(September 5) Watch a Webinar on Canada’s Top Climate Risks

The webinar is a summary of the recently published Canada’s Top Climate Change Risks report. In the report, the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) identify 12 major risk areas, assess which risks have the greatest potential for adaptation, and explore how the federal government can best inform its decision-making in response to these risks. The CCA convened a multidisciplinary panel of experts with backgrounds in economics, human health, earth sciences, social sciences, and climate change adaptation and risk assessment. The report’s findings emerged from the judgement, experience, and expertise of the workshop participants and Expert Panel members; a Panel ACT Executive Director Deborah Harford is proud to have been a part of. 

The webinar will present the five key findings of the report and discuss the 12 major risk areas, along with contextualizing the risks throughout Canada.

Presenter bios:

Dr. L. John Leggat, former Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of National Defence

  • Dr. Leggat graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada with first-class honours in Mechanical Engineering and received his MSc and PhD from University of British Columbia in 1976. In 1989, Dr. Leggat was appointed Director General of Research and Development Operations at the National Defence Headquarters and in 1993 became Director General of the Defence Research Establishment in Ottawa, Ontario. He was appointed Chief of Research and Development for DND in 1997 and became the driving force and founding CEO of Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC). During his career, Dr. Leggat has served on about 30 scientific advisory committees and boards and received numerous awards and honours. He was the Canadian representative for the NATO Research and Technology Organization for many years and led the team that wrote the current NATO Research and Technology Strategy.

Paul Kovacs, Adjunct Research Professor, Economics, Western University

  • Paul Kovacs is founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction at Western University. Since 1996 Paul has been a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s leading forum for the study of climate issues. He is Canada’s leading authority on insurance and climate change and has been a contributing author to numerous international and Canadian reports on reducing the risk of loss from earthquakes, flood and severe wind. For more than thirty-five years Paul has been a popular commentator on insurance, disaster safety and economic policy. He has written more than 200 publications and articles and he is a passionate champion for insurance, disaster resilience and adaptation to climate extremes.


Watch the full webinar here.


(September 10) Report, Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience

A report entitled Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience released today by the Global Commission on Adaptation begins the ‘year-of-action’. This report calls for a revolution in understanding, planning, and finance to make climate risks visible, and incorporate these risks into all decisions. Further, it calls for political leadership to shake people out of their collective slumber. 

The report is commissioned by members such as Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank. ACT is proud to have contributed to Canada’s input to this report. Canada is one of the convening countries sharing the Commission’s goal of catalyzing global adaptation solutions around the world.

The report specifically finds that investing $1.8 trillion globally in five areas from 2020-2030 could generate $7.1 trillion in total net benefits. Essentially, failing to seize the economic benefits of climate adaptation undermines trillions of dollars of potential growth and prosperity. The five areas considered for this estimate are early warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure, improved dryland agriculture crop production, global mangrove protection, and investments in making water resources more resilient.

Read the full report here. 



(September 5) Speakers announced for upcoming Livable Cities Forum

The Livable Cities Forum is less than 2 months away, and we are thrilled to share some of our speakers with you. The program brings together a diverse group of panelists, workshop hosts, and speakers from across North America. They will share stories, innovative ideas, and lessons learned on the conference themes and engage in thoughtful, valuable dialogue with delegates. ACT is delighted to co-host this event with Shift Collaborative, ICLEI Canada and the City of Victoria.

Some of our speakers are sampled below, and the most up-to-date list can be found here. Check the website as more speakers are announced!

Practitioners and experts:

  • Mary Rowe, President and CEO, Canadian Urban Institute
  • Dr. Courtney Howard, Emergency Physician, President of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
  • Paul Kovacs, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction
  • Dr. Ann Dale, Author and Professor, Royal Roads University

Leading organizations in resilience:

  • Canadian Institute of Health Research
  • Urban Systems
  • Evergreen
  • The Co-operators
  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities
  • Wood Group

For more information and to register for this event visit the event home page. 


(September 26) Innovation: Re-thinking Green Infrastructure Talk

On September 26, at 7:00pm join ACT downtown to discuss innovation in green infrastructure. This is the fourth talk in the To Catch a Falling Sky Series hosted by SFU’s Pacific Water Research Centre and Science World.

