March 29, 2024

By Humeyra A. Karsli – Board member and President of the AFP Quebec IDEA committee

Did you know? The world’s richest 1 percent of the population are responsible for more than twice as much emissions as the poorest 50 percent.

Equity and justice are still relevant terms when it comes to right to a healthy environment and the impact of climate change on communities. As we approach Earth Day on April 22nd, we want to shed light on some of the issues affecting our communities, as well as potential solutions. It’s time for action; this month, and throughout the year, for a sustainable ecological transition by and for individuals!

Communities of all sizes across the country are experiencing the impacts of climate change, affecting their infrastructure, health, well-being, and economies. However, marginalized groups bear a disproportionate burden of these impacts. In Quebec and around the world, rural and remote communities face higher health and safety risks due to climate change. Consider the 2023 wildfires in Quebec or the increasingly frequent and intense floods in British Columbia, Alberta, and closer to home, in Quebec, where hundreds of people in the Laurentians region were evacuated due to flooding. These events pose significant threats to both population health and safety, as well as biodiversity. This reality illustrates the link between environmental health and that of populations, emphasizing the urgent need for environmental awareness and action.

In this month dedicated to the environment, the AFP-Quebec IDEA committee highlights the important work of many organizations involved in climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as community engagement. These organizations are doing remarkable work, ranging from raising awareness of environmental rights to creating community support networks, from scientific research and expertise transfer to the private and public sectors, to citizen advocacy groups.

To fight eco anxiety and be part of a systemic change, here are some actions to consider:

  1. Get involved in local initiatives such as Montreal’s Climate Plan, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. To learn more: Montréal Climate Plan: Objective carbon-neutral by 2050 | Ville de Montréal (
  2. Engage with environmental organizations; signing a petition, sending a letter to elected officials, sharing a campaign, or making a donation are a few ideas that can have a significant impact.
  3. Adopt a sustainable lifestyle: learn about the concept and impact of overconsumption; explore individual and collective actions to move towards recycling, reusing, local purchasing, sustainable investing, and the use of public transportation.
‘’The environment is so fundamental to our continued existence that it must transcend politics and become a central value of all members of society.’’ Dr David Suzuki

Together, we have the power to spark the change, and through our collective efforts, we can shape a future that’s not just sustainable, but also more equitable for all!