Review of our Columbia River Treaty Book


BC Studies has released a review of our book, “The Columbia River Treaty: A Primer”, as well as Eileen Delehanty Pearkes’ book which is also about the Columbia River Treaty. ACT senior advisers Bob Sandford and Jon O’Riordan co-authored this book along with ACT Executive Director Deborah Harford.

Our primer explores the initial intent of the Treaty and its success to date, its costs to Columbia Basin residents and ecosystems, and new influences the signatories must now consider. Shifts in social norms related to the environment, equity and social justice, new views on the relevance of Indigenous traditional and local knowledge, and the economic and physical effects of a changing climate—are all considered as factors in future Treaty governance. The primer concludes with a summary of the perspectives that currently exist between and within each country with respect to Treaty benefits and outlines the next steps that will take place in the negotiation process.

From the review:

“Sandford et al. make their most convincing case when they turn to environmental issues. Any revised treaty, they argue, must draw upon indigenous knowledge for ecological restoration as well as include greater flexibility to respond to climate change. Yet the authors rightly note that US and Canadian priorities will be far apart on this score. Concerned with irrigation and expanding the Columbia’s salmon runs, US officials will push for larger water releases from BC reservoirs during spring and summer, while their Canadian counterparts will want to maintain water levels to restore the riparian environment.”

Read more of the review here.


Event: Comparing Household GHG Emissions Across Canadian Cities


Photo credit: Ross Strachan. Source: flickr.com

Thursday November 23rd
12:00 – 1:00 pm
BC Hydro Theatre, CIRS Building, 2260 West Mall, UBC

How does the City of Vancouver’s household greenhouse gas emissions compare to those in other cities across Canada? Does our greenest city out-perform other metropolitan areas, or not? What accounts for differences amongst cities’ household emission? Which cities perform the best, and why? Join us to hear answers to these questions and more from UBC’s Dr. Sumeet Gulati, Associate Professor, Environmental and Resource Economics and researcher Juan Fercovic, Master of Food and Resource Economics. Together, Sumeet and Juan will offer a presentation on their research comparing average household greenhouse gas emissions across Canadian cities, including past emissions trends alongside strategies cities can take to reduce household greenhouse gas emissions through the future.

Sumeet Gulati is an Associate Professor in Environmental and Resource Economics at the University of British Columbia, studying the economics of urban transportation. He holds a BA in Economics from University of Mumbai, an MA from the Delhi School of Economics and a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland. His research interests lie in the economics of urban transportation, the effectiveness of carbon taxes, the effectiveness of environmental policy, the political economy of environmental and trade policy, international trade and its effect on the environment. Sumeet recently co-published the study “Comparing household greenhouse gas emissions across Canadian cities,” in the Journal of Regional Science and Urban Economics with Juan Fercovic. He also previously studied the cost-effectiveness of programs designed to improve energy efficiency. More about Sumeet at http://sumeetgulati.landfood.ubc.ca/?login

Juan Fercovic is currently a staff member of the Master of Food and Resource Economics (MFRE) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) playing a role in academic coordination and research. He has a degree in Agriculture Engineering as well as an MSc in Agriculture Economics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and an MSc in Agricultural Economics from the UBC MFRE program. His research interests lie in environmental economics particularly in water resources, GHG emissions and the economics of Climate change. Juan recently co-authored the study “Comparing household greenhouse gas emissions across Canadian cities,” which utilized census data spanning 12 years to rank cities carbon dioxide emissions per average income Canadian households. His research revealed average household CO2 emissions fell almost two tonnes from 1997 to 2009 and Montreal, Quebec has the lowest CO2 levels across Canada.

Click here to register.


Communications & Engagement Job Opportunities


Check out these two job opportunities from SFU Public Square and Langara College:

Volunteer Coordinator
SFU Public Square
Full time, 35 hours/week
Deadline: November 23rd

As the Volunteer Coordinator, you will be a key supportive member and will work closely with others on the SFU Public Square team to deliver SFU Public Square activities and events, including the 2017 Community Summit focused on the theme of Canada and the World. You will report to the Executive Director and Community Summit Project Manager. The Volunteer Coordinator will drive volunteer recruitment and volunteer management while providing ongoing support to volunteers before, during, and after the Community Summit.

The successful applicant must be an SFU student or recent alumni.