The talk will be an exploration of urban innovation using green infrastructure and features notable speakers Melina Scholefield (Manager of Green Infrastructure, City of Vancouver), Sacha Stolp (Director of Innovation, Engineering Dept., City of Amsterdam) and Rosey Jencks (Vice President, Brown and Caldwell, California, USA).

The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Reserve your seat here.


(October 10) Webinar: How Cities are Paying for Climate Resilience

On October 10, 2019 from 1:15 – 2:45 PM (EDT) join professionals and city leaders, authors of the recent report: Playbook 1.0: How Cities are Paying for Climate Resilience to explore strategies that reflect leading edge climate financing practices and discuss what these mean for other cities and the evolution of climate-resilience finance. This webinar will also explore how to decide what to pay for in terms of resilience, and how governments will access and generate necessary revenue.

Panelists for the webinar include:

  • Joyce Coffee, LEED AP, is founder and President of Climate Resilience Consulting, a Certified B Corp. Joyce has over 25 years of domestic and international experience implementing resilience and sustainability strategies, management systems, performance measurement, partnerships, benchmarking and reporting.
  • John Cleveland is the author of Life After Carbon, and President and a founder of the Innovation Network for Communities, a new national non-profit whose mission is to develop and spread scalable innovations that transform the performance of community systems.
  • Andrew Salkin joined 100 Resilient Cities from New York City’s Department of Finance, where he was the Deputy Commissioner of Operations, managing more than 800 people and responsible for collecting $30 billion annually through real estate and business and excise taxes.

Register for the webinar here. 


(September 11/19) Webinar Series: Thriving in the Transition to a New Carbon Economy

This webinar series aims to propel the transition to a new carbon economy forward, one in which we are not focused on the past, but transitioning into a future that is beneficial for all. The new economy shifts away from a history of extraction and degradation, towards a future where we harness our lands to boost crop yields and improve soil heath, and rethink the way emissions are used. Improving both agricultural practices and energy autonomy are crucial to achieving low carbon resilience (LCR). In this future new industries create new jobs, opportunities, and prosperity.

Two workshops are being offered in September: Power to the People with MiniGrids: Innovative Technologies and Investment Strategies that are Bringing Solar Energy to Rural Communities (September 11, 1;15-2:45 EDT) and Towards a 20 GT Negative CO2 Emissions Industry (September 19, 1:15-2:45 EDT). 

The first webinar on September 11, 2019, Power to the People with MiniGrids: Innovative Technologies and Investment Strategies that are Bringing Solar Energy to Rural Communitiesexplores innovations in financing off the grid energy solutions in remote villages that spark economic development, leading to sustainable rural energy markets. Panelists include Nathan Johnson, Erika Lovin, Humphrey Wireko, and Sandra Kwak. For more about this webinar, and to register, please click here.

The second webinar on September 19, 2019 Towards a 20 GT Negative CO2 Emissions Industry, explores the status of innovations in reducing atmospheric CO2 concentrations in important commercial sectors. Panelists include Bruno Sarda, Giana Amador, Dr. David Babson, and Klaus Lackner. For more about this webinar, and to register, please click here.

These webinars are part of a series exploring the transition to a new carbon economy. Other webinars soon to come include

  • Farming Methods that Thrive in a Decarbonize World
  • Can Negatively Priced Electrons “Uberize” the Grid?

(August 29) Biodiversity-Led Green Infrastructure in a Changing Climate – Final Report

The final background report in a series based on adaptation and biodiversity led green infrastructure is the culmination of the second phase of ACT’s work studying the potential for green infrastructure approaches as nature-based solutions to climate change. The second phase included facilitating a workshop and a focus group that engaged with a diverse range of professionals across sectors working in the field of green infrastructure and natural assets as well as climate solutions. Results of these stakeholder engagement sessions are available separately and also incorporated into this report, which provides the results of an extensive literature review of green infrastructure and nature-based solutions. The report also provides seven brief case studies at various scales designed to communicate the benefits to biodiversity that can be achieved by taking an ecosystem approach to green infrastructure implementation.

View the full report here: BiodiversityLedGreenInfrastructure


(September 5) Webinar: A Conversation with Hazel Henderson about Science Based Investing

A recent study published in Nature Sustainability puts the value of the Amazon Rainforest at $8.6 billion annually –a number that only counts the direct economic impact on Brazil’s economy; not the multitude of ecosystem services that are provided by the Amazon.

