Pipelines or Paris? Trudeau and the premiers must choose

Source: CBC News; Adrian Wyld/ The Canadian Press

Source: CBC News; Adrian Wyld/ The Canadian Press

Yesterday, the country received news that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the first ministers had agreed to make a national climate plan. However, a much-critiqued piece of Trudeau’s vision is his assertion that pipelines need to be part of the transition to clean energy.

From Ricochet:

“Trudeau and the Liberals remain committed to the expansion of tar sands and other fossil fuel infrastructure. Amid all the talk of the importance of social license and sustainability, the government makes it clear that a driving priority, as Minister Jim Carr is fond of emphasizing, is to ‘get our resources to market.’

“The reality of the climate emergency, however, means that a government committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions cannot be all things to all people. There is no sustainable way to expand oil sands production, or coal or liquefied natural gas export.

“Trudeau’s pitch for pipelines plus wind turbines runs counter to the latest evidence from both economists and scientists. As Scotiabank’s CEO pointed out recently, the low price of oil demolishes the business case for new pipeline projects like Energy East. Furthermore, there’s an opportunity cost on investing in an industry on its way out like fossil fuels. In a recent letter, dozens of scientists call on the government to prioritize investment in clean energy technology, warning that Canada is already well behind in this field.”

Read more from the article here.


Ideafest Seminar: Hotter, Drier Summers? Implications and Adaptations for BC


The University of Victoria’s sixth Ideafest will be held between March 7th and 12th, showcasing the work of some of Canada’s best researchers. As a part of this event, PCIC and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) are presenting a panel discussion on hydro-climatic change in BC. Titled, Hotter, Drier Summers? Implications and Adaptations for BC, the discussion will feature topical presentations followed by a conversation between researchers and experts in agriculture, fisheries, water supply and forestry in which they will discuss the climate impacts in their sectors. Finally, there will be a general discussion on how our knowledge informs adaptation and solutions strategies for B.C. It will be held on on March 10th, seven to nine p.m. in room A104 of the Bob Wright Centre at the University of Victoria.

The panel will be moderated by PICS Executive Director, Dr. Sybil Seitzinger and will include the following presenters: Emily McNair (BC Agricultiure & Food Climate Action Initiative), Kim Hyatt (Fisheries and Oceans Canada), Robbie Hember (PICS post-doctoral fellow), Anna Warwick Sears (Executive Director, Okanagan Basin Water Board), and Johanna Wolf (Climate Action Secretariat). For more information, see the page for this event.


Public Talk: Climate Change and YOU – Making 1.5 a Reality


Public Talk: Climate Change and YOU – Making 1.5 a Reality, a panel presentation by Simon Donner, UBC; Kirsten Zickfeld and Mark Jaccard, SFU

The Canadian government stunned many at the Paris Climate Change Conference in December when they supported a 1.5 degree ceiling on climate warming.  Where did this number come from? What would it mean for both the Canadian and the Global carbon budgets? How could we actually do it? The Faculty of Environment at SFU invites you to join three Vancouver-based world experts – one climatologist specializing on impacts in the tropical Pacific, another specializing on global carbon budgets, and a resource economist – as they tackle this latest twist in the tale that is the galloping Anthropocene.

Panelists: Dr. Simon Donner, Geography UBC; Dr. Kirsten Zickfeld, Geography and Mark Jaccard, Resource and Environmental Management, SFU

When: Thursday, March 31, 2016, 7:00 pm
Where: SFU Harbour Centre, Vancouver Rm 1900
Reservations: http://climatechangeandyou.eventbrite.com


Building a Strong BC Climate Leadership Plan: Your Chance to Contribute


When: Tuesday March 8, 2016 – 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Where: Asia Pacific Hall, Wosk Centre for Dialogue, 580 West, Hastings Street, Vancouver , BC

Live Webcast

Have you had your say yet on BC’s future climate action?

There are a few weeks left for British Columbians to make submissions on the BC government’s next Climate Leadership Plan. This plan will affect your future transportation options, BC’s carbon tax, where we get our energy from, how energy efficient our buildings are, and the level of support for BC’s emerging clean tech industry. The consultation period closes March 25th.

To help you get started, join our expert panel for a discussion on what our options are, and how to best support the transition to a prosperous low-carbon economy. Expect to hear thought-provoking presentations followed by the opportunity for audience questions.

This is a free public event, registration is appreciated.


Nancy Olewiler, Professor, School of Public Policy, SFU

Emanuel Machado, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Gibsons

Merran Smith, Executive Director, Clean Energy Canada

Matt Horne, Associate Regional Director for British Columbia, Pembina Institute

Jonathan Rhone, President & CEO, Axine Water Technologies


Shauna Sylvester, Executive Director, SFU Public Square

For more information, visit the PICS website.