Click here for the full job description.

Communications Officer

Langara College
Temporary full time (3 year appointment)
Deadline: November 25th

Reporting to the Manager, Communications and Marketing, this position provides communications and marketing support for Langara College’s fundraising and alumni engagement team. The Communications Officer (CO) works closely with staff in Langara’s Advancement Office, members of the Langara College Foundation Board, and the Alumni Advisory committee, to research, plan and implement marketing strategies and materials in support of the College’s fundraising and alumni engagement goals. This role will assist with the planning and execution of a campus-wide campaign and celebration. The position also collaborates and liaises with colleagues in Communications & Marketing Services (C&M) and other areas of the College to develop a variety of projects. The position works with both internal and external audiences to achieve communications goals according to work performance standards set by the College.

Click here for the full job description.


Workshop: Resilient Infrastructure in a Changing Climate


Save the date:

Resilient Infrastructure in a Changing Climate
Thursday, February 9th
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Prince George

The Fraser Basin Council and Engineers Canada are hosting a workshop on infrastructure adaptation to climate change. This introductory workshop will address the future climate trends for the Upper Fraser region and how these trends will impact infrastructure. The workshop will provide an overview of new practice guidelines for highway infrastructure adaptation, and also explore case studies of assessing climate risk for road transportation and wastewater infrastructure.

The afternoon session will offer participants with information about, and practice with, the PIEVC Protocol. The Protocol is a practical tool and process that uses standard risk assessment science to assess and document the vulnerability of infrastructure to the impacts of current and future climate.

Register now for this workshop here.


Webinar: Bringing Together Communities, Businesses and Governments to Tackle Flood Risk


The Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources (OCCIAR) is pleased to announce the following webinar:

FloodSmartCanada – Bringing Together Communities, Businesses and Governments to Tackle Flood Risk
Tuesday, November 29th
1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

Presenter: Shawna Peddle (Director, Partners for Action, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo)

Flooding is the most common and most expensive cause of property damage in Canada, with an estimated 1.7 million Canadian households at very high risk of flood damage. Our recent survey of Canadian homeowners revealed a lack of public understanding of flood risk and responsibilities for protection and recovery, but also highlighted public desire to understand risk and contribute to personal flood protection. To improve our odds towards reducing flood risk, we need better communication from governments and the insurance industry, as well as education on personal actions that will reduce dependence on federal and provincial disaster assistance programs.

Partners for Action (P4A), an applied research network advancing flood resiliency in Canada, collaboratively engages a diverse set of stakeholders to create and share knowledge, address information needs, and drive action. We are working through our FloodSmartCanada project to inform Canadians about their risk, opportunities to reduce this risk, and methods of risk transfer, to inspire disaster resilience in the face of a changing climate and extreme weather. This presentation will highlight results from our public survey and how these results are guiding both website content (www.floodsmartcanada.ca) and community-level projects towards understanding and tackling flood risk.

Click here to register.


E-Dialogue: Changing the Conversation- Local Climate Action


Monday November 28th
10:00 am – 11:30 am PST

Data Collection and Analysis Update

This conversation brings together the MC3 2.0 research team to discuss the second phase of the project. The first phase, MC3: Meeting the Climate Change Challenge, studied 11 local government climate innovators in British Columbia. As part of the second phase, the team re-interviewed a sub sample of the original first phase interviewees in order to track if any changes had occurred in their development paths. At this event, the team will discuss the revised coding framework, decomposition analysis, and indicator framework that are helping to guide the analysis. They will also share their ongoing process of visualizing the data and how text mining is informing their approach.

Check out the first from a series of data visualizations illustrating their findings. This is the fun part: asking questions of the data. What is the number one topic across all the local governments? Which local governments are most closely linked in their vocabulary? What are the topics hardly anyone is talking about? How do the topics change from year to year?

Click here to join the conversation.


Article: Adaptation, the Neglected Child of Climate Change


The latest issue of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC)’s magazine, Public Sector Management, includes a thought-provoking article on how governments manage and implement adaptation.

John Godfrey, former Minister of Infrastructure under Prime Minister Paul Martin and current Special Advisor on Climate Change to the Government of Ontario, pens this article discussing the various governments – and various federal government ministries – all tasked with tackling pieces of the climate change puzzle. Adaptation tends to be an afterthought when it is included, and this fragmentation, argues Godfrey, is a problem for climate change action.

