6C declaration

This proposal from Civic Efficiency Group to FCM for ICLEI at COP11 was previously circulated via Climate Action Network Canada. As of 2006-03 it had not been ratified but was influential on the Montreal declaration negotiations. The final World Mayors and Municipal Leaders Declaration on Climate Change, 2005-12-07, reflects its key 4.3 monetary reform, 3.4 green procurement, and 2.6 best practice exchange clauses. See also the urban best practice exchange agreement.

The 6C declaration - original by Craig Hubley

Canadian Mayors' commitment on community, climate, conservation, change, creativity and compassion

We, Canadian Mayors and other municipal leaders meeting in December of 2005, commit to keep our cities at the very forefront of innovations and strategies that foster creativity, compassion and conservation. We commit to change that preserves our communities and which puts our creativity to work for the planet:

It has long been recognized that cities exist primarily as creative workplaces, where people of many backgrounds and skills interact to combine these into services unique in the world. More recently, North American cities have become refuges for people fleeing oppression and poverty elsewhere in the world: centres of compassion. Today, in the face of climate change and conflict over energy, we must become also centres of conservation. We are willing to change, our lifestyle remains negotiable, and we are especially willing to change habits that do not improve our well-being but arise from laziness.


In solidarity with the International Youth Delegation to the Montreal COP11 conference 1, we call for a "just transition" to a carbon-neutral industrial society that does not overburden workers, the poor, or aboriginal peoples. We are especially concerned for "vulnerable communities" including the Inuit, Micronesians, coast dwellers (especially in South Asia and the Gulf of Mexico) and people exposed to a
high risk from storm surges, mudslides and disease from combined effects of climate change and loss of coastal mangroves and wetlands, barrier islands, erosion or flooding caused by deforestation and rains. Canadian municipal leaders declare ourselves to be flatly in solidarity with victims of such events in the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti and the Caribbean, Bangaladesh and the Indian Ocean, Japan and the South Pacific. Those countries least affected have more responsibility to alleviate the harms:
  • a permanent youth delegation and representation must be established by, at latest, the COP12 meeting
  • representatives from sub-national regions and groups must be accorded status as delegates to the UN for climate change purposes, including Canada's own First Nations: Inuit, Metis, Cree, Micmaq, etc.
  • the UN Security Council must accept climate change as a responsibility of all UN agencies to prevent
  • communities already employing alternatives to combustion of fossil fuels must be strongly supported
  • countries that have benefitted from free waste disposal of greenhouse gas to the atmosphere which are now fully developed, must accept a commitment to provide specific foreign aid to the less developed, over and above the pre-climate-crisis minimum of 0.7% (first established by Canada in the 1960s)
  • the direct impacts of climate change at least on women and children must be accounted and paid for:
    • specific scenarios postulating specific impacts on specific people in specific places at fixed time horizons in the future, e.g. Inuit hunting family on Baffin Island in 2040, should be prepared for a diverse range of peoples worldwide, and referenced in any and all decision-making, so that the human rights of these people to continue their ways and means of life will be considered in global decisions without requiring them to explain scientific assumptions or probability analysis at every single event


Also per 1 we call for reductions of greenhouse gases of 30% by 2020, 80% by 2054, minimums that the most credible scientific consensus of experts say may prevent major climate, ice, ocean current damage.

To prove that these goals can be achieved and that vulnerable communities can trust us to achieve them, and in solidarity with 180 U.S. Mayors 2, we now urge all Canadian Mayors and municipal officials to:

"Strive to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets in their own communities, through actions ranging from anti-sprawl land use policies to urban forest restoration projects to public information campaigns;" 2 To further institute green building and transport and purchasing standards to prevent a wide range of negative health and well-being outcomes known to be associated with new greenfield and
car-oriented suburban development; To adopt strict measurement of climate, ecosystem, health impacts associated with land use and development patterns; To systematically remove legislative barriers to a more efficient pattern where car commuting is minimized, and transit, biking and walking are practical alternatives; To actively exchange all our best practices among all North American, European and other
temperate-zone cities; To radically improve training and certification of municipal employees in more efficient alternatives to present permitting, building, transport, leasing and purchasing practices; To spread LEED certification and ISO 14000 standards for all community-funded buildings or activities.

