Carbon Talk: Lessons from Germany on Effective Municipal Climate Leadership

Effective Climate Leadership in Cities: Lessons from Germany

Germany is known for its ambitious national energy policies, but its cities are also home to some important innovations.

We all know about the Copenhagens and Oslos of the world that are leaders in climate action, but those big names are not the only ones forging ahead in this space. The City of Osnabrück is one of the 19 German cities and counties engaged in a federal research project to set and achieve ambitious renewable energy targets. Since signing onto Germany’s Climate Action Master Plan in 2012, Osnabrück’s Energiewende (energy transition) is on track for 100% renewable electricity, 90% renewable heating and cooling, and 60% renewable transportation by 2050.

Join us for a free public dialogue with Detlef Gerdts, Head of Department of the Environment and Climate Protection at the City of Osnabrück, as we learn from an inspiring example of climate leadership in Germany.

We’ll explore the following guiding questions: What is the City of Osnabrück doing to achieve its ambitious renewable energy and climate goals? What have been their challenges and successes, and what can other leaders learn from the German experience?

When: Tuesday, June 7 from 12:30 – 1:30 PM

Where: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Room 2270

Webcast: Can’t make the dialogue? This event will be webcast live, courtesy of our partnership with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. Want a webcast reminder email? You may order a free webcast reminder ticket from the event page. Join the conversation on Twitter at #REcities and Tweet your questions to @CarbonTalks

Registration: Please reserve your free seat here.


Engineers Canada Training Events on Climate Change


Register today for these Engineers Canada Training Events on Climate Issues:

This June, Engineers Canada will be hosting two training events to help engineers adapt to a changing climate. Both are offered in the National Capital Region over consecutive days and can be taken individually or together. Each are a step toward achieving an Infrastructure Resilience Professional designation, a forthcoming certification offered by Engineers Canada.

  • PIEVC Training Workshop (June 8, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Gatineau, QC) – This one-day workshop will provide participants with information about, and practice with, the PIEVC Protocol as a practical tool and process that systematically assesses the risks of current and future climate on public infrastructure. This will help engineers plan adaptive actions to improve infrastructure resilience to extreme weather and future climate.
  • Understanding the Changing Legal Climate: Canadian Climate Law for Engineers (June 9-10, 2016 at the Engineers Canada office, 55 Metcalfe St., Ottawa, ON) – As Canada’s climate continues to change, legal duties and standards of care are evolving to the point where relying on outdated standards and processes could be considered negligent. This two-day professional development short course will educate engineers on climate change law issues and the associated implications on their practice. Successful completion meets one of the requirements to become a designated Infrastructure Resilience Professional, a certification forthcoming from Engineers Canada.

For information about either of these opportunities please contact David Lapp FEC P.Eng. Practice Lead, Globalization and Sustainable Development, Engineers Canada,613.232.2474 Ext 240, david.lapp@engineerscanada.ca.


Alberta Government Considering Climate Change in Emergency Preparedness

notley fires

Source: Calgary Herald; Shaughn Butts/Postmedia

In a new business plan for Alberta’s Municipal Affairs Ministry, climate change is discussed as a factor threatening more extreme weather and emergency events. It’s good to see the province take steps to improve their emergency preparedness based on climate science.

From The Calgary Herald:

“The 2016-19 business plan for the Municipal Affairs Ministry, released with the provincial budget on April 14, said that with predictions of more extreme weather due to climate change, the province must prepare to manage more events such as the 2011 Slave Lake fire and 2013 southern Alberta flood.

“That will have a ‘significant impact’ on the government’s approach to emergency prevention, preparedness, response and recovery, says the report.

“The Municipal Affairs business plan pledges the government to bolster community preparedness through online risk assessments, emergency plans and training, and to beef up emergency management exercises.”

Read more from the article here.


Twitter Chat: Building Resilient Cities

Please join Climatelinks and co-sponsors ICMA and 100 Resilient Cities onThursday, May 26 at 1pm, EDT for a Twitter chat about building urban resilience in vulnerable communities grappling with the existing and impending effects of climate change.


More than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and this number continues to grow, with 1.2 million people migrating to cities every week. Three-quarters of the world’s largest cities are located on coastlines, and critical infrastructure – including water and sanitation, transportation, energy and information technology – is vulnerable to climate impacts, such as rising sea levels, floods, heat waves and higher winds. Inadequate infrastructure, housing and basic public services may exacerbate the effects of climate change and threaten people’s health and livelihoods.

