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National Professional Associations Support Integrated Climate Action

JOINT STATEMENT FROM CANADA’S NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS: ADVANCING INTEGRATED CLIMATE ACTION

October 29th, 2018

PREAMBLE

The recently released IPCC SR1.5 report is unequivocal: we are beginning to experience the impacts of climate change, and it will take “rapid, far reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to keep global warming below the crucial threshold of 1.5°C. As professionals, we have the opportunity and responsibility to address both climate change mitigation (emissions reduction) and adaptation (responding to the impacts we cannot avoid). Our associations have a crucial role to play in advancing ethics, awareness, practices and policies that support integrated action on climate change, due to our prominent roles in many aspects of the development and management of resources, ecosystems and communities.

As such, we acknowledge that climate change is causing a variety of unavoidable impacts, many of which are projected to increase in duration, magnitude and severity. In the years ahead, these impacts will affect the outcomes of professional decisions made today. There is widespread recognition that we must plan ways to adapt, and that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is crucial if we are to minimize the risks – both types of actions are urgently required. Typically, mitigation and adaptation have been addressed separately; however, every opportunity to mitigate or adapt must be explored. Can an adaptation solution incorporate mitigation? Can a mitigation solution incorporate adaptation? Can thinking that incorporates both action streams as one process lead to transformative approaches?

Integrating these perspectives in a “Low Carbon Resilience” (LCR) lens to guide decision-making and best practices, where appropriate, can save time and resources, increase returns on investment, and generate economic, environmental, social, and health co-benefits. Ensuring the two streams of action are coordinated and cross-evaluated can also help to avoid risks and unintended consequences associated with advancing them separately.

WHEREAS, WE:

  • Recognize the ethical and practice implications of climate change for all professionals
  • Expect our members to build upon their current science-based, knowledge-driven approaches to better incorporate the best available climate science into professional decisions and actively consider integrated action on adaptation and mitigation
  • Acknowledge that it is necessary to stay up to date on current and past practices, with the aim of better informing our members on best practices in light of climate change
  • Accept that innovation to address climate change may involve some uncertainty or risk
  • Recognize our civic responsibility to provide strong leadership in our communities and spheres of influence around pressing issues such as the need for integrated climate action

THEREFORE, OUR PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS COMMIT TO:

  • Enacting or advocating for professional and ethical standards and codes of practice that explicitly incorporate responsibilities for advancing integrated climate action
  • Working to advance shared understanding and ownership among our members of our individual and professional responsibilities for integrated climate action within our spheres of influence
  • Providing leadership in the public sphere to advance understanding and support for integrated climate action among the public, decision-makers and stakeholders
  • Reviewing and commenting on policies and legislation to promote and enable innovative practice for integrated climate action
  • Improving access to timely education and training for our members, in climate change science, best practices, tools, implementation and approaches to integrated climate action
  • Cooperating with all levels of government and other organizations to advance integrated climate action, through for example: leadership; developing information, standards, guidelines and policies; implementing pilot projects; and awareness building
  • Advocating for and enabling effective monitoring and reporting processes for accountability on integrated climate action
  • Working with all levels of government, insurers and other parties to address shared risks arising from climate change, including identifying incentives for professionals to innovate and share the costs and benefits of adaptive management
  • Advancing interdisciplinary capacity for integrated climate action through collaboration between associations, and enabling collaboration amongst our members

WE CALL ON INDIGENOUS, LOCAL, PROVINCIAL, TERRITORIAL AND NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS TO:

  • Provide meaningful leadership domestically and internationally, including advocating for integrated climate action and upholding commitments in the Paris Agreement
  • Employ a mix of adaptation and mitigation options, implemented in a participatory and integrated manner (in line with the IPCC Special Report 1.5, Section D3)
  • Invest in developing and maintaining data and research on climate change, integrated climate action, related activities, policies and promising practices, and enable access and uptake across sectors and professions
  • Create policies and programs that enable integrated climate action, and invest in innovation and capacity building for advancing this approach
  • Work with professional associations in areas of overlapping interest and capacity, such as development of policies and information, and outreach to professions and sectors
  • Review and recommend updates to federal and provincial codes and standards and requirements to enable integrated climate action by all levels of government and other actors

Signed by,


DÉCLARATION COMMUNE D’ASSOCIATIONS PROFESSIONNELLES CANADIENNES : POUR UNE ACTION CLIMATIQUE INTÉGRÉE

29 octobre 2018

PRÉAMBULE

Le rapport récemment publié par le GIEC sur les conséquences d’un réchauffement planétaire de 1,5°C est sans équivoque : nous commençons à ressentir les impacts du changement climatique et il faudra des changements rapides, profonds et sans précédent dans tous les aspects de la société pour maintenir le réchauffement planétaire en dessous du seuil déterminant de 1,5°C. En tant que professionnels, nous avons la possibilité et la responsabilité de mener de front l’atténuation du changement climatique (réduction des émissions) et l’adaptation (prise en compte des impacts que nous ne pouvons éviter). Nos associations ont un rôle capital à jouer dans l’avancement de la déontologie, la sensibilisation, les pratiques et les politiques sur lesquelles repose une action climatique intégrée, du fait de leur rôle majeur dans de nombreux aspects de la mise en valeur et de la gestion des ressources, des écosystèmes et des collectivités.