Urge all US state governments, all Canadian provinces, and the US federal government, to enact specific detailed "policies and programs to meet or beat the greenhouse gas emission reduction target suggested" 2 by the Kyoto Protocol. In Canada, to deal preferentially with US cities and states that accept the goals (a 7% reduction from 1990 levels by 2012), and to work with these to adopt an aggressive North-America-wide "green" industrial and design strategy to innovate in lower-footprint technology including
at least: local, no-voc materials for healthy offices and housing, alternatives to wood including hemp and straw, earth structures and earth-insulated foundations, celulose and other non-toxic insulation, ground source and deep water heating and cooling, radiator reflectors, on-demand water heating, solar air and water pre-heating and other active thermal transfer, programmable thermostats and zone control heating, sod and other "green roof" designs, reliance on captured rainfall at least for flushing toilets and washing, visible power meters (known to encourage conservation of up to 30% of present power draw), spiral flourescent and LED lighting, 12-volt DC power standards, large stationary fuel cells and advanced batteries as an alternative to generators or peak power draw, use of hybrid dieselectric or renewable-energy-powered vehicles in municipal fleets especially buses, advanced starters that turn engines off and on quickly rather than idling, landscaping to create shade, sewage and biomass digestion to create biogas (methane), and alternative non-combustive chemical means of charging fuel cells directly from sewage, methane, oil or coal that result in containment of all greenhouse gas rather than its release, creating industrial ecologies to support waste/energy generation at the community level.


Systematically rewarding conservation and punishing waste will however require more robust incentives for conservation, so we "urge the U.S. Congress to pass the bipartisan greenhouse gas reduction legislation, which would establish a national emission trading system" 2 in which Canadian cities should have the right to be suppliers of a range of emissions reduction projects, including at least:
  • radical reductions in traffic light idling time using adaptive traffic signal infrastructure
  • radically more efficient routing of municipal vehicles using GIS and demand-driven route planning
  • a general civic efficiency program including reductions in e-waste, better oversight of municipal operations, adoption of GAAP, ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 standards within an ISO 19011 audit framework
  • separation of cost, benefit and capital accounts with differential treatment as advised by Daly 7
  • a Canada-wide or North-America-wide "feebate" program to reward municipal fleets that buy hybrids or other "clean" vehicles, with funds paid by municipalities which choose more polluting vehicles (potentially implemented in Canada by adjustment of federal gasoline tax funds received by every municipality which shares equally in the obligation to reduce by 5 megatons of gases by 2012)
  • radical reductions in commuting and office energy use by establishing alternative work sites (as is also required for municipal governments to continue operating through urban emergencies)
  • replacement of live meetings with teleconference and online media, where this is proven practical (as is also required to reduce exposure during pandemics and to further reduce commuting/idling)
  • separation of solid waste streams and efficient central composting to generate soil and energy
  • radical reductions in use of concrete (the production of which is a major greenhouse gas problem)
  • signal infrastructure upgrades for more resilient emergency-resistant networks (detailed in 34) that reduce the number of unnecessary service visits, office downtime, late hours (heat and light and power) caused by failures to anticipate and prevent computer failures and especially data loss

Energy conservation is only the first step in a general program of total quality management in cities: Perhaps a good way to start is to consider the "e" in "e-government" not to stand for "electronic" (as in "e-waste") but instead for any of the other e-words: "energy-efficient, "effective","environmentally sustainable", "ecologically wise", "equitable", "effective" and "emergency-prepared"." These "better e's" remind us of opportunities, obligations and operations policies, and refocus us on the services we must continue to provide to our citizens, rather than focusing us narrowly on technology or on energy.


Historically such measures could not be justified in terms of "cost"* to the municipality alone. It is not possible to justify capital expenditures to prevent major climate disasters elsewhere in the world, or even on one's own doorstep, with this thinking. As with other liabilities, cities must "take an insurance-like approach to managing the many and varied risks associated with municipal infrastructure affected by federal mandates," setting "requirements and standards" that "address routine and emergency needs together, no matter whose mandate they fall under." 4 Communications systems for instance must be resilient and secure whether they are responding to a small emergency, or a major disaster: municipal 911 and even 311 systems must work flawlessly through any situation.
Convergence of digital and analog media provide major opportunities to integrate communications of first responders: community-based, all levels of police, fire, medical and even military personnel.

The Government of Canada helped some municipalities "to build Emergency Operations Centres, to move to "green" building regulation and government procurement, to build an infrastructure to attract this century's online work opportunities to rural areas." Its Service Canada plan will also move many "thousands of jobs from Ottawa to "rural areas" that will need to have reliable telecommunications and computer network service infrastructure to ensure reliable delivery of federal services." However, "reports from Auditor General of Canada Sheila Fraser indicate that even the well-funded federal government has often failed to meet its own privacy, procurement, and computer security standards - with less resources or expertise, most cities do even worse." We propose extending the existing Federation of Canadian Municpalities' InfraGuide into a true collaborative effort focusing not only "on buildings and roads and sewers, but on the instructional capital: best practices, standard terms of reference, quality management, signal infrastructure" and protocols to keep it reliable through an anticipated range of disasters (earthquakes in Vancouver, hurricanes in Halifax). all quotes from 3.