“Given the range of departments at the federal and provincial level affected by extreme weather events, and given the importance of there being an integrated and coherent adaptation and resilience strategy of all three orders of government, including municipalities, who are often the front-line responders, both federal and provincial governments need a different approach in co-ordinating their efforts.”

How should governments work together to respond to climate change- including adaptation as a vital piece of a comprehensive response?

Read more from the article here.


Job Posting: Head of Engagement, City of Victoria


The City of Victoria is hiring for a Head of Engagement:

You are an inspiring team builder and leader who knows what’s new and now in communications and public engagement. You understand how an effective and empowered communications & engagement team supports success and reflects the culture of an organization both from a human perspective and in the delivery of corporate objectives. You embody grace under pressure, and possess political acuity and experience in issues management. You like to solve problems collaboratively, creatively, and analytically.

The City of Victoria is looking for a communications & engagement professional experienced in managing and directing all aspects of a communications and engagement department geared to supporting the City’s strategic plan and its operational goals and objectives.

Victoria is reinventing itself socially, culturally and economically, and is a historic capital city with vibrant engaged neighbourhoods, and a centre of entrepreneurship, artisans and place makers. The City of Victoria has a most desirable role in supporting and engaging with some of the most informed, innovative and well established citizens in the country.

Under the direction of the City Manager, the Head of Engagement will work as a member of the City’s senior management team to optimize the City’s reach externally and internally.

A degree in Communications, Public Relations or Business, or a related professional designation, supplemented by courses in engagement and inclusion, and competency with the digital landscape will complement your track record of demonstrated leadership and outcomes.

If you are curious and excited about the role that a City communications & engagement department can play in the lives and livelihood of its citizens, we’d love to hear from you.

For more information and to apply, click here.


Webinar: What are online adaptation tools good for?


The next webinar in the Fraser Basin Council’s ReTooling for Climate Change series is coming up:

Online adaptation tools: what are they good for?
Wednesday November 30th
11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Trying to figure out how climate might change in the future in BC? Know of some online tools but not sure which to use for your purpose? This webinar will show the capabilities of online tools through examples of the types of information, data, and outputs they can produce, and for which purposes they can be used. Covered will be Plan2Adapt, the Regional Analysis Tool, ClimateWNA, and BC Climate Explorer.

Register here for this webinar.


Read the Report: Crescent Beach Community Meetings on Sea Level Rise


In collaboration with ACT, Ideaspace, and West Coast Environmental Law, the City of Surrey hosted a series of three community meetings in the summer of 2016 in the Crescent Beach community to talk about the challenges we face from a changing climate and consider how to adapt to be ready for the future.

These meetings provided insightful and positive results as community members shared a desire to protect their community and collaborate to find solutions.

Click here to download and read the full report.


Job Opportunity: Post Doctoral Fellow- Climate Change Mitigation Economist


The UBC Faculty of Forestry has an opening for a post-doctoral fellow with training and experience in economics and policy analysis. The position is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia, with co-supervision in the Liu Institute for Global Issues of the University of British Columbia.

POSITION: Climate change mitigation economist

The team is working on a project funded by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions examining the potential contribution of the forest sector to greenhouse gas reductions in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Now in the third of five years, the project will design, evaluate and recommend potential climate change mitigation portfolios to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase sinks through forest management, forest conservation and the use of harvested wood that stores carbon and can displace more emissions-intensive products and fuels. To do this the project is evaluating impacts on greenhouse gas balances, the cost of mitigation activities and other socio-economic indicators. Significant effort is being devoted to engaging stakeholders. The project team includes experts from academia, the provincial government and the Canadian federal government.

The candidate will have a key role in further developing the economic analysis of mitigation options integrated with forest carbon modeling, as well as economic modeling analyses of alternative policy options aimed at achieving mitigation outcomes. The candidate will also contribute to developing and maintaining a dialogue with stakeholders about mitigation options.

Timing and Compensation There is some flexibility in the timing of the position but it is currently planned for the period from January or February 2017 to December 2018, with the possibility of extension. A competitive salary and benefit package will be offered, commensurate with experience.

For more information and to apply to this position, click here.


