Challenges and Barriers
In order for the great ideas in this toolkit to become reality, we must work to address and reduce barriers to action. Survey respondents, key informants and focus groups shared a variety of challenges and barriers they feel limits their own and the community’s ability to adapt to climate change and be more resilient.
Residents’ primary barriers are provincial government, actions being too expensive, federal government, needing better skills, and being too busy. Other barriers include living in an apartment, old age and lack of ability, and some feel that their climate anxiety limits their ability to take part in climate actions. Many respondents said that NB Power’s reluctant attitude and limiting rules with regard to community renewable energy projects and lack of adequate financial incentives to upgrade homes present barriers to resilience. Among student respondents 64% feel they need better skills, 55% need more time or are too busy to adapt to climate change, and 49% need more knowledge to prepare for climate change. Local businesses are challenged with needing more time or being too busy, the provincial government, that adaptation is too expensive, and needing more information.
Key informants and focus group participants reported that it will be difficult for people to cope and be resilient as more and more is thrown at them. Sackville is home to vulnerable populations, and it is hard to know their experience. They may not be connected or able to be engaged. Sackville has lost train service and is not serviced by as many bus routes as in the past which impacts the ability to access services and basic needs. Communication is challenging and the lack of community newspaper contributes. For some of the ideas provided in this guide, larger system changes or government action is needed. Provincial regulations prohibit local procurement of goods and services and force municipalities, schools and universities to purchase the lowest price rather than support local. Provincial government does not allow for community-owned renewable energy or PACE programs. Provincial rebates for energy efficiency and solar are minimal. Finally, there are no federal rebates to encourage household action such as home energy or electric vehicle rebates.
Despite challenges and barriers, the Sackville community possesses many strengths and has the ability to adapt to climate change. Turning ideas to action is vital to success. Ideas presented in this guide can be done at home, with friends, or as part of a community project. We can make positive changes; we just have to get started. Focus on your own strengths and select the actions you are interested in working on.
Strengths of the Sackville Community:
- Engaged and concerned population willing to act
- Residents, businesses and organizations committed to the well-being of the community
- Residents know how to work together to help each other
- The community can respond and recover from crises
- Diverse experiences, ages, skills and resources
- Confidence in local decision-makers
This is a toolkit for the Sackville community and so it is up to residents, businesses, organizations and community groups to implement ideas. You are invited to work on the ideas presented in this guide, to start projects, to get involved, to help. EOS Eco-Energy will use many of the ideas contained here to help direct its planning, community projects and funding proposals in the coming years. In particular EOS will revisit this guide in 5 years, do another community survey to assess resilience progress, and develop a progress report.
Have a great idea to add to the online toolkit? Contact EOS Eco-Energy at (506) 536-4487 or email@example.com.