Research, training, design, development, testing, deployment and other capital expenditures seem hard to justify in terms of immediate financial cost* and return: Fraser has called for a US GAO style of government performance auditing, including such continuous auditing systems as Baltimore's CitiStat:

"Baltimore proved that profound savings are easily achieved through even stricter accountability protocol. Today's cities must be rebuilt starting with their nervous systems: until they can feel pain they don't know what to fix. Tomorrow's thriving green cities will have remade themselves by seeing statistics, hearing citizens and smelling every scrap of waste. There is only one proven path - an upgraded City Signal Infrastructure that creates totally transparent municipalities, whose routine operational savings pay back hundreds of times the initial investment." 3 And, not least, in stress reductions for municipal employees who are today subject to longer hours, more ambient noise, disease,
"sick buildings", and other dangers of a poorly designed and maintained office work infrastructure, at constant risk of being partially or wholly crippled by an emergency, easily anticipated or otherwise.

Johannes Gelinas, also of Fraser's office, has called the government to account for failure to meet its own standards for "green procurement" and "greening of government operations" (to use the exact phrases of the 2005 budget). The government has also admitted its failures to prepare for serious emergencies. Only "strong national procurement and emergency interoperability and training standards" 3 can solve these problems, because only a national effort focusing on reducing major regrets* of an easily-anticipated disaster, can justify such deep changes to systems, jobs, culture and the workplace.

Such necessary changes go beyond conservation of energy and reducing materials use to waste little or nothing. It requires design discipline like Natural Step, management accounting for Natural Capital, and sometimes a great deal more labour and communication to achieve than the status quo. Tax systems today penalize organizations for investing in these, rewarding instead over-investments in capital or consumption. We call upon the Canadian government to change tax and fiscal policy to make it easier
to retrain and redeploy labour, and acquire only those capital resources that lead to greener cities.


Imitating best practices established elsewhere in the world is only a beginning to a new world economy: There is more than regret to be avoided in the present climate crisis: there is opportunity to pursue; There is an industrial revolution afoot, one requiring all our best thinking on how to replace products whose extraction, production or disposal reduce biodiversity and disrupt ecosystems and climate with those that have much less impact. This requires creativity, and creativity requires incentive. North America is one of the world's largest markets, and its cities can provide this incentive simply by very strictly implementing their own moral purchasing criteria, and those of the government of Canada and the provinces:

Beyond climate change and energy considerations, and in response to global concerns about biodiversity and deforestation and the impact of developed-world purchasing patterns on developing world ecosystems, we call upon the Canadian government in cooperation with the UN, EU, NGOs and all others to begin to:
  • implement a global fair trade network for municipal purchasing to ensure all options are considered (and are assessed based on their functional criteria, such as bamboo replacing oak in flooring, straw replacing other wood in cabinets, lower-power CPUs with identical instruction sets, not on brand name)
  • standardize institutional buying criteria so that commitments to "green purchasing", "no sweat" and to avoid dealing in the products of deforestation, genocide and extinction, can be monitored and audited
  • standardize labels and lookup based on bar codes so that Canadians can discover what they buy into, when they buy (there are excellent 'fair trade' proposals to do this ready for official pilot tests)
  • establish clear goals to radically reduce toxic "e-waste" from all Canadian government operations and especially from Canadian cities, which must acquire hardware with more rational processes (see 34)
  • establish clear criteria for reform of IMF, BIS, World Bank and other global monetary institutions, to ensure that systematic advantages in the marketplace cannot be gained by externalizing harms on others and that universal public goods (such as mothers spending free time with children 56) all increase
  • overhaul public sector accounting so that full costs* of all goods and services consumed by cities and towns, at least directly via their municipal governments, can be calculated, and ecological and social impacts known (in accord with the laws of Canada which require indicators to exist for such impacts)
  • remove any and all language and assumptions regarding "GDP as growth" from all public sector use 7 and especially metaphorical usage, e.g. "hurt the economy", GDP increase as "good", inflation as "bad"

This final error has been particularly destructive: it propagates assumptions that no one believes in. There is no excuse for today's ideological equating of Gross Domestic Product increase as an indicator of desirable growth. GDP does not reflect ecological stability or biodiversity, nor human health. It's not a useful indicator. Paul Martin, in 2003 in a nationwide radio interview, before becoming our P.M., publicly condemned its use as an indicator of what a government should do: the time has come to abandon the debt-to-GDP ratio as a measure of his successes. Canada has the highest such ratio in the world: it is time to ask why other countries with a higher quality of life are not pursuing more debt reductions ?