Ministerial Panel Report on Trans Mountain Expansion


On November 3rd, the Ministerial Panel for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project released its final report to the public.

This report represents the culmination of months of public hearings on the proposed Trans Mountain Expansion project and what Canadians felt was missed in the National Energy Board (NEB) review. Three key experts led the panel in collecting public input, organizing the report, and forming conclusions about how the Trans Mountain Expansion project could go ahead. The report is based on 44 public meetings attended by more than 2,400 Canadians, of whom 650 made direct presentations to the panel.

The report documents how changing social and economic conditions affect the proposed project. It highlights changing oil prices, climate change, First Nations rights, and social license as key factors in determining public sentiment about the project. Other issues raised by presenters, and documented in the report, include: marine impacts, effects of diluted bitumen, risks of oil transportation, and public confidence in regulatory processes. Indigenous issues was also a major theme of public input.

The report concludes with key questions for policymakers. These six high-level questions are discussed in-depth in the report, and they are:

  1. Can construction of a new Trans Mountain Pipeline be reconciled with Canada’s climate change commitments?
  2. In the absence of a comprehensive national energy strategy, how can policymakers effectively assess projects such as the Trans Mountain Pipeline?
  3. How might Cabinet square approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline with its commitment to reconciliation with First Nations and to the UNDRIP principles of “free, prior, and informed consent”?
  4. Given the changed economic and political circumstances, the perceived flaws in the NEB process, and also the criticism of the Ministerial Panel’s own review, how can Canada be confident in its assessment of the project’s economic rewards and risks?
  5. If approved, what route would best serve aquifer, municipal, aquatic, and marine safety?
  6. How does federal policy define the terms “social license” and “Canadian public interest” and their inter-relationships?

The report notes that climate change, in particular, was an issue raised at every public meeting.

Desmog Canada reports that environmental organizations are pleased with the outcome. “‘Surprisingly, I think it did do its job,’ says Patrick DeRochie, climate and energy program manager at Environmental Defence. ‘It’s kind of the icing on the cake of a fatally flawed Kinder Morgan review process. It shows the social, environmental and economic rationale for approving this pipeline simply doesn’t exist. The only viable option coming from this report is the rejection of Kinder Morgan by the federal government.'”

The report concludes:

“The issues raised by the Trans Mountain Pipeline proposal are among the most controversial in the country, perhaps in the world, today: the rights of Indigenous peoples, the future of fossil fuel development in the face of climate change, and the health of a marine environment already burdened by a century of cumulative effects. There are matters of public safety and environmental sustainability, overlaid against economic need in a province where a once-strong resource sector is currently under severe strain. We, as the Ministerial Panel, hope that we have done well by the many thousands of people who provided input in this process — in helping to craft a set of questions that may bring clarity in the decisions to come.”

Read the full report here.


Call for Applications: Doctoral Candidate or Post-Doc

CARIAA logo in English

Call for applications – Professional Development Award

Deadline December 9, 2016

The Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA) is recruiting one professional development award recipient to undertake a 12 months paid program of research focusing on the identification of themes for synthesis at the programmatic-level, and leading the writing of academic papers and popular articles on the identified themes, together with program partners. The position is based at IDRC’s head office in Ottawa, Canada. This call is open to Canadians residing in Canada and permanent residents of Canada pursuing doctoral studies at a Canadian university or having completed a doctoral program at a recognized university in the last 5 years. The candidate must have a strong track record of academic writings and demonstrate their ability to write and work collaboratively. The candidates must also demonstrate a specialization in climate change adaptation and experience in communicating research results on adaptation.

Candidates must submit their application (resume, cover letter and research proposal) by December 9, 2016 to cariaa@idrc.ca.

Click here for more information.


Call for Resources on Adaptation in Australia


The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) in Australia is seeking resources on coastal adaptation:

NCCARF is looking for your contribution to three important initiatives this month: the revision of the ‘State-of-Play’ Information Manual in CoastAdapt, development of new short case studies to include on the CoastAdapt website and the revision of the National Adaptation Research Plans (NARPs).

  • Submit new research and information on coastal risk: We invite you to submit new reports, journal articles, web links or other information that you think should be included in the updated Information Manual Building the Knowledge Base for Adaptation Action by 11 November. More information and to submit resources visit our website here.
  • Call for case studies of adaptation: Have you or your organisation undertaken any adaptation to limit damage, danger and risk due to climate change? We invite you to prepare a short ‘snapshot’ case study for CoastAdapt.

