Mar 22: Webinar on Canadian Cities Taking Climate Action


Building Adaptive and Resilient Communities Program: Canadian Cities Taking Action
March 22nd, 2016
1:00 pm ET 

Cities have a key role to play in mitigating the causes of and adapting their communities to the effects of  a changing climate. As the level of government closest to residents, municipalities are well-positioned to develop effective strategies to protect the health of people and the livability of communities.

This webinar will focus on the Building Adaptive and Resilient Communities program (BARC), which is aimed at helping communities develop and implement their climate change adaptation plans. Webinar participants will receive information on the BARC tools and methodology, as well as recommendations on how the program can best be tailored to their community’s specific needs.

Hana Lapp, Adaptation and Resilience Planner, ICLEI Canada
Fiona Dercole, Section Manager- Public Safety, District of North Vancouver
Karina Richters, Environmental Coordinator, City of Windsor
Moderated by: Christina Schwantes, Adaptation and Resilience Planner, ICLEI Canada

Click here to register for this webinar.



Carbon Talks: Levelling the Playing Field as Vancouver Implements its Renewable City Strategy


Wednesday March 23
12:30-1:30 pm

What are the roles of equity, justice and democratic process as the City of Vancouver moves forward with its energy planning?

According to the World Energy Council, energy equity is about accessibility and affordability of energy supply across the population. While cities are demonstrating climate and energy leadership, they will need to do so while ensuring affordability of renewable energy.

Vancouver has both an ambitious energy plan, as well as acute affordability issues. Is there a risk that greater use of renewable energy in the City of Vancouver will impose unequal economic burdens on different segments of the community? Could the energy plan compromise the City’s goals for social equity? What are the roles of equity, justice, and democratic process as the City moves forward with its energy planning?

Join us as for a free public dialogue as we open the discussion of energy equity and climate justice in Vancouver.

Webcast: Carbon Talks will be webcast live, thanks to the support of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. Webcast link: http://www.sfu.ca/webcast (Follow the conversation on Twitter at @CarbonTalks)


  • Councillor Andrea Reimer, Deputy Mayor, City of Vancouver
  • Ananda Lee Tan, Organizer, Facilitator, Trainer and Guide
  • Alex Boston, Principal and Senior Planner, Boston Consulting

Click here for more information and to register.


Online Course: Climate and Water Resources Management


Check out this online course, offered by COMET (Collaborative Online Meteorology Educational Training):

Climate and Water Resources Management, Part 1: Climate Variability and Change
1-1.25 hours to complete

Climate is changing at unprecedented rates in recorded history. A variety of lines of evidence demonstrate that climate change is likely to affect the hydrologic cycle and thus create new challenges in water management. This requires that climate change information be included in water and water-related resources planning, operations, and management.

Climate and Water Resources Management, Part 1: Climate Variability and Change describes the terminology, global evidence, regional manifestations, and basic science of global climate variability and anthropogenic change, with a focus on water resources management. The lesson presents this information using rich graphics, animations, and interactions.

The intended audience for this lesson includes managers and professionals working in water resources planning under variable and changing climates. This includes people who are somewhat removed from the implementation of climate change policy, but still need to be conversant in the topic. This lesson was funded by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Find out more and take the lesson here.


The Leaders Planning Exodus from Disappearing Shores

Source: Wired; Ciril Jazbec

Kiribati: Portrait of a family in front of their home next to a volleyball court in Tebikenikoora (Golden Beach) village. Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in Kiribati. High tide floods the court and most of the surrounding area. The government has pledged to provide funds for additional sea walls. Source: Wired; Ciril Jazbec

Sixth in a series of blogs on climate change and population displacement.

By Claire Havens, ACT population displacement researcher.

Imagine an entire nation, deciding on a date to emigrate en masse for their very survival.

Now imagine that date is rapidly approaching.

The timeline for mass exodus from the island nation of Kiribati is 2020 – less than five years away.

When a community is faced with threats to its very survival, the emergence of a strong and convincing leader to plan ahead, negotiate resources, and foster hope can be its saving grace.  Two years ago, realizing his nation was in peril, President Anote Tong spent eight million dollars to buy about 20 square kilometres of land in Fiji, initially for agricultural support. But climbing sea levels, extreme storms, acidifying ocean conditions, and crop destruction from brackish water are threatening the population of 100,000’s survival more rapidly than expected, and the land is now considered a last resort for them to move to.

Even though Fiji – which recently became the first nation to ratify the United Nations Climate Agreement reached last December in Paris – is a three hour plane ride away, it will become the Kiribatians’ new home as they flee sea level rise.

“People are getting quite scared now and we need immediate solutions. This is why I want to rush the solutions so there will be a sense of comfort for our people,” said President Tong to Radio New Zealand in mid-February.

Half a world away, another nation is moving as well – the first climate refugees in the USA.

Thirteen years of campaigning by Chief Albert White Buffalo Naquin of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians has finally brought funding for his people to be relocated from their reserve lands on the Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana.

Chief Naquin has fought hard for his band (population: 360), which has seen 98% of its traditional lands disappear since 1955 due to sea level rise, land sinking, oil and gas development, and a decline in sediment deposition from the Mississippi River. In January, the Obama administration announced $48 million in funds for the band to “relocate to a resilient and historically significant community” further north and inland. The tribe’s website notes the reasons for their abandonment of traditional territory:

“Today, the land that has sustained us for generations is vanishing before our eyes. Our tribal lands are plagued with a host of environmental problems — coastal erosion, lack of soil renewal, oil company and government canals, and a rising sea level — which are threatening our way of life on this gradually shrinking island.”

Although the band rejected a previous proposal for relocation, the island is disappearing so fast that they have now resigned themselves to leaving it behind.

Chief Naquin and President Tong are the first of their kind: leaders of climate refugees tasked with leading their people to solid ground.

Their leadership will provide lessons, and a model for hundreds of future community resettlements around the world as seas continue to rise, and storms continue to brew.

Source: Daily Kos; NOAA

Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana. Source: Daily Kos; NOAA


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.

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