Finally, in response to global concerns about the ecological footprint of North American urban dwellers, the global conflicts exacerbated by desire to control oil and gas reserves, and attacks on major cities, we require immediate action to ensure that inequity does not increase and create desperation and regret*
  • commit to the 1/3 of humanity that lives on less than one dollar US per day, that this will soon end
  • commit to those specifically disadvantaged by conflict over energy, that this too will soon end commit to foreign aid in the amount of 0.7% of GDP by 2012, rising to 1.0% by 2015, the year of the assessment of how effectively the United Nations met the UN Millenium Development Goals - or didn't
  • call for a global confererence on monetary reform and full cost accounting so that externalizing harm on helpless people or vulnerable ecosystems is no longer a profitable national or corporate strategy
  • call for a global conference on fair trade agreements to replace the investor-focused WTO and NAFTA, with robust mutual commitments to ever-rising ecological and social standards, more similar to the EU
  • call to end extinction, genocide, and activities that create poverty such as fraud and deforestation, with robust mutual commitments to common protocols of investigation and extradition, such as the ICC
  • call to end racism, overt and hidden, against Canada's aboriginal peoples, immigrants and minorities with robust inter-provincial agreements to recognize foreign professional credentials, rights of urban aboriginals and the right of First Nations to recognize citizens by their own criteria, not Canada's, and grant standing to speak on their behalf, or on their rights, at any international agency or event


Meeting the above commitments will place Canadian cities once again at the top of the UN Quality of Life Index 8. There is no lesser strategy that can meet Canada's ecological and social commitments to all humanity. There is no room for "leaders" who fail to ask their followers for support on the goals above.

There is no time to delay: UN Millenium Development Goals 9 must be met by hard commitments of funds and skills, terrorism must be ended by economically and socially connecting (not by further militarism and its inevitable alienation, disenfranchising and capital asset destruction), and the global monetary and trade system must be reformed, immediately, on a scale not considered since Bretton Woods in 1944.

What is at stake, is the viability of North American cities as places to live, work, innovate and play. We, Canadian Mayors and other municipal leaders in Montreal in December 2005, commit to keep our cities clean, creative, compassionate, and (like all living organisms) conserving energy for what is truly worthwhile: children, creative arts, celebration, and the contemplation and deliberation these require.

We commit to spreading instructions and experiences arising from our pilot projects and local innovation to the entire world. In particular, to China, where 900 million people are expected to migrate to urban areas in the next 50 years, which could destroy the atmosphere if their cities were run as ours now are: we accept special obligations to work with countries like China struggling to build "ecological cities": Without these, there is no hope of a human population of seven billion people continuing on this Earth.

1 communique of the International Youth Declaration (100 youth) to the COP11 conference, 2005-11-29
2 US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement (published http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/climate/cpaText.htm )
3 open letter to Canadian finance minister Ralph Goodale from Civic Efficiency Group (CEG), 2005-02-18
(published at http://openpolitics.ca/open+letter+to+Ralph+Goodale+from+Civic+Efficiency+Group )
4 CEG "urban mandate recommendations" to Minister of State for Communities John Godfrey, 2004-12-21
(included detailed review of CitiStat by CEG analyst see http://dowire.org/wiki/Baltimore_CitiStat )
5 Marilyn Waring, "If Women Counted: a new feminist economics", 1990, ISBN 0802082602, republished with Gloria Steinem, 1999, as "Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women Are Worth"
6 Amartya Sen (1999 Swedish Bank Prize winner for) "Development as Freedom", 1999, ISBN 0375406190
(see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amartya_Sen for a detailed biography of the author listing works)
7 Herman Daly, "Beyond Growth", 1996, ISBN 0807047082 (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Daly )
8 UN Quality of Life Index (the best known index claims http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/quality_of_life )
9 UN Millenium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015 (published http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/)

  • Cost analysis focuses on "who pays" for a bad outcome; Regret analysis on avoiding all bad outcomes using many scenarios that include extreme high-impact low-probability events. "Risk as regret", "cost of regret" and "quality-adjusted life year" have become common terminology; Waring 5, Sen 6, Daly 7 emphasize dangers of ignoring natural and social capital, specifically, nature's services to humans
and the services rendered by mothers to growing children, in the global economic system. Any monetary reform would have to balance biodiversity and biosecurity, climate and ecosystem stability, health and happiness (now neurologically proven to boost immunity), education and human free time as major goals.