Hazel Henderson is one of the first economists who realized that GDP was the wrong way to measure economic vitality as it discounts the Earth’s contribution to society’s well-being. As a world renowned futurist, evolutionary economist, worldwide syndicated columnist, and leader in sustainable development, Hazel offers rich insight into the world of science based investing.

In this webinar we will discuss who should own this critical global resource?

To learn more about this event and register for the event, please click here. 

Hosted by the Security and Sustainability Forum.


(September 9) Webinar: Killer Heat in the United States

July 2019 was the hottest month on record. A recent report entitled Killer Heat in the United States: The Future of Dangerously Hot Days  shows the rapid, widespread increases in heat expected to spread across the country. The analysis in the report finds that the intensity of the coming heat depends heavily on how quickly we act now to reduce heat-trapping emissions. 

The report includes a tool to compare the temperature impacts of climate changing in your community in the US under a number of different scenarios. If we do not change the current GHG emissions trajectory, Washington DC, the residence of the host will see 100-degree (37°C) days jump from 5 to 37 by midcentury, including 20 days over 105 (41°C) degrees.

Panelists include: 

Rachel Licker, a senior climate scientist at the Climate & Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists is also the coauthor of “Killer Heat”.

Rachel Cleetus is the policy director at the Climate & Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists is also the coauthor of “Killer Heat”.

Michael Simpson is Co-Director for the Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience and Chair of the Environmental Studies Department at Antioch University, New England.

Moderator: Abigail Abrash Walton, PhD, co-director of Antioch’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience.

Register for the event here.

Hosted by the Security and Sustainability Forum.

(August 22) – ACT Hiring Post Doctoral Fellow

The ACT (Adaptation to Climate Change Team) in the Faculty of Environment, Simon Fraser University (SFU), is offering a post-doctoral opportunity that will support research on the empirical investigation of planning and implementing low carbon resilience (LCR) in diverse BC communities, contributing to the shift from theory about integrated climate responses to evaluating integration in practice.

This research opportunity will contribute to both scholarship and practice in important ways, and will require a unique blend of research and practical competencies. The successful candidate will:

  • Work with Dr. Shaw and ICABCCI research team, and municipal representatives to co- create practical LCR planning-to-implementation pathways in diverse BC communities, including the development of relevant M&E strategies;
  • Develop a practical and effective framework for LCR action that highlights key LCR pathways that can be mobilized and tested within other communities;
  • Work with ICABCCI team to test and refine an LCR framework for action in case communities to ensure its replicability and effectiveness;
  • Co-author both peer-reviewed journal articles, grey literature, and use innovative communication strategies for mobilizing LCR in theory and practice;
  • Conduct independent research to expand the scope and reach of the initiative;
  • Develop grant applications to support the expansion of the initiative in Canada and internationally;
  • Curate and manage communications and materials for our LCR partner network (e.g. social media, mailchimp, etc.);
  • Organize LCR events such as workshops and webinars.

Send any questions and finalized applications to actinfo@sfu.ca. Please find more details, qualifications, and compensation information in the PDF below:

Post-doctoral Fellowship Position


(August 22) – Volunteers needed for Livable Cities Forum, Victoria, BC

We are looking for volunteers to help us with registration, set-up, and breakout sessions throughout the course of this year’s Livable Cities Forum. The forum will be held between October 28-30th in Victoria, BC. If you are interested, click here to apply online. Volunteers are able to attend a half-day of the conference on the day of their shift.


(August 28) – Webinar: Canada’s Top Climate Change Risks

The Climate Risks for Coastal Transportation Infrastructure Community of Practice (CRCTI CoP) is pleased to invite you to participate in our upcoming webinar of the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) report titled “Canada’s Top Climate Change Risks”. The webinar will be held on August 28th, at 1:00pm ET, and presented by Dr. John Leggat, Chair of the CCA Expert Panel on Climate Change Risks and Adaptation Potential, and Paul Kovacs, Panel Member and Executive Director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.

This webinar will summarize the recently published Canada’s Top Climate Change Risks report. In the report, the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) identifies 12 major areas of risk, including: coastal communities, physical infrastructure and fisheries. The CCA convened a multidisciplinary panel of experts with backgrounds in economics, human health, earth sciences, social sciences, and climate change adaptation and risk assessment, including ACT’s ED Deborah Harford. An additional 17 experts contributed their knowledge and insights at an expert workshop. The report’s findings emerged from the judgement, experience, and expertise of the workshop participants and Expert Panel members, informed by published evidence.

