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Climate Risk: Getting to Action. Professionals' Perspectives on Climate Change Challenges. First Summary of Discussions

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-12-06
Abstract: 

Professionals within key practice areas responding to climate change through new approaches have the collective potential to achieve widespread transformation and improve climate resilience throughout multiple sectors. If we do not work with the early adopters and innovators on achieving this goal, however, failure to update best practices and professional approaches in a timely manner may result in increased vulnerability, missed opportunities, and exacerbation of future risks.

Further, policy- and decision-makers could benefit from consultation with professionals during the development of climate change-related policy and regulation to ensure the practicality and applicability of new approaches, given professionals’ in-depth expertise and implementation experience.

 

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Climate Change Adaptation and Canada's Crops and Food Supply: Summary for Decision-makers

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2013-07-03
Abstract: 

The Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT) reviewed Canada’s and other countries’ leading climate change adaptation and extreme weather risk reduction practices and proposes a transformative, nested set of strategies, action plans and implementation programs, and practices that employ these types of principles. ACT also looked for barriers that require attention, and pitfalls to be avoided, in particular with respect to overland flooding, and proposes an agenda for giving focused attention to the roles of government, the private insurance industry and stakeholders to achieve effective and affordable overland flooding risk reduction, relief and recovery.

 

 

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Climate Change Adaptation and Biodiversity: Background Report

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009-01-27
Abstract: 

This report synthesizes information compiled from input contributed by ACT’s Communities in Jeopardy: Plant, Animal and Human conference participants in April 2008, along with a review of publications from leading authorities researching climate change impacts on biodiversity, and adaptation responses.

The purpose of this report is to provide a background summary on the following points of discussion:  Observed and projected climate changes in BC;  Observed and expected climate change-induced impacts on biodiversity in BC and northern temperate regions;  An overview of the state of biodiversity in BC;  A discussion on the link between biodiversity, ecosystem functions, and the value of natural capital;  An overview of vulnerable natural and socioeconomic systems in BC;  An outline for a general adaptation framework that addresses ecosystem resiliency and examines the challenges and opportunities associated with launching adaptation measures in BC.

 

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Climate Change Adaptation and Biodiversity: Summary Report

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009-01-27
Abstract: 

British Columbia is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth, a veritable “biodiversity ark” – a refuge for thousands of species, from Canada’s largest population of large carnivores to the denizens of some of the last old-growth forests on the continent. Those species, threatened by the spread of human activity, now face an additional serious challenge posed by the impacts of climate change.

This report lays out key aspects of this compounding challenge to BC’s biodiversity, and recommends ways to adapt by making the transition to an ecosystem-based economy that will include the full value of the province’s ecosystems in resource decision-making. This transition will necessitate a paradigm shift from the sectoral, agency-specific approach to one that considers ecosystems as whole systems that are governed, ideally, by a single agency. This shift will allow British Columbia to address the impacts of climate change while sustaining the province’s economy.

 

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Climate Change Adaptation and the Low Carbon Economy in BC: Background Report

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2010-12-08
Abstract: 

This report, which forms the background to the various ACT “Climate Change Adaptation and the Low Carbon Economy in BC” reports, seeks to encourage dialogue about three major challenges that must be addressed if we are to pass on a sustainable world to our children:

The ENERGY challenge – our heavy reliance on oil will present significant challenges now that the era of cheap and easy oil has passed;

The CLIMATE CHANGE challenge – the abundance of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions, which we have pumped into the atmosphere, are changing our climate and threatening to destabilize the delicate balance that makes life on Earth possible;

The ECOSYSTEM challenge – the majority of the ecosystem services that nature provides are not currently being used in a sustainable manner.

We are currently exceeding the carrying capacity of the Earth and degrading the ecosystems we rely upon for life. We are running a substantial ecological deficit. (NB: For convenience, we routinely refer to these three challenges collectively as the sustainability challenge throughout this report, with the acknowledgement that sustainability as a concept can include a far more complex set of issues, including social justice).

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Climate Change Adaptation and the Low Carbon Economy in BC: Summary Report for Decision-makers

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2010-12-08
Abstract: 

This report seeks to encourage dialogue about three major challenges that must be addressed if we are to pass on a sustainable world to our children:

The ENERGY challenge – our heavy reliance on oil will present significant challenges now that the era of cheap and easy oil has passed;

The CLIMATE CHANGE challenge – the abundance of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions, which we have pumped into the atmosphere, are changing our climate and threatening to destabilize the delicate balance that makes life on Earth possible;

The ECOSYSTEM challenge – the majority of the ecosystem services that nature provides are not currently being used in a sustainable manner.

