton, Ecology Action Centre, Inspiring Communities

  • Chelsea, QC: ACRE (Action Chelsea for the Respect of the Environment), Municipality of Chelsea

  • Cowichan Valley, BC: Cowichan Climate Hub

  • Edmonton, AB: Several organizations, primarily community and citizen-led groups

  • Halton Region, ON: Halton Environmental Network, Halton District School Board, Region of Halton, City of Burlington, Town of Oakville, Town of Halton Hills

  • Kelowna, BC: City of Kelowna, Pacific Institute of Climate Solutions at University of British Columbia, Global Empowerment Coalition of the Central Okanagan

  • La Pêche, QC: La Pêche Coalition for a Green New Deal, La Pêche Global Forest Initiative, Biblio Wakefield Library, La Pêche Media

  • London, ON: Climate Action London, HumanInnovationPIE Inc, SDG Leaders London, City of London

  • Montreal, QC: Partenariat Climat Montréal

  • Ottawa, ON: Ottawa Energy Collective

  • Outremont, QC: COVID-19 Help Hub’s Climate Cell, Eco Citoyens d’Outremont

  • Prince Edward County, ON: Prince Edward County municipality, Environmental Advisory Committee for the municipality

  • Salt Spring Island, BC: Transition Salt Spring

  • Southwestern New Brunswick Region, NB: ECW Inc.

  • Toronto, ON: 2 Spirited People of the 1st Nations, Canadian Climate Challenge, Centre for Social Innovation, City of Toronto, Council of Canadians, ClimateFast, For Our Kids Toronto, Toronto Climate Action Network, Toronto Green Community

  • Victoria, BC: City of Victoria

  • Waterloo Region, ON: ClimateActionWR, several local and regional municipalities

Overview of program curriculum


Overview of program curriculum

Building a movement

The Community Climate Transitions team that is hosting the Cohort program hopes that this group of trailblazers will inspire countless other communities across Canada and globally to take a whole-community approach in how we respond to the climate emergency. Because without the involvement of all sectors and of residents themselves, and without deep collaboration and trust across the ecosystem, we likely won’t succeed.


Cette ressource est également disponible en français. Cliquez ici pour accéder à la page de destination de la version française.


Deepen Your Learning

Climate Change, Homepage Blog, CCT blog, Climate Transitions, Climate Transitions Cohort

Laura Schnurr

By Laura Schnurr

Laura leads Tamarack's work on Climate Transitions and Sustainable Development Goals. She is passionate about supporting cities and communities in their journeys towards ensuring a just, equitable and sustainable future for the next 7 generations and beyond. Through events, publications, communities of practice and other learning opportunities, Laura is helping advance the 2030 Agenda in Canada with a specific focus on the goals related to equity and climate change.

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