Your voice at the table: A guide to mobilizing local government climate action

People walking and cycling in Montreal

You can make a difference by working with your local government to build a healthy, sustainable, resilient future together. (Photo: Jamshed Khedri via Unsplash )

If you want to help your local government take action on climate change, you’ve landed in the right place. This guide will help you work with your local government so you can build a healthy, sustainable, resilient future together.

When people come together for the good of humanity and the Earth, we can accomplish great things.

David Suzuki

Municipalities are tackling the climate crisis

Over the past few years, cities and towns around the world have declared climate emergencies, acknowledging the severity of the crisis we’ve gotten ourselves into. But declaring a climate emergency is just a first step. Governments at all levels need to tackle this emergency by creating and implementing strong climate plans that include ambitious goals and strategies for achieving them.

As a resident of your town or city, your voice is powerful — probably more so than you think. You elect the council members who represent your interests and concerns, and they are responsible to you. You also have access to these elected officials and a right to let them know what you want to see in your community.

What’s more, you’re not alone. This guide will help you connect with like-minded residents and organizations in your community so you can work together on the issues you care about.

Regina, Saskatchewan

What is a municipality?

A municipality is a town or city that has corporate status and a local government. In Canada, there are over 3,500 municipalities. If you don’t live in a municipality, most of the information in this guide will still be relevant and will help you work with your local government.

How this guide can help you 

Maybe you want to work with your local government on climate issues but aren’t sure where to start. Or maybe you aren’t sure how councils work or how to speak to your elected officials about climate change. Don’t worry; we’re here to help. This guide will give you:

  • an understanding of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, which will help you speak knowledgably to your elected officials
  • tools to assess the effectiveness of your local government’s climate plan
  • an understanding of how local governments operate and how you can work with them
  • ways to connect with like-minded climate advocates in your community
  • inspiring stories from people throughout Canada who’ve worked with their governments on climate action

You don’t need to be a climate scientist or a policy expert to work with your municipal government on climate action. You just have to care about the future of your community and be willing to collaborate and learn.

Get started

Ready to make meaningful change in your community? Let’s get started! You can begin this journey in any of the following sections, but we recommend you start by brushing up on your understanding of emissions in Canada.