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(Dec 10) COP 24 Update

Just a week after the naturalist Sir David Attenborough spoke passionately from the “People’s Seat” in Katowice, Poland at COP 24, the United States government officials are defending the fossil fuel industry.

While addressing the climate change conference from the “Peoples Seat,” which represents the link between the public and policy makers, Sir David said: “Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate Change.”

This point was echoed by Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, during the opening ceremony stating that climate change is “a matter of life and death” for many countries.

Later in the week President Trump’s international energy and climate adviser, Wells Griffith, held a panel discussion defending the coal, oil and gas industry. In the discussion Mr Griffith said “the United States has an abundance of natural resources and is not going keep them in the ground,” after protesters interrupted chanting “Shame on you!” and “Keep it in the ground!” Griffith went on to explain that “we strongly believe that no country should have to sacrifice their economic prosperity or energy security in pursuit of environmental sustainability.”

Ian Fry, the lead negotiator for Tuvalu (an island nation highly likely to be impacted by sea-level-rise) has called the United States and Saudi Arabian government’s official indifference to the United Nations report “truly disturbing,” referring to the ‘welcoming’ of the recent IPCC report on 1.5C temperature increase.

The US administration is aware of the fact damages caused by climate change could reach “hundreds of billions of dollars” by the end of the century to the American economy, with extreme events affecting everything from health to infrastructure in the coming decades. Climate change impacts have all been highlighted in the Fourth National Climate Assessment, released by the U.S. Global Research Program. Their actions in Poland indicate an extraordinary indifference to this catastrophe and the effect it will have on Americans.

For more reporting on COP 24 see the BBC page here and for a summary of the Fourth National Climate Assessment see here.

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(Dec 5) CleanBC- our pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future

 

 

 

 

 

On December 5, 2018, the B.C. government released Clean BC – our pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. It builds on recent announcements, such as mandating 100% of new cars to be zero-emission vehicles by 2040; providing rebates for efficiency upgrades including insulation and heat pumps; signing a memorandum of understanding with business on a low-carbon economy; and intervening in court to support carbon pricing across Canada.

CleanBC highlights four pathways to a cleaner BC. Each includes significant actions that help us to use energy more efficiently and prevent waste, while making sure the energy we do use is the cleanest possible. It also sets out an effective blueprint to build a cleaner economy.

The B.C. government is also developing a provincial climate change adaptation strategy for release in 2020 to prepare for climate risks that are now unavoidable. The Province is building the foundation for a new adaptation strategy by working to understand the key risks facing British Columbia. Key steps include developing a Strategic Provincial Climate Risk Assessment framework and completing a strategic assessment of provincially significant climate-related risks.

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(Dec 12/14) Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation Platform Webinars

Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation Platform has two upcoming webinars we are pleased to share:

1. Introducing the Canadian Centre for Climate Services: Climate data, resources and support for adaptation planning
December 12, 2018; 1:00 –2:00 PM ET
Registration

The Canadian Centre for Climate Services (CCCS) is the Government of Canada’s authoritative source for climate data and information and offers resources to help Canadians understand and plan for climate change. The CCCS is an important part of Canada’s efforts to combat climate change and increase resiliency to its impacts under Canada’s climate action plan. This webinar will provide an overview of the CCCS program and services, introduce the concept of climate services, and include a live demonstration of the new CCCS website (www.canada.ca/climate-services).

2. Case Studies on Climate Change in Floodplain Mapping
December 14, 2018 1:30 PM ET
Registration

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(Dec 3) Forty leading climate scientists and experts call for stronger B.C. climate targets

On December 3rd, in advance of the release of the B.C. government’s climate plan (December 5th), forty leading climate scientists and experts wrote a letter asking the province to strengthen climate targets, introduce a binding climate test for energy projects and end subsidies for fracked LNG as part of its climate strategy.

The scientists include Dr. James Hansen, Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon, Dr. Kirsten Zickfeld (SFU) and Dr. Damon Matthews. The letter was sent Sunday to Premier John Horgan, Minister of Energy and Mines Michelle Mungall, and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman. The provincial clean growth strategy is expected to be shared during COP 24, the UN Climate Change Conference which kicked off in Katowice, Poland this week.

The scientists are calling for B.C.’s climate targets to be revised to a fifty per cent reduction by 2030 compared to 2007 and zero emissions by 2050, consistent with the recent Special Report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and establishing five-year interim targets for each sector of the economy. They have requested a binding climate test in environmental impact assessments to ensure new industrial projects do not undermine B.C.’s ability to meet 5 year sectoral targets. In addition, the scientists are calling on the government to stop subsidizing LNG Canada due its significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reject plans that would lock B.C. into more fossil fuel extraction and associated emissions for decades to come.

