Canada's position on climate change is deeply contentious and constantly evolving. Canada is the only nation to have formally withdrawn from the Kyoto Protocol in 2011. Climate change presents a challenge of multi-level governance (across sectors, civil society and multiple levels of government), and many of the drivers of greenhouse gas emissions are deeply embedded in developmental pathways, such as cultural preferences of consumption and urban land-use plans that may remain unaltered by climate policy. A more holistic and transformative approach to sustainability is called for.

This policy brief describes examples of innovative climate change policy at the subnational level, articulates the roles played by different levels of government, and provides a series of recommendations on pathways to carbon-neutral, resilient communities.

  • Sarah Burch is a CIGI senior fellow. She is contributing to research on financing sustainable development, focused on the exploration of innovative solutions to address challenges associated with climate change and sustainability.