Energy Futures Lab: The Newtonian Shift @ GLOBE


Energy Futures Lab: The Newtonian Shift is a facilitated role-playing simulation that allows players to experience decades of energy transition in one day. Participants explore future energy shifts while representing a diverse set of viewpoints: energy producer, private customer, large energy consumer, First Nations, suppliers, grid operator, investors, and government.

When registering, please select ONE of the available dates and times:

Wednesday, March 2, 10am-3pm PT
Friday, March 4, 10am-3pm PT

Please note that you need to be able to commit to full participation for the 5 hours of game play.

Through dynamic and fast-paced experiential learning, participants are immersed in the country of Newtonia, which finds itself in the middle of an energy transition – energy must be supplied, energy assets developed and grids upgraded.

Energy Futures Lab: The Newtonian Shift is designed to glean insights about the emerging energy transition. This dynamic workshop delivers the following:

  • Exploring the behaviors, strategic decision-making and business models required for the energy transition that is coming/underway
  • Building stakeholder empathy, via experiencing first hand the perspectives, challenges, priorities and unique needs of diverse stakeholders in different parts of the energy system
  • Sensemaking the energy system, where participants grow their full system awareness while deepening understanding of how the system works and their role within it
  • Exploring the leadership qualities required during transition, at both an organizational and personal level

Click here to register for free.


Searching for Wild in the Age of Humans


A free webinar coming up on March 10th:

Searching for the Wild in the Age of Man

March 10th, 2016

3:30-4:30 pm EST

Have humans really tamed every inch of the world? Despite more than 100 years of stewardship and protection from agencies like the National Park Service, America’s wild places are still vulnerable to commercial and residential land development. In the Grand Canyon, uranium mining and increasing rates of tourism not only threaten land and air quality, they also undermine a social balance that Native Americans and other local groups have worked hard to maintain. On March 10th, join Jason Mark, editor-in-chief of SIERRA Magazine and author of Satellites in the High Country (Island Press) and Lucy Moore, environmental mediator and author of Common Ground on Hostile Turf (Island Press) as they discuss the importance of wild places in America and how stakeholders can work together to resolve their environmental disputes.

Click here to register for this webinar.


Pollinators and People in the City

Check out this upcoming event, hosted by Hives for Human Society and SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement:


This event is an evening of discussion offering tools for creating relationships of dignity and respect for all people, and creating diverse habitats and forage for all pollinators.


  • Mark Winston – Professor and Senior Fellow, SFU Centre for Dialogue, and Author Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, winner of the 2015 Govenor-General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction. Mark will be facilitating the evenings presentations and reading from his book!
  • Elizabeth Elle – Professor of Biological Sciences, SFU, and wild bee expert. Elizabeth will be showcasing the wild bees that live in our city, and ways we can work to support their health.
  • Sarah Common – Hives for Humanity, Chief Community Officer and Co-Founder. Sarah co-founded Hives for Humanity with her mother Julia, in 2012, and since has been building opportunities for connection to nature and to community, through the bees, in the DTES and beyond.
  • Dean Wilson – Downtown Eastside (DTES) Community Activist. Dean has taken his fight for human rights for those living with addiction in the DTES all the way to the Supreme Court, and works daily to empower the voices of his community.

Presentations will be followed by light refreshments, and neighbourhood honey will be available for purchase and also for tasting. All funds raised support Hives for Humanity’s non-profit programming and #BuildBeeSpace projects.

Click here to purchase tickets for this event.


Top 5 Actions for a National Climate Plan

Source: Council of Canadians; Robert van Waarden/ Survival Media Agency

Source: Council of Canadians; Robert van Waarden/ Survival Media Agency

On March 3rd, First Ministers will be meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Vancouver to lay the groundwork for a National Climate Plan.

The Council of Canadians’ Energy & Climate Justice Campaigner proposes the following 5 priorities for such a plan:

  • Freeze fossil fuel expansion and related infrastructure
  • A clean plan towards a 100% renewable energy economy by 2050
  • All plans must respect the inherent rights and title of Indigenous communities
  • Just transition and prioritizing equity measures
  • $4 billion a year for climate adaptation and mitigation measures in the Global South

To this list, we would add that Canada needs to focus on adaptation here at home, not just abroad. This new federal government has promised considerable funding for new infrastructure, even acknowledging that climate-resilient infrastructure, flood mitigation, and wastewater systems are among their priorities. Explicitly tying these commitments to climate change would be a good start to focusing on adaptation.

We’ll certainly be watching for more news and outcomes of the meeting in the coming weeks.

Read more from the Council of Canadians article here.


