Low Carbon Resilience

Coming October 2021… The Low Carbon Resilience Framework showcases four different action pathways for embedding integrated climate action across policy, planning, and decision-making. These action pathways are: Integrated Climate Action, Corporate Strategy, Asset Management, and Community Planning. Check back soon!

View LCR Framework

Low Carbon Resilience

Low carbon resilience, or LCR, is an integrated climate action planning and decision-making approach that “layers on top” of existing sustainability visions, plans, and decision frameworks to help organizations embed climate preparedness and sustainability throughout policy, planning, and decision making. It brings into focus the multiple considerations and trade-offs of policies, investments, projects, and decisions made today while acknowledging their legacies for tomorrow.

Typically, climate adaptation planning (upper left quadrant) and mitigation planning (lower right quadrant) are done separately. This draws on separate budget streams and capacities across the organization, leading to siloed and, at times, contradictory approaches. When decision-makers coordinate and integrate data and planning approaches they set the stage for streamlined and more systemic solutions that, done well, reduce climate risk and emissions, while also advancing other community priorities such as equity, health, biodiversity, and economic development (upper right quadrant). An LCR approach can therefore represent a step-change toward sustainable development pathways.

This LCR diagram illustrates the benefits of integrating adaptation and mitigation (upper right quadrant), rather than pursuing adaptation or mitigation in siloes (top left, bottom right) (ACT, 2020, adapted from Cohen & Waddell, 2009).

LCR Publications and Resources

All LCR publications from ICABCCI can be found in our Publications Library. The insights and learnings gleaned from ICABCCI partner communities were used to co-develop a leading-edge framework for best practice in climate action for other local governments across BC and beyond.

LCR in Practice

ACT put LCR into practice through the Integrated Climate Action for BC Communities Initiative (ICABCCI). ICABCCI worked with 10 partner communities across BC to coordinate integrated climate action, or LCR, across planning and decision processes related to climate planning, asset management and investment planning, and corporate strategy. We provided coaching, resources and guidance to support effective decision-making in local governments of all sizes. Our team worked closely recording both strengths and weaknesses of the approach and consolidated learnings into resource materials and published research found here. A key outcome of ICABCCI is the Low Carbon Resilience Framework for Action which can be applied to support local governments across Canada to streamline their resources and capacity in order to engage productively with climate change and sustainability at the local scale.


Thank you to the Real Estate Foundation of BC for their generous support (2018-2021). We continue to share learnings and research findings from our case study communities and our peer learning network.


Dr. Alison Shaw, Lead Researcher >

Dr. Alison Shaw, ICABCCI Research Lead, has been working at the leading-edge of climate change and sustainability science and policy for the past two decades. As Founder of FlipSide Sustainability, she’s taken this work to the world of practice. As a practitioner, she works with public and private sector organizations to design strategies, and tailor approaches that practically and effectively embed climate change and sustainability into organizational strategy, planning, and operations. This helps organizations save money, avoid future costs, and build resilience under changing future conditions. Dr. Shaw is excited to be working with ACT’s Deborah Harford, in designing the ICABCCI research, developing the team, and building the momentum to advance and test low carbon resilience in partner communities across BC. The goal is to develop a framework of action that can be applied to communities across BC and Canada by 2021.

Kacia Tolsma, Research Assistant >

Kacia Tolsma is a second-year graduate student in the School of Resource and Environmental Management (Planning). Her research focuses on green infrastructure, natural assets, and public engagement. As a Research Assistant for ICABCCI, Kacia has helped develop numerous resources for communities. Kacia is also the recipient of the 2019 CIP President’s Scholarship and was the 2019/2020 co-president of the REM Planning Students Association. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography from the University of Victoria.

Odessa Cohen, Research Assistant >

Odessa is a graduate student in Simon Fraser’s Resource and Environmental Planning Program. She has a Bachelors of Community Design (Hons Environmental Planning) from Dalhousie University, has 3 years of land use planning experience from Alberta, and is a candidate member of PIBC and CIP. Her research at SFU in the REM program is focused on the use of nature based solutions to develop increased resiliency for rural communities.  As a research assistant for ICABCCI, she will be providing assistance with data analysis to document how case communities implement LCR within their municipal functions through adaptation and mitigation plans.

Paige Hunter, Research Assistant >

Paige is an undergraduate student in SFU’s School of Resource and Environmental Management. Her research focuses on equity and justice in community planning, green infrastructure, and natural assets. As a research assistant with ACT, Paige has helped develop a report for the Metro Vancouver Advisory Committees on advancing a biodiversity-led regional green infrastructure network. She is in the process of developing a webinar on the intersection of equity, green space, and public health, and will be bringing this experience to her work with ICABCCI. Paige is a recipient of the Gordon M. Shrum Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship and is a member of the 2020/2021 Faculty of Environment Welcome Team for incoming SFU students. She has been working with ACT since January 2020.

Chloe Repka, Research Assistant >

Chloe is a recent graduate from UBC with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography (Environment & Sustainability), which she pursued after completing a Bachelor’s in Law from King’s College London. Chloe brings her knowledge and experience from both fields to her work at ACT, where she performs qualitative analysis on climate-focused municipal projects. She also uses her analysis to inform the development of ICABCCI’s Low Carbon Resilience Framework for Action. On the side, she pursues her passion for food sustainability at Lighter Foodprint, a non-profit looking to help restaurant-goers make more climate-informed food choices through a climate labelling system.