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Low Carbon Resilience: Best Practices for Professionals – Final Report

ACT is excited to announce the release of the final report and deliverables for our year-long project exploring low carbon resilience (LCR) best practices for professionals.

We also present a joint statement signed by the following national professional associations and endorsed by national municipal climate resources provider, ICLEI Canada, in support of advancing LCR in and across their respective fields:
Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA)
Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP)
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)
Canadian Water & Wastewater Association (CWWA)

As the 2018 IPCC Special Report makes clear, the need to advance mitigation and adaptation is now more urgent than ever before, and historical standards are no longer adequate to inform future planning. Climate change poses significant risks to all professional reliance models, which increasingly need to include climate change mitigation and adaptation as part of advisory and consulting services. It is therefore crucial to advance an integrated approach while mainstreaming integrated climate action into all planning and decision-making. The integration of the two streams of action (mitigation and adaptation) in research and practice is increasingly referred to as “low carbon resilience” (LCR).

This project focused on the key role professionals play as change agents in climate action, and what is needed for all sectors to advance uptake of LCR-based practices. The case studies, tools and resources presented in this report were developed in consultation with professional representatives across Canada through meetings held in early spring and late fall of 2018 – at the local level in BC, with SFU ACT’s Professional Advisory Council (ACTPAC); at the provincial level, with the BC Professional Associations Adaptation Working Group (PAAWG), hosted by the Fraser Basin Council; and with national professional associations in Ottawa, co-hosted with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Groups engaged span a range of professions, including engineering, law, agriculture, energy and utilities, forestry, flood management, accounting, water & wastewater management, real estate, development, policy, planning, health, insurance, architecture, and biology.

Key project deliverables were developed as brief handouts illustrating different applications of low carbon resilience, which can be accessed for printing here:

Low Carbon Resilience Briefing Note: The briefing note for decision-makers introduces the concept of LCR, and outlines advantages and co-benefits that can be gained by adopting the LCR approach.
Low Carbon Resilience Conceptual Process Model and Diagram: The LCR Conceptual Process Model outlines how key steps in climate adaptation and mitigation planning processes might be aligned to achieve integrated action. The following LCR Diagram further provides a high-level overview and further considerations related to integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation into planning processes.
  Low Carbon Resilience Planning Example – OCP (Official Community Plan) and CCP (Comprehensive Community Plan) Processes: This case study illustrates how LCR might be incorporated into existing planning processes such as OCPs and CCPs, and demonstrates that synergies and trade-offs between reducing emissions and building resilience can be mainstreamed into planning at the community scale.
  Low Carbon Resilience Tool Example – BC’s Energy Step Code: This case study illustrates how low carbon resilience (LCR) might be incorporated into an existing tool, the BC Energy Step Code. It demonstrates that synergies and trade-offs between reducing emissions and building resilience can be achieved at the building scale, and highlights how practitioners using the code might increase efficiency and effectiveness by considering future climate in building design and operation.
Low Carbon Resilience Case Study – North Vancouver Rain Gardens: This case study provides an example of a municipal-level ecosystem-based approach to sustainable land and water use that demonstrates LCR benefits.
  Low Carbon Resilience Case Study – Christus Spohn Hospital, Corpus Christi, Texas: This case study provides an example of an LCR-based approach to building design and development.
  Low Carbon Resilience Case Study – Municipal Climate Planning, City of Hamburg: This case study provides an example of an LCR-based approach to local government climate action planning.

ACT gratefully acknowledges the support of the Vancouver Foundation and the Real Estate Foundation of BC  for this project overall, and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS)  for the survey on continuing professional development.

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