In cities around the world, innovative and creative solutions are being applied to reduce climate risks and build resilience to climate change. Through the sharing of knowledge and best practices, this Twitter chat will highlight:

  • How cities around the world, particularly in developing countries, are applying adaptation and mitigation actions to become more resilient to climate change and other threats
  • What cities and urban initiatives we can look to as examples and replicate
  • The biggest challenges to building resilience and how they have been addressed
  • How cities will honor commitments made at COP21.

Finance, capacity building, tools, technologies, strategic partnerships, and other topics will also be covered in the discussion.

To join the Twitter chat, follow #ResilientCities on Twitter from 1pm to 2pm, EDT on Thursday May 26th. The chat questions will be tweeted out from @Climatelinks. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can follow the conversation here.

Register here. 


Webinar: Climate Change and the Energy Sector



Check out the following webinar, offered by Natural Resources Canada:

Energy and Climate Change Adaptation – How Industry Leaders Tackle the Challenge
Wednesday, June 1st, 1:00 – 2:30 pm ET

Join us to learn how industry leaders innovate in Canada, Iceland and South Africa!

Adapting to Climate Change – State of Play and Recommendations for the Electricity Sector in Canada

This first part of this webinar will address climate change risks for the electricity sector. It will review tools and approaches to integrate climate change into management practices and provide recommendations for all stakeholders.

  • Devin McCarthy, Director of Generation & Environment, Canadian Electricity Association

Case Studies on Adaptation in the Energy Sector – Overcoming Barriers to Adaptation

The second half of this webinar will present cases studies of adaptation practices from the broader energy sector and different regions of the world. It will offer potential solutions to address adaptation priorities in the Canadian energy sector.

  • Elyse Fournier, Energy & Water Resources Specialist, Ouranos
  • Óli Grétar Sveinsson, Executive Director, Landsvirkjun (Iceland)
  • Lwandle Mqadi, Senior Consultant, Eskom International (South Africa)
  • Marco Braun, Ph.D. Hydroclimatology Specialist, Ouranos

Click here to register.


Global Learning Forum 2017: May 17-19 2017 in Vancouver


Join city, private sector, civil society leaders, and other leaders for Global Learning Forum 2017, a chance to advance the movement for 100% renewable energy in cities.

Global Learning Forum 2017
May 17-19 2017
Vancouver, BC
400 leaders from 70 cities

Save the date for this important event!

Click here for more information. 


ICLEI Great Lakes Climate Adaptation Project

iclei great lakes
Climate change is already being experienced in communities throughout the Province of Ontario – flooding, extreme heat, changing water levels, and increased storms are only some of the impacts facing municipalities in Ontario and throughout Canada. Meaningful climate change responses draw on the skill-sets of many stakeholders and decision-makers, including municipal, provincial, and federal governments, private sector specialists, industry associations, planners, health professionals, and others; each stakeholder has a key role to play in mitigating the causes of and adapting to the effects of a climate change.

Under the Canada-Ontario Agreement (COA) Respecting the Great Lakes, the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change is supporting a project, led by ICLEI Canada, to increase climate change resilience for Great Lakes communities. Over a two-year period, ICLEI will engage approximately 30 communities in two projects aimed at building capacity on resilience planning and implementation:

 1. Training the Trainer: Engaging Stakeholders in Climate Change Assessments: This project, targeting 16 communities throughout the Great Lakes watershed, will help municipalities learn how to:
  • Use climate change modelling data to identify local vulnerabilities,
  • Assess and prioritize their risks, and
  • Begin developing adaptation plans.
2. Collaborative Implementation Groups: Working Together to Move from Planning to Action: This project, targeting 12 communities throughout the Great Lakes watershed, will help municipalities move from planning to action on
local resilience by:
  • Identifying implementation ready adaptation initiatives,
  • Securing funding for the initiatives,
  • Documenting key lessons learned via a case study series, and
  • Leveraging future activities in order to support the actual implementation of local initiatives.

Click here to learn more.


Climate Interactive Trainings in Africa


Climate Interactive is launching a new effort to expand climate change awareness across Africa. With tools that have helped decision-makers and citizens worldwide, Climate Interactive will be supporting people in leading the World Climate Simulation. At these events, people become “climate negotiators” tasked with agreeing on a global climate agreement to limit climate change. In the last year almost 15,000 people have participated in similar simulations worldwide, and for many it has been transformative in increasing their awareness and understanding of the challenge we face.

This climate awareness effort is launched in partnership with the new Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) in Morocco and relies on the ongoing partnership Climate Interactive has with MIT Sloan School of Management, UML Climate Change Initiative, and others.