En conséquence, nous reconnaissons que le changement climatique cause un en-semble d’impacts inévitables dont beaucoup, selon les projections, vont s’amplifier en termes de durée, d’ampleur et de gravité. Dans les prochaines années, ces impacts affecteront les incidences des décisions professionnelles prises aujourd’hui. Il est largement reconnu que nous devons planifier des façons de nous adapter et qu’il est capital de réduire les émissions de gaz à effets de serre si nous voulons réduire les risques – les deux types de mesures sont nécessaires et urgents. Le plus souvent, l’atténuation et l’adaptation sont envisagées séparément; cependant, chaque occasion de réduire et de s’adapter doit être étudiée. Est-ce qu’une solution axée sur l’adaptation peut inclure l’atténuation? Est-ce qu’une solution axée sur l’atténuation peut inclure l’adaptation? Est-ce qu’une façon de penser qui intègre les deux types de mesures dans une même démarche peut ouvrir la porte à des approches transformatives?

Intégrer ces perspectives dans une approche de « résilience sobre en carbone » pour orienter les décisions et les meilleures pratiques, lorsque possible, peut per-mettre de mieux utiliser le temps et les ressources, rendre les investissements plus rentables et entrainer des retombées positives pour l’économie, l’environnement, la société et la santé. Veiller à ce que les deux axes d’intervention soient intégrés et évalués en fonction l’un de l’autre aide en outre à éviter les risques et conséquences involontaires associés à une approche centrée sur un seul de ces axes.

ATTENDU QUE NOUS:

  • Reconnaissons les implications déontologiques et pratiques du changement climatique pour tous les professionnels.
  • Attendons de nos membres qu’ils développent leurs approches actuelles fondées sur la science et axées sur la connaissance pour mieux incorporer les meilleures connaissances scientifiques disponibles dans leurs décisions professionnelles et envisagent activement des mesures combinant l’adaptation et l’atténuation.
  • Reconnaissons la nécessité de nous tenir au courant des pratiques actuelles et passées, dans le but de mieux informer nos membres sur les meilleures pratiques compte tenu du changement climatique.
  • Acceptons que l’innovation pour lutter contre le changement climatique peut comporter des risques et des incertitudes.
  • Reconnaissons notre responsabilité civique d’être des chefs de file solides dans nos collectivités et nos sphères d’influence en ce qui concerne des problèmes pressants comme la nécessité d’une action climatique intégrée.

PAR CONSÉQUENT, NOS ASSOCIATIONS PROFESSIONNELLES S’ENGAGENT À:

  • Adopter et promouvoir des normes professionnelles et déontologiques et des codes de pratique qui incorporent explicitement la responsabilité de faire progresser une action climatique intégrée
  • Faire en sorte que nos membres aient la même conception des responsabilités de chacun ainsi que de nos professions en ce qui concerne l’action climatique intégrée et le même engagement à la promouvoir au sein de nos sphères d’influence
  • Jouer un rôle de chefs de file dans la sphère publique pour favoriser la com-préhension de l’action climatique intégrée et son soutien au sein du public, chez les décideurs et chez les parties concernées
  • Examiner et commenter les politiques et la législation pour promouvoir et rendre possibles les pratiques novatrices pour une action climatique intégrée
  • Améliorer l’accès de nos membres, en temps opportun, à l’éducation et la formation sur le changement climatique, les meilleures pratiques, les outils et la mise en œuvre et les approches en matière d’action climatique intégrée
  • Coopérer avec tous les ordres de gouvernement et les autres organisations pour faire progresser l’action climatique intégrée, entre autres en faisant preuve de leadership, en préparant de l’information, des normes, des lignes directrices et des politiques, en réalisant des projets pilotes et en faisant de la sensibilisation
  • Recommandant et rendant possibles des processus de suivi et de rapport efficaces pour favoriser la responsabilisation en matière d’action climatique intégrée
  • Travailler avec tous les ordres de gouvernement, les assureurs et les autres parties concernées pour composer avec les risques communs découlant du changement climatique, entre autres en trouvant des mesures d’incitation pour encourager les professionnels à innover et à partager les coûts et les avantages d’une gestion adaptative
  • Faire progresser la capacité interdisciplinaire en matière d’action climatique intégrée par le biais de la collaboration entre associations et faciliter la collaboration entre nos membres

NOUS EN APPELONS AUX GOUVERNEMENT AUTOCHTONES, LOCAUX, PROVINCIAUX, TERRITORIAUX ET NATIONAL POUR QU’ILS:

  • Fassent preuve de réel leadership au Canada et sur la scène internationale, entre autres en faisant la promotion de l’action climatique intégrée et en tenant les engagements pris dans le cadre de l’Accord de Paris
  • Combinent des options axées sur l’adaptation et d’autres axées sur l’atténuation, en les mettant en œuvre de manière participative et intégrée (dans la lignée de la Section D3 du Rapport spécial du GIEC sur les conséquences d’un réchauffement planétaire de 1,5 °C)
  • Investissent dans l’élaboration et la tenue à jour des données et des re-cherches sur le changement climatique, l’action climatique intégrée et les activités, politiques et pratiques prometteuses connexes et favorisent l’accès et l’adoption dans l’ensemble des secteurs et des professions
  • Créent des politiques et des programmes qui rendent possible l’action climatique intégrée et investissent dans l’innovation et le renforcement de la capacité pour faire progresser cette approche
  • Travaillent avec les associations professionnelles dans les domaines où leurs intérêts et leurs capacités se recoupent, comme l’élaboration de politiques et de matériel d’information et la sensibilisation d’autres professions et secteurs
  • Étudient et recommandent des mises à jour des normes et codes fédéraux et provinciaux ainsi que des exigences pour permettre une action climatique intégrée par tous les ordres de gouvernement et les autres protagonistes

Signed by,

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(Dec 13) ACT’s Executive Director, Deborah Harford on CBC’s The Current

On December 13th, the Executive Director of ACT, Deborah Harford was invited to speak with CBC’s The Current about challenges our society faces in the special edition 11 Years: A Blueprint For Climate Action. Deborah spoke to the need for an immediate focus on solutions, benefits and opportunities.

For the full episode see here.

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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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