    We are looking for examples of real-world actions undertaken to adapt to climate change in the coastal zone. Snapshots are 1-2 pages long and may illustrate lessons learned, effective strategies and/or potential pitfalls. See examples here.

    For more information visit the Call for Snapshots here and submit an Expression of Interest by 25 November 2016 or contact Marilee Campbell marilee.campbell@griffith.edu.au.

  • Contribute to the National Adaptation Research Plan update: NCCARF has updated five of its National Climate Change Adaptation Research Plans (NARPs) and these are currently open for review.  Next week is your final opportunity to participate in the review, which closes on  8 November 2016. For more information and to provide feedback visit our website

Three-Webinar Series: Restoring the Carbon Budget

Arizona State University to Host a Three Webinar Series on “Restoring the Carbon Budget”
December 15th 2016
1:00 – 2:30 pm EST
The capacity of the Earth’s atmosphere to safely hold excess carbon without too much warming is  limited. The situation is growing more urgent. Even after the December 2015 Climate Conference in Paris, the pace to transform economies away from dumping fossil carbon into the atmosphere will likely be too slow to achieve the goal of holding the temperature increase to two degrees Celsius.
Unless that pace is dramatically accelerated, the planet will almost certainly  exceed its “carbon budget” within two decades, if it hasn’t already. This concern has led the   International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to conclude that Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs), which remove CO2 from the air, will be needed to meet climate  goals.
However, NETs are still in the research, development or demonstration stages of commercialization and may not be ready in time, or feasible at the necessary scale. That poses a conundrum.  Technologies cannot develop without policy drivers; policy cannot lead the way without the assurance of demonstrably affordable and scalable technologies. 

Join Arizona State University’ Global institute of Sustainability and the Security and Sustainability Forum in the first of a  three-part series where leading experts will address the research, policies, economics and accountability needed to  “Restore the Carbon Budget”.

Session 1 Panelists include: Jeffrey Sachs, world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development senior UN advisor, bestselling author, syndicated columnist and former Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and Kevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change in the School of Mechanical, Aeronautical and Civil Engineering at the University of Manchester. Kevin recently finished a two-year position as director of the Tyndall CentreDavid Biello, Science Curator at Ted Talks and former Scientific American Energy and Environment Editor, will moderate the session.

Click here to register for Session 1.


Job Opportunities at EcoJustice: Communications and Digital Engagement


EcoJustice is currently hiring for two positions in Vancouver: Communications Associate and Digital Engagement Associate.

EcoJustice is Canada’s only national environmental law charity. From coast to coast to coast, their legal experts go to court to tackle Canada’s toughest environmental problems.

See below for job postings:

Communications Associate
Fixed term (6 months)
Salary: $42,214.85
Closing date: November 14th

As a member of the Ecojustice communications team, the communications associate helps develop and implement communications strategies designed to elevate the organization’s profile and enable its program and fundraising goals.  They play a key role in producing throughtful content that:

  • Engages, educates, and empowers value-aligned Canadians to create a groundswell of public support that sustains Ecojustice’s legal work;
  • Contributes to the social shift that will, over time, advance social and environmental justice; and
  • Positions Ecojustice as Canada’s expert on the intersection of law and the environment.

Responsibilities include writing press releases, developing digital content, and coordinating other communications products.  The associate will also assist with media outreach, contribute to Ecojustice’s social media channels, and take on other communications and outreach tasks as required.  This position reports to the Director of Strategic Communications.

Click here for more information.

Digital Engagement Associate
Full-time permanent
Salary: $42,538
Closing date: November 14th

As a member of the Ecojustice communications team, the digital engagement associate helps build Ecojustice’s online presence across digital channels to raise the organization’s profile and enable its program and fundraising goals.  The associate implements Ecojustice’s digital strategies, helps maintain its digital assets, and produces digital content.  They also play a key role in processing online transactions, enablling data integration, and supporting the development of data-driven recommendations to inform communications and fundraising strategies.  The ideal candidates is a team player who is able to innovate and experiment while delivering consistent results on current initiatives.  This position reports to the Director of Strategic Communications.

Click here for more information.

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