Climate Interactive is hosting trainings for people interesting in facilitating World Climate Simulation events.

Upcoming World Climate trainings:

Nairobi, Kenya: May 26-27
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: June 1
Cape Town, South Africa: week of June 6th

Online webinars will also be announced in the coming weeks. Sign up to stay posted.



Job Opportunity: Embark Program Manager













Embark is hiring for a Program Manager to lead their sustainability programming across SFU’s three campuses:

Full time (30 hours/week)
June 13, 2016- June 17, 2017
$20.68 per hour + 4% vacation pay

The Program Manager is responsible for catalyzing a range of programming by providing leadership to volunteers. The work is geared to raising awareness about sustainability issues at SFU and pushing SFU to be a more sustainable campus.

The Program Manager co-leads the Sustainability Peer Educator Program in conjunction with a SFU Sustainability Office staff member. The Program Manager supports project Coordinators, providing direction regarding event planning and volunteer management. The Program Manager recruits, trains, and works with the Peer Educators and Coordinators throughout the academic school year, facilitating project planning and providing opportunities for personal & professional development. On an ongoing basis, the Program Manager recruits volunteers and seeks to involve them in areas of interest. The Program Manager continually seeks opportunities to forge partnerships with campus and community partners that have common goals, and leverage these relationships to advance the goals of all implicated groups. The Program Manager designs and administers evaluation of programs so that Embark can continually evolve and most effectively serve its members. The Program Manager reports to and works very closely with Embark’s Executive Director.

Click here for more information.


Watersheds 2016: Register Now


Registration is now open for Watersheds 2016: Building Capacity for Collaboration and Watershed Governance in British Columbia.

Space is limited- register early, and take advantage of the reduced early-bird rate!

Watersheds 2016 is a 1.5 day forum designed to build on learnings from Watersheds 2014. It will bridge and complement with the Living Waters Rally, an event to be hosted by the Canadian Freshwater Alliance from September 27th – 30th, 2016 in Vancouver. The combination of events creates a fantastic opportunity for 5 days of learning to improve the health of Canadian waters!

Through panel sessions, field trips, breakout workshops, structured peer-to-peer learning and networking, participants will build skills and enhance capacity for watershed governance in British Columbia. Core themes in the preliminary program include: Indigenous-led governance initiatives, collaborative watershed governance, and sustainable funding.

WHEN: September 30thOctober 1st
WHERE: SFU Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Vancouver, B.C.
REGISTRATION: Please visit the registration webpage. *Space is limited. Register early!

Watersheds 2016 is co-organized by four core partners: The POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, The Canadian Freshwater Alliance, The Fraser Basin Council, and The First Nations Fisheries Council. 

The forum is made possible by financial contributions from the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, and is co-sponsored by Simon Fraser University’s Pacific Water Research Centre. Other event partners include the University of Victoria’s Centre for Global Studies, WWF-Canada, the Forum for Leadership on Water, Evergreen, and Water Canada.

 Click here for more information, and click here to register


FACTS Event: Biodiversity and Innovation


You and invited to the conference FACTS (French Ameri-Can Climate Talks) “Biodiversity and Innovation” in partnership with the Beaty Biodiversity Museum and the Consulate General of France in Vancouver. This free public discussion will be held in the auditorium of the Beaty Museum on May 13th 2016 from 6.00pm, just a few days prior to theInternational Day for Biological Diversity.

Date: Friday, May 13, 2016
Start Time: 6:00 pm
Venue: Beatty Biodiversity Museum, 2212 Main Mall, UBC, Vancouver, BC
Tickets: FREE registration at factsvan16.eventbrite.ca

Click here May 13 at 6pm to join the live webcast

In the lead-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference hosted by France last December (COP 21 – Paris Climate 2015), the Embassies of France in both Canada and the United States have been organizing the FACTS (French Ameri-Can Climate Talks) conference series since 2014 (http://facts.france-science.org ). More than 80 renowned panelists have been involved, and 8,000 people were impacted across the continents. In Western Canada, FACTS “Biodiversity and Innovation” will be the fourth one held in the region. Find out more about the previous editions: http://www.consulfrance-vancouver.org/-French-Ameri-Can-Climate-Talks-FACTS-

With major steps taken towards the preservation of natural habitats and species in 2016,
FACTS Vancouver (http://www.consulfrance-vancouver.org/FACTS-Vancouver-biodiversite-et-innovation) aims at focusing on the linkage between biodiversity and innovation.

A diverse panel composed of some renowned scientists, entrepreneurs and researchers from both France and Canada will be debating on the latest methods to protect biodiversity and on the recent significant innovations that remediate anthropogenic alterations.