Please click here to register for the webinar.

Please click here to access the full report.


(October 28-30) – ACT Co-hosting Livable Cities Forum, Victoria, BC.

ACT is excited to co-host this years Livable Cities Forum in beautiful Victoria, BC on October 28-30th. Now, more than ever, collaborative community-level action is required to build sustainable, healthy, and equitable communities that are resilient to the risks posed by a changing climate and more frequent extreme weather. Actions that transform and protect our cities must play a role in fostering livable, thriving communities.

The 2019 Forum will bring together a wide range of speakers and sessions, and is designed to showcase the importance of taking this synergistic approach to climate change planning and implementation at the local level. The main themes of this year’s forum include:

– Exploring the Climate Change and Health Nexus
– The Role of Infrastructure in Building Better Neighbourhoods
– Advancing Low Carbon Resilience for more Livable Communities

Be a part of the conversation on how to build better, stronger, and more connected communities that are prepared for current and future impacts of climate change.

Learn more about this innovative and exciting event: http://www.livablecitiesforum.com/about/


(August 24) MP Town Hall with SFU Professor Dr. Mark Jaccard – Climate Concerned Canadians, Get Your Questions Answered!

On Saturday August 24, SFU Professor Dr. Mark Jaccard will join MP Joyce Murray for a town hall talk and discussion on climate action entitled “The Present and Future of Canada’s Climate Effort”. Canadians throughout the country are feeling the effects of climate change, and as emissions continue to rise impacts such as flooding, wildfires, and mass migrations of people fleeing will become more frequent, severe, and costly. 

In this town hall, Dr. Jaccard will reference his forthcoming book “The Citizen’s Guide for Climate Success”, to outline how citizen efforts can lead to climate action by our political leaders, including linkages to recent political developments in Canada. The talk will be followed by an extensive Q&A session to discuss next steps in making sure governments respond to the biggest crisis of our generation. The conversation will cover a wide range of imminent topics; fracking, carbon pricing, behavioural change, nuclear power, oil pipelines, electric vehicles, biofuels, and negotiating global agreements.

Joyce Murray, MP (top photo), Dr. Mark Jaccard (bottom photo). 

Details of the event:

Saturday, August 24
1:00 PM – Registration
1:30PM – 3:00PM: Presentation followed by Q & A Kitsilano Community
Centre (2690 Larch St) This event is free to attend and open to all –
Don’t forget to RSVP to save your spot!

RSVP to joyce.murray.c1c@parl.gc.ca or by calling 604-664-9220.


(August 6) Climate Migrants and Refugees Project

ACT has been working with the Climate Migrants and Refugees Project (CMRP) to understand and address the way climate change will cause displacement in communities within Canada and around the world, and to develop strategies to help create safe and resilient communities that are ready to help those who may have lost their homes or livelihoods due to climate change. 
CMRP is now working to build a network of engaged practitioners, researchers, activists, and community members who are already working on climate change displacement in some form or another.
Please take their survey to share how you are involved or interested in this issue and to learn how you can connect with others in this area: https://forms.gle/mbjgabVHtmJkkY9cA

(July 22) – Release of Preliminary Strategic Climate Risk Assessment for British Columbia

On July 22, 2019 the Government of BC released a Preliminary Strategic Climate Risk Assessment for British Columbia to help better understand climate-related risks in BC and develop appropriate measures to these risks. This is the first provincial-scale climate risk assessment in Canada, and the first phase of an initiative to better understand climate related risks in BC.

The report addresses 15 provincially significant climate risk events for BC, and evaluates the likelihood of said events occurring both now and in 2050 based on high global emissions. The results also discuss the health, social, and economic consequences of the risks.

The results of the report illustrate that the greatest risks to BC are:

  • Severe wildfire
  • Seasonal water shortage
  • Heat wave
  • Ocean acidification
  • Glacier loss
  • Long term water shortage

The findings show that nearly all risk even scenarios would have major province-wide consequences in at least one area.

The Climate Action Secretariat (CAS) is working to understand Indigenous perspectives on B.C.’s changing climate and to collaborate with Indigenous communities to build on their resilience in the face of climate change. Going forward, CAS also plans to customize and pilot the risk assessment for use in provincial ministries and for regional governments, so they can better understand and respond to emerging climate risks.

Read the full report.

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