This panel discussion was sponsored by TD Financial Group to provide an opportunity for a range of experts to present their independent points of view.
|SCOTT VAUGHAN |
International Institute for Sustainable Development
In 2014, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) assumed management of the Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA). IISD-ELA is the only whole-ecosystem research facility in the world. Each day, its scientists play an indispensable role in bridging science with urgent freshwater policy needs within Canada and globally.
Bridging evidence with policy is the basis of IISD’s work in some 70 countries. IISD’s economists help reveal the consequences of the $550-billion spent yearly on fossil fuel subsidies, and push for their elimination. Our climate mitigation work supports policy coherence among distinct carbon pollution reduction approaches within Canada, while identifying how Canadian efforts can leverage opportunities with U.S. and Mexican partners.
IISD’s legal, economic and financial experts advance reforms in trade, investment and financial systems to deliver fair benefits and accelerate environmental protection. One example is our work with China to advance green finance through green bonds.
IISD has made international negotiations more transparent. Each day, IISD Reporting Services teams provide authoritative coverage of global negotiations so critical to our future. Later this month, 50 IISD experts will cover the historic Paris Climate Summit, as well as host a number of senior meetings and public events. To learn more about what we do, visit www.iisd.org.
|JUDITH SAYERS |
Sayers Strategic Advice
There is no issue more critical to me than living in a low-carbon economy in order to reduce the negative impacts of greenhouse gases (GHG) on Mother Earth. These impacts are quickly changing the quality of our way of life. We must take measures to protect the ecosystems that allow us to exercise our rights as First Nations people.
As a Clean50 leader, I am advocating for more opportunities in B.C. for First Nations to develop clean energy projects. I am working to help build capacity in First Nations communities to develop their own clean energy projects. I also help bring awareness to issues that arise due to climate change.
Education of the public is key to a low-carbon economy and I use every opportunity I have through public speaking and social media to relay pertinent information. My own lifestyle is one that reduces my own carbon footprint. For the future, I see an increasing need for me to advocate for clean energy and help find mechanisms to reduce GHG. I will always be part of the movement to ensure a low-carbon economy as the future of the next seven generations weighs on us heavily.
|JIM VANDERWAL |
Climate Change & Air Quality
Program, Fraser Basin Council
The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is helping advance electric transportation – one important way for B.C. to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets and transition to a low-carbon economy.
As with any new technology, electric vehicles will require the efforts of many champions to join the mainstream. FBC is part of a multi-partner collaboration of provincial and local governments, utilities, researchers, businesses and electric vehicle owners – all working together to support the electric vehicle (EV) market.
One key to success is better public awareness. It’s why we launched an outreach campaign called Emotive, the Electric Vehicle Experience. The campaign introduces the public to electric cars in a fun and engaging way, and shares the real-life stories of EV owners. Another key to success is charging infrastructure. Since 2012 we’ve worked with our partners to manage the roll-out of over 500 public electric vehicle charging stations throughout B.C. Now drivers can charge up on the road and go electric in confidence.
We are also supporting B.C. companies and local governments through a peer-to-peer network called West Coast Electric Fleets. We help fleet managers evaluate the integration of electric vehicles into existing fleets and build a business case for the change.
|TIM GRAY |
As a Clean50 Leader and the executive director of Environmental Defence, one of my areas of focus is convening over 80 organizations in the Clean Economy Alliance. We are working collaboratively to propose smart, robust climate action for Ontario and beyond. The Alliance supports putting a meaningful price on carbon, a transition away from fossil fuels and the creation of a clean economy.
We developed recommendations for Ontario’s cap-and-trade program and have offered concrete examples of where the Province can take action in the areas of buildings, transportation and energy. At Environmental Defence, we are also working successfully to halt the creation of fossil fuel infrastructure, such as pipelines, that would prevent Canada from achieving its carbon emission reductions.
As a leading environmental charity, we are also extending our expertise to support climate action in Alberta at the federal level. We have great hopes for new national action at COP21 in Paris in December and are working hard to ensure that Canada returns to the world stage as a climate leader.
|CATHERINE POTVIN |
Leader, Sustainable Canada Dialogues, Canada Research Chair on Climate Change Mitigation and Tropical Forests,
Professor, Department of Biology, McGill University
With Sustainable Canada Dialogues, I mobilized 60+ Canadian scholars from every province, representing climate change expertise in areas from engineering to sociology, to produce a consensus on science-based, viable solutions for greenhouse gas reduction. In Acting on Climate Change: Solutions from Canadian Scholars we identified 10 policies that could kick-start Canada’s transition toward a low-carbon economy and sustainable society. We highlighted the opportunities, for jobs and the economy, stemming from actively pursuing low-carbon electricity, evolving smart urban design, creating participatory and open governance institutions and rising to the challenge of something tantamount to a total transportation revolution. Convinced that putting options on the table was long overdue in Canada, I shared our solutions widely and invited feedback. Rising to the challenge, 28 contributors came forward. A second report, Acting on Climate Change: Extending the Dialogue Among Canadians, presents this input from First Nations, business, NGOs, labour and youth from across Canada. With these two reports, I hope we have sown the seed for our new governments to grow an inclusive, countrywide consultation on how Canada can begin this urgent transition. Contributors join me in offering full support to governments at all levels to act now on climate change.
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