Prominent Canadians Weigh In: David Miller

David Miller is the Director of International Diplomacy and Global Ambassador of Inclusive Climate Action at C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. He is responsible for supporting nearly 100 mayors of the world’s largest cities in their climate leadership and building a global movement for socially equitable action to mitigate and adapt to climate change. He served as Chair of C40 Cities from 2008 until 2010. Miller was Mayor of Toronto from 2003 to 2010. 

What early life experiences triggered your interest in climate issues?

I think growing up in a small English farming village first connected me with nature and the environment – we all grew food, and my play was literally in nature – and then emigrating to Canada and going on a canoe trip to Algonquin Park over Thanksgiving of Grade nine, when it was stunning on the first day, then rained and snowed and none of us boys had brought rain gear – gave me a sense of the power and beauty of nature and I have cared about environmental issues deeply since.

What worries you most about where we are at with the climate emergency?

We know what must be done and what to do, and we aren't doing it.

What green lifestyle change have you and your family started because of the pandemic?

Pre pandemic, we sold our car and moved to public transit and occasional auto sharing. During the lockdowns, we walked far more. I bought a bike in March 2020 and have ridden every day since, and of course, no flights.

What green lifestyle change are you finding most difficult to take on?

Travel.

Do you have a song, musician or other artist that inspires you and gives you hope as you grapple with the pandemic and climate change?

Bruce Springsteen always inspires me, and in a melancholy way "My hometown" reminds me of what we need to do to ensure we not only address climate but do it in a just and equitable way.

If a young relative were to ask you in five years' time "what did you do when the climate was tanking," what will you say?

I worked full time to help 97 mayors of the world’s largest cities do everything in their power to help the world make the changes needed.

What gives you hope about the future of the climate and life on this planet?

Cities and the leadership of mayors. So much is happening – it just need to happen everywhere, faster.