The conference will be moderated by CBC’s Dominique Arnoldi with keynote Ross Beaty, and will include:

Dr. Wayne Maddison, Director of the Spencer Entomological
Collection, Beaty Biodiversity Museum

Dr Mathieu Leporini, Science and Technology Attache of the
Consulate of France in Vancouver

Dr. Jean-Christophe Auffray, Counsellor for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France to Canada: France and Biodiversity

Jean-Christophe Fleury, Consul general of France in Vancouver: The challenges of the implementation of the Paris agreement

Joseph Pallant, Manager of Brinkman Climate: Offset projects

Prof. Daniel Pauly Human impacts on marine biodiversity – lessons and future in the context on climate change

Prof. Jedediah Brodie Integrated projects to protect terrestrial biodiversity

Dr. Raphaël LamiI Examples of research and innovation in the biodiversity sector

Alexandre Cluchier Land mitigation applied to land and natural
environment development in the context of climate change

Colleen Giroux-Schmidt Biodiversity conservation applied to renewable energy project development

Reception to follow from 8.00 pm – 9.00 pm under the whale in the hall.


Webinar: Understanding the Paris Agreement and its Implications


Register now for this upcoming webinar offered by the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) and the Harvard Kennedy School:

Understanding the Paris Agreement and its Implications 
Thursday June 2nd, 1:00 pm Eastern Time

In April 2016, more than 175 nations signed the Paris Agrement, an event that may well be remembered as the critical turning point in mankind’s battle to slow down and minimize the impacts of global warming.  This webinar will assess the status of efforts to address global climate change, including both the international negotiations and domestic actions in the United States and elsewhere. Presenters will address how the Agreement itself can be implemented successfully in the context of previous policy architectures and implementation. Speakers will also discuss recent bilateral announcements by China and the United States and the role they played in leading up to Paris and going forward. Join us on June 2 to learn about the key elements of the Paris Agreement, the major challenges that remain for successful implementation, the prospective role to be played by carbon markets, heterogeneous international linkage and implications for industry and subnational government.

Click here to register.


ACT ED at Metro Vancouver Sustainability Breakfast


On April 21st, ACT Executive Director Deb Harford spoke at one of Metro Vancouver’s Sustainability Breakfasts focusing on climate change adaptation. She spoke alongside representatives from Metro Vancouver, the District of North Vancouver, and the City of North Vancouver.

Presentations from this event are now online. Click here to see Deb’s presentation as well as those of the other excellent speakers.


Job with David Suzuki Foundation: Energy & Climate Policy Analyst


An exciting climate job opportunity with the David Suzuki Foundation:

Policy Analyst: Renewable Energy & Climate Solutions 
Full time, permanent (34 hours/week)
Application deadline: May 15th

• Recognized as a DSF expert in their area(s) of specialization (climate change and clean energy).
• Implements and takes responsibility for the outcome of the plans, strategies and initiatives associated with their work.
• Contribute to the development of integrated strategies for research, communications, campaigning, development, and project delivery in support of Science and Policy goals and objectives.
• Develop and prepare discussion papers, technical reports, briefing notes, presentations, correspondence, and communications backgrounders.
• Attend meetings and maintain ongoing contact with other organizations and researchers active in the climate change solutions field. Integrate information and assess the significance and implications of policy positions and strategies.
• Build DSF’s profile with the public through different channels (public speaking, academic conferences, print, social media, on camera interviews, etc.) using technical analysis and science.
• Collaborate with other David Suzuki Foundation staff and local community partners on regional projects.
• Identify opportunities arising from emerging trends and generates options for engaging them.
• Supervise and coordinate the publication of reports, and other projects, as required. May include supervision and coordination of contractors in the preparation of reports.
• Present recommendations to team manager and or director, as requested.

Click here for more information and to apply.


Bob Sandford on Water Security and Climate Stability


Bob Sandford, ACT’s senior water adviser, gave a presentation last week to the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and the Canadian Association for the Club of Rome in Ottawa. Bob’s talk was entitled “Hot & Bothered: Water Security, Climate Stability, & Human & Planetary Health in a Warming World.”

In addition to being the EPCOR Chair in Water and Climate Security for the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment, and Health, Bob is also the author of ACT’s water governance report and co-author of our latest book, The Climate Nexus: Water, Food, Energy, and Biodiversity in a Changing World.

Click here to view his presentation.


Infographic on Flood Risk

This helpful new infographic on flood risk explains why everyone should care about floods, even those who don’t live near water. View below, or click here to download.



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