January 11, 2022

Get Your Elected Officials to Sign On: Free Course on Climate Change Leadership

Here’s a new year’s resolution: ensure your elected members of Council in British Columbia register for this course on Climate Change Leadership. It is sponsored by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and is absolutely free. But: you must be elected to take the course, so urge your Council members to register.

Elected officials are key to ensuring a supportive policy environment and championing the vision of a more resilient community in the face of climate change.

Are you an elected official looking to advance your climate change knowledge and skills? Do you want to learn more about how you can support your community in reaching its climate targets? Apply to participate in our free Climate Leadership Course for Elected Officials in one of the following three specializations:

  • Municipal roles, pathways, governance, and strategies to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions
  • Building the case for integrated climate action
  • Moving from planning to implementation

You’ll learn about applying a climate lens to your decision-making, hear from experts, connect with peers from across the country and discover lessons learned, best practices and tools to help you achieve your community’s sustainability objectives.

Learn about the course below and apply to participate today.

Who should apply?

To be eligible to participate in this course, you must be:

  • A current municipal elected official
    (Applicants do not need to be FCM members to participate)
  • Available to participate in the four online sessions
  • Able to complete the final assignment

This is FCM’s second offering of a Climate Leadership Course for Elected Officials. If you have participated in our previous course, you are welcome to apply again for a specialization.

Each specialization is intended for elected officials at different stages of climate action. Please read each of the descriptions below to understand which specialization will best support your climate leadership journey.

Municipal roles, pathways, governance, and strategies to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions

You should select this specialization if you are from a municipality that is in the earlier stages of climate action planning (at the corporate or community-wide level) and you want to learn how to implement supportive governance structures and strategies for achieving deep greenhouse gas emissions reductions and carbon neutrality.

Building the case for integrated climate action

If you are from a municipality at any stage of the climate action planning and implementation process this specialization could be for you. You will learn how to streamline the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation efforts through your municipal planning and decision-making processes in a cost-effective way.

Moving from planning to implementation

Are you from a small municipality with limited resources? Through this specialization you will learn practical and effective ways to move from the planning to implementation stage of your climate action initiatives, while involving municipal staff and the community.

Course format

This is an online course that takes place over a four-week period from February 14 to March 11, 2022.

Online sessions will be delivered in English with simultaneous interpretation in French. The course material will be in English.

Course schedule

You will be asked to commit approximately seven hours total. During this this time you will complete homework (up to 30 minutes of reading, watching videos or responding to discussion questions to be completed in advance of each session), one short assignment to be completed within one week following the closing plenary (up to two hours of effort), and participate in four live sessions:

  • Session One: February 17, 2022 at 1-2 p.m. ET
  • Session Two: February 24, 2022 at 1-2 p.m. ET
  • Session Three: March 3, 2022 at 1-2 p.m. ET
  • Closing plenary to share key course learnings from all specializations: March 10, 2022 at 1-2 p.m. ET

What you’ll learn

All participants will benefit from:

  • Access to experts leading the work in advancing municipal climate action
  • Enhanced knowledge about different climate change actions, success stories and the resources and funding opportunities that are available to implement them
  • Connecting with other elected officials across the country in a small group setting (20 people)

Each specialization will have its own learning objectives:

Municipal roles, pathways, governance, and strategies to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions

  • Understand local sources of greenhouse gas emissions, the roles of municipalities in pursuing emissions reductions and the local pathways to decarbonization
  • Discover how to build supportive governance structures for corporate and community-wide deep decarbonization
  • Learn strategies (policies, tools, processes) for achieving deep emissions reductions by 2050
  • Explore case study examples from leading municipalities
  • Learn the next steps for your municipality to further your deep decarbonization efforts

Building the case for integrated climate action

  • Understand the multiple benefits (economic/social/environmental) of strategically aligning climate adaptation and emissions reduction through the application of a low carbon resilience framework
  • Gain the knowledge and tools to operationalize a low carbon resilience framework in a practical way, streamlining limited resources in climate action planning, asset management, procurement, community management and corporate strategy
  • Learn best practices from communities in British Columbia that have experience integrating climate action into their municipal planning and decision-making processes
  • Discover how other municipalities have been successful at approving and/or getting funding for climate action projects that collectively advance emissions reduction, adaptation and other community priorities

Moving from planning to implementation

  • Learn how to leverage effective climate action outcomes with limited resources, utilising the support of municipal staff and the community
  • Gain the knowledge and tools to develop, implement and integrate a climate lens into municipal departments and processes
  • Discover how other municipal leaders are engaging the community in the implementation of their climate action initiatives, including available tools and best practices for community engagement

Final assignment

You will be asked to complete a small final assignment to receive your completion certificate. The goal of the assignment is to reflect on and share your experience with other elected officials, municipal staff and members of your community (e.g. through a presentation slide, a short LinkedIn article or op-ed).

Experts leading your education

FCM has partnered with experts in municipal climate action to deliver each specialization.

Specialization area Expert Delivery Partner
Municipal roles, pathways, governance, and strategies to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions University of Waterloo
Building the case for integrated climate action Action on Climate Team – Simon Fraser University
Moving from planning to implementation Climate Caucus

Apply by January 26, 2022

Complete this application form by January 26, 2022 to apply. You will be asked to indicate your preferred specialization, along with the order of your preferences if you select more than one specialization. Selected participants will be notified by February 4, 2022.

For additional information and inquiries, please email Jasmine Lum or call 613-907-6309.

The course is limited to 60 participants (20 per specialization) to ensure the quality of engagement between participants. Applicants will be selected to ensure diversity of municipality location across Canada, as well as to ensure various levels of experience with climate action.

Please note: There is no cost for successful applicants to participate in this course.

This initiative is offered through the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program, which is delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada.

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