Two Adaptation and Climate Job Opportunities


Check out these two exciting job opportunities:

Capital Regional District (Victoria): Climate Action Program Coordinator

Auxiliary, approximately 1 year

Deadline: February 26th

Reporting to the Senior Manager, Environmental Protection, the incumbent will take a leadership role in coordinating a climate action service within the CRD.  Using strong strategic and analytical thinking skills, excellent interpersonal, communication and team-building skills, the successful candidate will be able to balance multiple climate priorities serving the diverse needs of municipalities and electoral areas.

Click here for more information.

City of Vancouver: Program Coordinator- Water Wise 2016

Auxiliary, approximately 1 year

Deadline: February 26th

To provide support in coordinating, planning, and delivery of the Water Wise 2016 Campaign for water conservation education and behaviour change social marketing. The Program Coordinator will work closely with communications and the water conservation team to implement a strategic outreach plan to educate and promote behaviour change around water consumption practices.

Click here for more information.



Webinar March 2nd: 7 Principles for Building Resilience in Social-Ecological Systems


Check out this upcoming webinar from the Security & Sustainability Forum:

Applying Resilience Thinking: Seven Principles for Building Resilience in Social-Ecological Systems

Wednesday, March 2nd

1:15-2:45 pm EST

Over the past decades, few concepts have gained such prominence as resilience, the capacity of a system to deal with change and continue to develop. There has been an explosion of research into ways to promote or undermine the resilience of various systems, be it a landscape, a coastal area or a city. However, the multitude of suggested factors that enhance resilience has led to a somewhat dispersed and fragmented understanding of what is critical for building resilience and how an understanding of these factors can be applied.

This webinar convenes authors of the publication with the same name to discuss seven principles that clarify how to apply resilience thinking and address the interactions among the underlying social and ecological systems.  The assessment was funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research and conducted by experts from the Stockholm Resilience Center, Stockholm University and Arizona State University.

Click here to register.


ICLEI Webinar: Beyond the New Paris Agreement- Working With Local Stakeholders

Post COP_In session

Check out this free upcoming webinar offered by ICLEI:

Beyond the New Paris Agreement: Working with Local Stakeholders

Wednesday, March 9th, 2:00 pm ET

The Paris COP was a pivotal moment for the international climate movement with the creation of a framework for coordinated global action to limit climate change to 2 degrees of warming. Local governments were recognized, engaged, and empowered throughout the roadmap leading to Paris and in the drafting of the Paris Agreement. History was made. Now what?

This webinar will focus on the outcomes of the Paris COP as they relate to Canadian municipal governments and some of the non-government stakeholders that are important to realizing global and local climate goals. Guest speakers will share the outcomes of the Paris COP as they relate to the sectors they work in, and discuss how local governments can use the outcomes of the Paris COP to better engage with local stakeholders.


Yunus Arikan, Head of Global Policy and Advocacy, ICLEI World Secretariat

Melissa Harris, Project Manager, Climate Mitigation & Energy, International Institute for Sustainable Development

Charley Beresford, Executive Director, Columbia Institute

Christelle Broux, University of Toronto Delegate, ICLEI Canada Intern

Moderated by: Megan Meaney, Director, ICLEI Canada

Click here to register.


Fiji Becomes First Country to Ratify Paris Agreement

Source: The Guardian; Steve Bly/Corbis

Source: The Guardian; Steve Bly/Corbis

Fiji has become the first country in the world to formally approve the UN climate deal agreed by 195 nations in Paris in December.

From The Guardian: 

The island nation’s parliament unanimously agreed to ratify the Paris agreement on Friday, according to local news reports.

“The motion was proposed by the country’s attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum. He told parliament that it would need to ratify the treaty ahead of a signing ceremony in April in New York, where Fiji’s prime minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, will formally sign the document on behalf of the country.

“He said tackling climate change was a major priority for the archipelago, which could face wide-scale flooding, fiercer tropical storms, and depleting fish stocks as a result of the world’s changing climate.

“The process marks the beginning of an expected wave of ratification votes as other countries prepare for their attendance at the New York ceremony.

In order to formally take effect, the Paris agreement needs at least 55 countries, representing at least 55% of the world’s climate emissions, to ratify the treaty. Observers are confident the milestone can be passed in time for the New York event, given all the world’s major economies expressed full support for the Paris agreement at last year’s summit in the French capital.”

Read more from the article here.


Bob Sandford’s New Book, “Storm Warning”


Bob Sandford, ACT’s water policy adviser and also co-author of our latest book, has a new book of his own.

“Storm Warning: Water and Climate Security in a Changing World” highlights what the effects of climate change will be on water systems.

The book is featured in a new article from The Georgia Straight:

Written by Alberta-based water expert Robert William Sandford, Storm Warning points out how climate change is transforming hydrological cycles. A warmer atmosphere carries more water vapour, increasing the likelihood of more intense storms.