We are currently exceeding the carrying capacity of the Earth and degrading the ecosystems we rely upon for life. We are running a substantial ecological deficit. (NB: For convenience, we routinely refer to these three challenges collectively as the sustainability challenge throughout this report, with the acknowledgement that sustainability as a concept can include a far more complex set of issues, including social justice).

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Climate Change Adaptation and Water Governance: Background Report

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2011-10-04
Abstract: 

The challenges facing water governance and management in Canada are many and varied, and climate change will exacerbate them all. However, Canadians are prepared to meet these challenges and we are hopeful that Canadians will find the courage to change our concept of water and its value in a way that will help us promote long-term sustainable well-being for our ecosystems, communities and industries. We need to act now, before the effects of climate change become a challenge on an order of magnitude with which we have difficulty coping, rather than one for which we are prepared.

In this report, Simon Fraser University’s Adaptation to Climate Change Team explores ways to effect adaptation in the form of planned water policy responses, designed to complement the equally important goals embodied in the drive to reduce emissions and promote sustainable development, while increasing the resilience of Canada’s natural, socio-economic and built environments.

This report represents the results of background research carried out from March 2010-June 2011, and acts as the basis for the accompanying Summary Recommendations for decision-makers. This process included in-depth study and literature reviews by a team of graduate researchers drawn from the disciplines of Resource and Environmental Management, Planning, Earth Sciences and Public Policy, guidance and insights from lead policy author Bob Sandford, policy advice from ACT’s Board, and consultation with all orders of government, industry, NGOs, experts and communities through roundtables in three regions.

 

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Climate Change Adaptation and Water Governance: Summary Report for Decision Makers

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009-10-04
Abstract: 

Effective governments prefer proposition to opposition. This report outlines a new national proposition on water that aims to strengthen Canada’s economy and assure its sustainability while at the same time enhancing our adaptive capacity in the face of growing climate impacts on our national identity and well being, and therefore our nation’s future. Fortunately, Canadian consciousness of our overall good fortune in terms of water resources, and popular understanding of water issues, is growing. We also know from world example much of what needs to be done. Time is of the essence. Our changing climate and hydrology demand that we shift out of the coping zone of stationarity, and adapt to new circumstances.

 

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Climate Change Adaptation and Water Governance: Briefing Paper for Decision Makers

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2011-10-04
Abstract: 

Since there is less confusion and debate in Canada about the importance of water than many other resources, the affirmation of a new “water ethic” could be a means of ultimately achieving greater adaptive capacity to climate change, while generating a great many other lasting social, economic and environmental benefits along the way. This, however, will require new governance structures that break down existing jurisdictional fragmentation and institutional territoriality. The breaking down and reformation of governance related to the management of water will, in itself, require a high degree of committed and effective collaboration among jurisdictions.

 

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Climate Change and Extreme Weather: Designing Adaptation Policy: Background Report

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009-09-09
Abstract: 

Extreme weather events like the 2006 B.C. windstorms periodically illustrate the susceptibility of Canadian communities to climate-related stress. All regions of Canada experience extreme weather events of one type or another, and it is likely that they will increase in frequency and intensity as a result of climate change. The risk these hazards pose demands a purposive course of action to reduce the vulnerability of communities and to strengthen their capacity to cope with weather-related impacts. Public policies designed to achieve these goals can be aggregated under the rubric of climate adaptation. In this report, we seek to contribute to the development of Canadian climate adaptation policies targeted at extreme weather events. Our specific objective is to map out a course of action to address climate change and extreme weather at the community level, and to assess how the federal and provincial governments can facilitate and support these local actions. The report begins by examining climate change and its relationship with extreme weather in Canada. It then develops a policy framework, which identifies goals, principles and instruments associated with effective climate adaptation policy. Finally, the report analyzes two sectors that are particularly sensitive to extreme weather events—emergency management and infrastructure—and identifies specific adaptation actions in these areas. Throughout the report, recommendations are offered to support the design and implementation of climate adaptation policy.

 

Document type: 
Report
File(s):