On April 20, FWIC WI Canada hosted its second roundtable and this time the topic was Climate Change. President Margaret opened the roundtable and noted that the topic was chosen in recognition of Earth Day on April 22. Judy Page Jones read the Land Acknowledgement.
Several provinces shared information on how climate change was affecting their province and/or the plans that have been put in place to help to address the effects of climate change on their part of the world.
NFWI President began the talk by sharing some of the plans that Newfoundland & Labrador have in place. The Energy Efficiency Program being one example. Newfoundland and Labrador are also part of the Atlantic Climate Adaptation Solutions Association which has created Flood Risk Maps and an alert system for Hurricanes. They have also created “7 Steps to Access the Climate Change Vulnerability in Your Community.”
Carolyn MacFadyen, Environment Convenor for PEWI, provided information on the Clean Tech Learning and Innovation Centre as well as a 25-hectare park which is being constructed in Georgetown, PEI. Partnering with University of PEI and Holland College, the Center will work towards finding technology that can reduce environmental and climate impacts. The inspiration for the Centre was SamsØ, Denmark which won the UN Global Climate Action Award in 2021.
Women’s Institutes of Nova Scotia President Jacqueline Melvin outlined the factors that are affecting Nova Scotia’s climate and some of the steps that Nova Scotia is taking to address these factors. She also shared how these factors are affecting the agriculture industry and how the farming industry is responding. FWIC Nova Scotia Director Eleanor Lilley provided information on the steps Nova Scotia has taken to make it a national leader in dealing with climate change.
Angela Scott, FWIC Director for New Brunswick, shared the issues affecting New Brunswick. Like Nova Scotia, they also are experiencing rising temperatures, more moisture, more wind, and rising sea levels. The province has continued to reduce its emissions by closing coal and oil-fired plants, increasing the use of wind energy, and restructuring the forest industry.
Ontario’s FWIC Director, Linda Zelem gave an overview of the five-year plan that the former Ontario Government had in place. The plan will help households and communities transition to a low carbon economy, use less energy, and save more money by investing in initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas pollution.
Karen Gerwing, FWIC Director for Saskatchewan shared that Saskatchewan in 2017 adopted Prairie Resilience: A Made-in-Saskatchewan Climate Change Strategy. She noted that the commitments span Saskatchewan's natural systems and resources, infrastructure for electricity, transportation, homes and buildings, and community preparedness.
Linda Mason, the FWIC Director for Alberta and FWIC’s Treasurer, provided an insight on the effects of climate changes on Alberta, specifically on agriculture, and native species and ecosystems. She also noted the devasting effects of extreme events (including hailstorms, wildfires, and flooding) are having on the province.
The British Columbia FWIC Director, Colleen Hooper, shared information on the floods that happened earlier this year in the Fraser Valley. She noted that flooding is not unusual for the Valley but receiving a month’s worth of rain in a few hours caused the cataclysmic flooding.
Moving outside of Canada, Lynn MacLean, FWIC President Elect, shared information on Malawi, a country in Africa, and the effects climate change is having on the farmers in that region.
An industry that is contributing to climate change is the Fashion Industry. Colleen Hooper provided an insight into why that is the case outlining the amount of pollution as well as the amount of clothing that ends up in the landfill.
Lastly, FWIC Director for Manitoba Denise Joss shared information on the coral reefs and the impact of coral bleaching. Information was also given on how climate change is affecting the oceans. She ended her segment with 10 suggestions on how we can reduce our carbon footprint.
The recording of the Climate Change Roundtable can be found on the FWICWI Canada YouTube Channel. Feedback is always welcome and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Lynn MacLean, President Elect May 2022