In the book, Sandford also highlights how scientists are learning more about massive “atmospheric rivers” that dump enormous amounts of rain.

These “corridors of intense winds and moist air” can be thousands of kilometres in length and extend for 400 to 500 kilometres across.

According to Sandford, atmospheric rivers may “carry the equivalent of 10 times the daily discharge of the St. Lawrence River”.

“We have discovered recently that atmospheric rivers derive their energy from the temperature gradient between the poles and the tropics,” Sandford writes. “Their intensity also derives from the Clausius-Clapeyron relation in that the warmer the air, the more water atmospheric rivers can carry.”

Read more from the article here.


Vancouver Climate Convergence Meeting


If you are interested in Canada’s National Climate Strategy, see below for information on a grassroots organizing response:

Climate Convergence Meeting 
Wednesday, February 17th
7:00 to 9:00pm
Grand Calvary Church 1801 East 1st Ave (off Commercial Dr.)

On Thursday, March 3rd, in Vancouver, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will hold the first round of meetings to develop a National Climate Strategy with all of the provincial premiers.  The meetings are being held in conjunction with The Globe Series. “The GLOBE 2016 Leadership Summit and Innovation Exposition”, held every two years in Vancouver, hosts business, policy, and civil society leaders working to address pressing global challenges with business and technology solutions.”  This includes many of the leading fossil fuel corporations and their executives.

Whatever their claims of civil society representation we know that neither the conference nor the Climate Strategy meetings will represent the voices or interests of indigenous peoples, workers, students and just ordinary folks in general.  Therefore activists from climate convergence are proposing a people’s climate assembly on March 3rd around the theme of Jobs, Justice and the Climate outside the convention centre where the meetings are being held.  The focus is on conveying a positive message about the path away from climate destruction and the genuine just transition to a fossil free future that the climate justice movement represents.

To plan action and get the broader input of climate justice activists and organizations we’ve organized a meeting on Wednesday, February 17th from 7 to 9pm at the Grand Calvary Church at 1801 East 1st Avenue (off Commercial Dr.).  We invite everyone to come discuss this event and the broader implications of Trudeau’s National Climate Strategy.  As part of this discussion we welcome input from all sectors of the movement and in particular invite supporting organizations and activists to share their responses and any plans they might have on March 3rd or in the lead up to it.


Meeting Agenda:

1. Indigenous Land Acknowledgement and Welcoming

2. Introductory speeches and discussion (speakers tba) on the issue of the National Climate Plan and how the climate justice movement is and should be responding.

3. Proposal for a People’s Climate Assembly on March 3rd and discussion

4. Organizing – break out into 3 or 4 committees to plan the action (Action, Program, Publicity/Promotion, Coordinated Actions)

5. Report back from Committees

6. Next Meeting?

7. Open Mic

For more information, email info@peoplesclimateconvergence.org


Webcast: Drought-Related Tree Mortality

Drought-related tree mortality: Heading into a century of more frequent and severe forest dieback events

When: February 17, 2016, 3:30-4:30 pm

Where: Room 002, University House 1, 2489 Sinclair Rd., Victoria, BC

Dr. Robbie Hember will discuss the topic of drought-related tree mortality across western North America. The talk will explore new insights into the impacts of drought on forest ecosystems, and the importance of drought as a determinant of future forest productivity. Robbie will also include an early look at the severity of the 2015 drought, its significance in the context of previous North American events, and what it may mean for British Columbia’s forest sector.

Robbie is a research scientist with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions’ Forest Carbon Management project, focusing on the impacts of environmental change on forest productivity in British Columbia. He is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia and is stationed at the Pacific Forestry Centre in Victoria BC. There he works closely with Natural Resources Canada’s Carbon Accounting Team. Robbie is a graduate of Trent University and the University of British Columbia, where he studied physical geography and plant biology and went on to study areas of climatology and the carbon cycle of forest ecosystems.

At the time of the event, join in on the webcast here.


Federal Government Announces 20 New Municipal Green Grants and Loans

Source: CBC/ The Canadian Press

Source: CBC/ The Canadian Press

Yesterday, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced that the federal government is promising new funding for environmental projects with municipal grants and loans to 20 cities and towns across the country.

From CBC: 

The Liberal minister said the $31.5-million in federal money will help communities improve local standards for air, water and soil quality.

“I will help [us] do our part to help fight climate change,” said McKenna. “In order to be successful we’re going to need innovative local strategies.” …

She said cities have direct control over 40 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions while being on the front lines of climate risks posed by global warming.

“This is the moment when we all agree that climate change is the challenge of our generation.”

This is an exciting development as municipalities can take significant action on climate change, and in many cases they already have been taking action. Adaptation also demands localized responses.

Read more from the article here.

Page 29 of 81« First...1020...2728293031...405060...Last »