 

 

 

 

 

For a copy of the letter see here, and for more information on the CleanBC plan see here.

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(Dec 4) Applying the Climate Lens Resilience Assessment in a BC Context Webinar

December 4th (10:00am to 11:00am PST)

The Federal Government recently introduced a Climate Lens assessment for those seeking funding for new major public infrastructure projects. Listen to François Levesque of Infrastructure Canada and Dirk Nyland of the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure delve into the resilience assessment component of the Climate Lens. This webinar will take you from a high-level look at the resilience assessment to an on-the-ground example of a BC project to demonstrate how the assessment can be applied for small-scale projects.

To register for the webinar see here.

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(Nov 26) The Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change Hiring Director

The Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change (IC3) is hiring a Director. This position is central to maintaining and advancing the University of Waterloo (UW) as a leading centre for research and knowledge mobilization on the impacts of global climate change and the transition to a decarbonized and climate-resilient society in Canada and around the world.

The Director will have a full understanding of the scope of IC3 activities and will have a leading role in the development and implementation of strategic plans and partnerships to advance the mission of IC3. The Director is responsible for aspects of overall business leadership, management of relationships with members and other key stakeholders across campus, external partnership development, promotion of research activities and knowledge mobilization, oversee day-to-day operations, and support of UW’s leadership in climate change education and training.

For more information on the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change (IC3) and to apply for this position see here. 

 

 

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(Dec 4/6) Workshops to Develop Agricultural Adaptation Strategies for Kootenay & Boundary

New regional adaptation strategies are being developed to help Kootenay and Boundary agricultural producers prepare for climate change. Farmers in the East Kootenay, Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary regional districts have been invited to participate in the strategies’ planning process on Dec. 4, in Creston and Dec. 6 in Greenwood.

The process brings together agricultural producers and specialists, along with local and provincial government representatives. Participants will learn about the latest climate change projections for the Kootenay and Boundary regions and will discuss the likely impact on agricultural production. Attendees will also brainstorm actions to help producers adapt to climate change impacts, such as extreme weather, drought, wildfires, excess moisture and flooding as well as the changing risks associated with pests, diseases, weeds and invasive species.

The Kootenay and Boundary regional adaptation strategies will be released in spring 2019 to guide the development and implementation of collaborative projects that support agricultural adaptation to climate change. The regional agricultural adaptation projects will be supported with $300,000 in funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

For more information and to register for the workshop see here.

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(Nov 29) ACT’s Executive Director Deborah Harford on CBC The Early Edition

Is it too late? What we need to do about climate change today (CBC News)

ACT’s Executive Deborah Harford was quoted in this recent CBC News article describing that “in the 21st century, all policy, planning, and decision-making, whether political or personal, has to be made through a low-carbon resilience lens that’s designed to reduce emissions and build resilience to climate change.” Deborah was then interviewed on CBC’s The Early Edition (recording of the interview can be found here) on November 29th.

Also, check out CBC’s award winning podcast 2050: Degrees of Change hosted by meteorologist Johana Wagstaffe who explores how our world and lives will adapt to climate change within a few decades. The most recent episode features Deborah and other experts on a panel discussing what kind of changes are meaningful enough to alter the path as we head towards the year 2050.

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(Nov 14) Low Carbon Resilience and BC Professional Associations Webinar

On November 14th, ACT’s Executive Director Deborah Harford, ACT research assistant Christopher Raftis and long-time ACT partner and expert advisor Erica Crawford of Shift Collaborative delivered a webinar on Low Carbon Resilience to the British Columbia Professional Associations’ Adaptation Working Group. In this webinar, ACT presents a conceptual Low Carbon Resilience (i.e., integrated climate action planning designed to build climate resilience and reduce emissions) model illustrated with case studies as well as next steps that BC’s professional associations will find useful.

We would like to thank the Fraser Basin Council for hosting the webinar and the Vancouver Foundation and the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia for supporting our work developing the Low Carbon Resilience model. The full report on Low Carbon Resilience will be available on the ACT website on December 11th 2018.

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(Oct 22/23) Council of Canadian Academies: Prioritizing Climate Change Risks

On October 22nd and 23rd, the Executive Director of ACT, Deborah Harford and members of the Expert Panel on Prioritizing Climate Change Risks met in Montreal to guide the Council of Canadian Academies Prioritizing Climate Change Risks assessment workshop. The group convened to provide expert insight and experience in order to answer the question: what are the top climate change risks facing both Canada and the federal government, and their relative significance, and which have the most potential to be minimized by adaptation measures?

For the full list of the participants of the workshop see here.

 

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(Nov 13) Ecosphere+: Carbon Footprint Calculator

A new free-to-use tool has launched by Ecosphere+ in order to help businesses calculate their carbon footprint and provide a number of opportunities to offset emissions through a portfolio of forest conservation projects.

