Women Transforming Cities (WTC) support the recommendations of the Climate Emergency Action Plan being presented to the Councillors in the City of Vancouver in November 2020.
Congratulations to the staff, Council, community members, advocates and organizations involved in the creation of the plan – it is comprehensive, realistic and proportionate to the scale of the crisis.
WTC implores the Council to vote unanimously in favour of the full plan. The plan must then be funded in full. Anything less would not meet the urgency of this moment, and the opportunity the City of Vancouver has to be a world leader on climate action.
As a grassroots organization that advocates for policies that transform our cities into spaces that work for all people, including self-identifying women and girls, WTC supports the bold, strategic and measurable actions outlined in the Climate Emergency Action Plan.
We acknowledge the disproportionate impact of the climate crisis and rising temperatures on Black, Indigenous and women of colour. We also recognize that city urban and transportation planning policies have contributed to the continuing oppression of Indigenous people, racialized and other impacted communities.
WTC supports the strong equity and gendered intersectional lens applied to the consultation, plan and actions.
There can be no climate justice without Indigenous justice and reconciliation, racial justice, housing justice, disability justice and gender justice.
We encourage the City to ensure thorough measurement and in particular, the collection of disaggregated data to understand who is being impacted and reached by the implementation of the actions, and who is being left behind.
As Appendix P on the outcomes of the Public Engagement identifies, whilst efforts were made by the City to hear from the full diversity of residents, many groups were underrepresented in the engagement. As highlighted in the research conducted by WTC and CRIAW on ‘Systemic Barriers to Participation in Local Government’, cities can improve accessibility to consultation by:
Ensuring that child-care is provided to enable parents to attend, and to include the voices of children and youth in planning;
Providing translation services;
Ensure that diverse groups are appropriately informed in a timely fashion about public forums and other engagement activities; and
Ensure that any materials used at community engagement events are in plain/clear language—and in multiple languages.
WTC encourages the City to share learnings with other communities and municipalities in BC, Canada and globally that can apply lessons and taken in the City of Vancouver.
We look forward to working with the City to support implementation in any way we can.