HalifACT & the Library’s Climate Community Engagement Series

What we did and what we heard

Thank you to everyone who participated in the first collaboration between Halifax Public Libraries and HalifACT. More action is in the works, based on what we heard from you.

Read on to see what happened.

Table of Contents

  1. Engagement #1: What's Your Climate 101? 
  2. Engagement #2: Slowing Climate Change 
  3. Engagement #3: Preparing for Climate Change 
  4. About HalifACT and the Library


Engagement #1: What's Your Climate 101

February 2023

We asked you to consider this:

The devastation caused by Hurricane Fiona in September was an alarming reminder of the growing climate crisis. Climate change poses risks for people, buildings, nature, economies, livelihoods, and safety. There is an urgent need for all of us to take action to fight climate change (mitigation) and prepare for climate impacts (adaptation).

And to answer these questions:

      • How are you seeing climate change in your community? Winter? Spring? Fall? Summer?
      • What do you want to know about climate action?

This engagement is completed, and the results are in. Read what we heard from you.


Engagement #2: Slowing Climate Change

March - April 2023

The results from February's engagement told us what you are experiencing and your top concern: slowing climate change. In response, we created the next engagement for you.

We asked you to consider this:

We can slow climate change by reducing the amount of carbon we’re putting into our atmosphere by changing how we produce and use energy. Now is the time to act. Halifax is taking action by moving to:

  • Green energy sources
  • Zero emission buses and fleet vehicles
  • Low carbon (net zero) municipal buildings and more

Government and companies play a big role and so can you with the decisions you make every day. Slowing (mitigation) and preparing for (adaptation) climate change are two important parts of taking climate action. Mitigation reduces harm while adaptation prepares us for the effects of climate change.

And to answer this question:

  • What do you think will help slow climate change?

This engagement is completed, and the results are in. Read what we heard from you.


Engagement #3: Preparing for Climate Change

April - May, 2023

Now that we've heard about your climate reality and about what climate action you want to see now, we're looking at what is next.

We asked you to consider this:

Preparing for climate change will help us to adapt, protect ourselves and our communities, and respond to impacts. For example:

  • Heatwaves, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes and blizzards can lead to power outages, damage to buildings, roads, communications equipment, and water or wastewater systems.
  • Supply chains may be interrupted, making it difficult to get every day products and materials.
  • People we love may experience physical and mental health impacts increasing demand on emergency services.
  • Financial impacts may reduce our collective ability to respond effectively.

By planning ahead and working together we can strengthen our communities, ecosystems, and economy, and we are aiming to be ready for the events climate change brings.

And to answer this question:

  • What do you need to feel prepared for the impacts of climate change?

This engagement is completed, and the results are in. Read what we heard from you.


About HalifACT and the Library

In response to the climate crisis, the Halifax Regional Municipality has adopted an ambitious climate action plan - HalifACT: Acting on Climate Together.

HalifACT lays out how we’ll reduce emissions, switch to clean and reliable energy sources, grow our green economy, and show leadership from local government.

Community engagements at Library locations

From February to May, HalifACT and Halifax Public Libraries partnered on a series of community engagements at Library locations to learn from community members. For at least one week at a time, a display was set up to ask questions and give space for everyone to post answers and share their experiences with climate change.

After each of the three engagements, we kept the momentum going:

  • responses were reviewed by the HalifACT team to find themes and understand concerns.
  • "What We Heard" reports were written and posted to capture and reflect reponses.
  • links to answers were published on the Library's resource page for climate action.
  • 3-4 stand out responses were shared on the Library's in-branch digital displays
  • While in-person and offline engagements were a priority, HalifACT opened online options for sharing thoughts at shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/halifact.

We are committed to making deep change, and we know success relies on all of us being supported to engage and take action. Community members can expect to see their feedback reflected in future productions of climate resources, programs, and supports for effective climate action.

Let's act on climate together by learning from each other! Visit our resource page for climate action, if you haven't already.