Examples of how Ecosphere+ carbon credits can help your business;

  1. Meet your sustainability and ESG goals.
  2. Rebalance your unavoidable impact (for example, delivery miles, supply chain impacts or business travel).
  3. Tell your story to connect your company to positive global impact, sharing your commitment to effective climate action with direct impact.
  4. Engage millennial customers and employees.
  5. Create climate positive (Climate+) products and services, using our Climate+ logo to indicate your commitment to your customers.
  6. Integrate climate strategy into your company’s strategic risk management.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on the Ecosphere+ Carbon Footprint Calculator see here.

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(Oct 29) Canada’s Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction

At this year’s Annual National Roundtable on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) held in Vancouver on October 29th, Public Safety Canada unveiled a new online forum on GCcollab—a new Government of Canada website designed to increase collaboration between government and stakeholders. GCcollab is a professional collaboration platform that is open to all Canadians by invitation. The online platform encourages innovative and collaborative ways of identifying and co-creating policy and research. The new GCcollab forum is intended to facilitate DRR-related discussions year-round and to provide a platform through which to advance Circles of Influence in emergency management. The forum contains a number of functions and interactive tools, including: polls, a discussion forum, blogs, group files, links, an event calendar, photo albums and more!
For more information on the GCcollab platform see here.
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(Nov 23-30) Vancouver King Tide Photo Collection Campaign

The City of Vancouver is looking for support from the community this King Tide season (November 23rd-30th), to help document the high water mark. King Tides are the highest tides of the year and with contributions from the community, we can help the City of Vancouver visualize what the shoreline might look like as sea levels rise due to climate change. The collected photos will help the City validate flood models in order to better prepare for the impacts of sea level rise.

Participate by snapping your own photos of the shoreline!
  • Plan to be at the shoreline from November 23-30 (see the poster for times when tides will be highest)
  • Take a photo showing where the water reaches
  • Upload it to The City of Vancouver Website and be sure to include the date & time your photo was taken!
By clicking here you can find more information on King Tides and how to support this year’s campaign.
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(Nov 20) Understanding Infrastructure Canada’s Climate Lens Webinar

In the context of the recent IPCC report, the launch of the Global Commission on Adaptation, the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, and the advent of the Canadian Centre for Climate Services, the federal government launched in the summer of 2018 a “Climate Lens” to apply to long- lived public infrastructure investments.

This webinar will provide an overview of the why and how of the Climate Lens and give you a better understanding of the GHG Mitigation Assessment and Climate Change Resilience Assessment that form the Climate Lens.

Presenters:

  • Chad Nelson, Principal Advisor, Green Infrastructure and Environmental Issues, Infrastructure Canada
  • Kristy Darragh, Senior Policy Analyst, Communities and Innovation, Infrastructure Canada
  • Francois Levesque, Policy Analyst, Green Infrastructure and Environmental Issues, Infrastructure Canada

Tuesday, November 20 from 1:00-2:00pm EST

For more information and to register see here.

 

 

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(Nov 29) The Circular Economy—A Pathway to a Sustainable Organization

How can your organization better understand and become part of the circular economy? How can you future-proof your organization and reduce your linear risks? Through case studies, guest speaker, simulations, exercises, instructor-led group discussion and personal reflection, this workshop will assist you in understanding how your organization can integrate circular economy practices such as product-as-a-service, sharing platforms, circular supplies, resource recovery and product life extension as well as other “green business” solutions.

This is a practical, hands-on session and is designed to introduce you to actionable ideas you can pursue at your organization immediately. You will also learn strategies to create a vision for and pathway to a more circular organization – preventing waste while reducing inefficiencies.

Thursday, November 29, 2018
9:00AM – 4:00PM
SFU Vancouver
To register and for more information see here.

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(April 2-4) Parksville 2019: Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate

Join the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC in Parksville, BC at the city’s Community and Conference Centre (132 E. Jensen Avenue) for the Symposium on Water Stewardship in Changing Climate. The symposium will take place over three days, the first being a field day on April 2nd, followed by a 2-day symposium on April 3rd and 4th.

The rhythms of water are changing – warmer and wetter winters; longer and drier summers. Adapting to this ‘new normal’ requires transformation in how we value nature and service land, and how we reconnect hydrology and ecology. The goal of the ‘whole-system’ approach is to re-establish creekshed function!

The symposium will celebrate local government initiatives on Vancouver Island that are ‘getting it right’. These success stories are characterized by 3 attributes: commitment, collaboration and the ‘hard work of hope’. A decade of effort, by partnerships of local governments and community stewards, is demonstrating success on the ground where it matters. They are on a pathway to reconnect hydrology and ecology.

For more information and to register for the symposium see here.

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