Green Resilience Project proposes income security to help with climate change chaos

Senators Rosa Galvez and Kim Pate applaud all those involved in the Green Resilience Project. The final report released yesterday represents a commendable collaboration between the federal government and community members throughout the country, on the intersection of climate and income inequality.

The report was informed by conversations among youth, Indigenous Peoples, artists and cultural workers, immigrants and other newcomers, as well as environmentally precarious and income-challenged communities throughout Canada. They explored the interconnections between environmental, community and economic resilience.

Consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report, which emphasized that avoiding the worst consequences of climate chaos is still possible, but only if governments take immediate and decisive action by 2030, the Green Resilience Project identifies income security—not having to fear being unable to afford food, shelter and other necessities—as a key factor that empowers people and communities with options to participate in and drive climate solutions.

“The concomitant health and climate crises are exacerbating income insecurity,” said Senator Galvez. “The economic recovery from the pandemic should focus on our transition to a low-carbon economy while helping reduce inequality, a key emphasis of my white paper, Building Forward Better: A Clean and Just Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic. A mix of well-designed policies that prioritize human and ecosystem wellbeing would reduce inequality and lead to a suite of health and economic co-benefits.”

“Canada has committed to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” continued Senator Pate. “Goal number one requires us to start by ending poverty. With millions of Canadians below the poverty line and millions more struggling to make ends meet, in order to be able to ensure a sustainable, healthy environment, we need a healthy economy that leaves nobody behind: a plan that eliminates poverty. We thank the Green Resilience Project participants for underscoring these realities and for pushing us forward.”

“In addition to sponsoring Bill S-233 which would involve the government developing a framework to implement guaranteed livable basic income, an unconditional income support payment that would be available to anyone in Canada who is in need, I support any interconnected legislative efforts that would increase the collective wellbeing of Canadians,” concluded Pate.