The Octopus's Garden

Sea Level Rise Series

Who will be tending your vegetable garden when the ocean rises? An octopus? A seastar? The Octopus's Garden series features experts on sea level rise from a wide variety of backgrounds who will address ways we can adapt and build resilience, with a focus on local to global challenges and solutions. The first talk in this series will explore local issues and solutions as we celebrate World Oceans Day.

The series was launched on "Oceans Day" June 8th, 2017

Link to the recording of first talk 

Abstract of first talk:

Imagine the City of Vancouver without the sea wall. Angela Danyluk, Sustainability Specialist with the City of Vancouver, will share emerging ideas as the City begins to plan for a meter of sea level rise by 2100.

The coast of British Columbia may be significantly affected over the next 50 years by sea level rise, increased storms, and erosion - what are coastal communities doing to ensure they are resilient? John Readshaw is the lead author for the updated provincial government guidelines related to adaptation for sea level rise. He will explore the science and physical challenges to adapting to sea level rise, what to expect, and what some communities are doing in preparation.

Much of Vancouver is already built to the edge of the foreshore, so how can we adapt? SFU City Program Manager and former senior urban planner with Bing Thom Architects Andy Yan has mapped the effects of sea level rise and more intense storms and will discuss planning approaches and options we might consider.

Join us for a free public talk and discussion to explore how we can build resiliency in Vancouver and along the coast of British Columbia.

Hosted by the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, the Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT), and the Pacific Water Research Centre in the Faculty of Environment at Simon Fraser University.  

About the Octopus’s Garden: Planning for Sea Level Rise Series:
Regions around the world are experiencing climate change impacts such as droughts, floods, wildfires, and heat waves, while planning for the long-term effects of sea level rise and coastal storms. These stressors are driving damages and increased costs for communities, and increasing the risk of mass migration. Building on the success of the Resiliency and YOU talk, this series runs from June-November 2017, and features experts on sea level rise from a variety of backgrounds who will address ways we can adapt and build resilience, with a focus on local to global challenges and solutions. Topics to be addressed include the science and physical challenges to sea level rise, local and provincial and international preparations and initiatives, climate refugees, traditional knowledge and indigenous responses to sea level rise, and finally what to expect globally - and what we can do about it locally.

Recent Past Events

Renewable Cities: Global Learning Forum 2017


Date: May 17, 2017 - 10:00am to May 19, 2017 - 2:00pm

Location: Four Seasons Hotel, 791 West Georgia Street, Vancouver , BC


Join Renewable Cities at their 2017 Forum to participate in a solutions-focused dialogue on the transition 100% renewable energy in cities. 400+ leaders from local governments, the private sector, utilities, and the NGO and research communities will gather to engage and learn in Vancouver, British Columbia.

From electricity to heating/cooling to transportation: From policy to building political will, from finance to technology, learn about cross-cutting solutions.

A unique experience: Engage in small group workshops and inspiring plenary sessions with participants from 70 cities from around the world.

Ambitious goals and practical ideas in Vancouver: Meet and learn from international policy and technology innovators in a city that’s committed to 100% renewable energy.
Join Us. Global Learning Forum 2017 will deliver connections, ideas, and inspiration for your work. It features plenary sessions, 32 facilitated and small group workshops, networking receptions, site visits, and more. Experience dialogue difference—join us in Vancouver to engage in our participatory format.

Visit Renewable Cities for full details and registration. 


SFU Climate and Energy Research Day: Exploring climate, water and energy nexus

The biennial SFU Climate and Energy Research Day will take place on April 27, 2017 at the SFU Burnaby Campus.  The event is hosted by the SFU’s Office of the Vice-President, Research and International, Faculties of Arts and Social Science, Environment, Health Sciences, Interactive Arts and Technology, and Science, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, SFU Climate Futures Initiative, Climate Change Impacts Consortium and the Pacific Water Research Centre.

The 2017 Research Day is focused on the climate, water and energy nexus.  Our goal is to find new research synergies across the university by challenging current research teams in these three areas to work across their disciplinary boundaries and envision projects that span at least two points of this nexus.

The day will comprise:    

  • Opening remarks, Joy Johnson, VP Research and International
  • Keynote speakers: Jonathan Wilkinson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change; Andrea Reimer, City of Vancouver and Stephanie Smith, BC Hydro. 
  • Panel session with Stephanie Smith (BC Hydro), Andrea Reimer (City of Vancouver), Diana Allen ( Earth Sciences), Anil Hira (Political Science), and Jonn Axsen (School of Resource & Environmental Management). Moderator: Zafar Adeel (Pacific Water Research Centre)
  • Poster and research sessions to compete for $1,000 dollars (best reconstructed poster) and $ 5,000 dollars (best research proposal).
  • Plenary and reception

Deadline to register April 24th, 2017


Sponsors: VP Research and International Office, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, Faculty of Environment, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Cumulative carbon emissions budgets consistent with 1.5 °C global warming



Join us for this research seminar with Nathan Gillett, co-hosted by the Climate Research Lab, Simon Fraser University and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

When: 2:00 to 3:00 pm, Thursday April 13th

Where: Room RCB 7100, Robert Brown Hall, SFU Burnaby Campus

Please join us for this free research seminar with Nathan Gillet, co-hosted by the Climate Research Lab - Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

The Paris Agreement commits ratifying parties to pursuing efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 °C. Carbon budgets consistent with remaining below 1.5 °C global warming reported in the Working Group I contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC are directly based on responses from CMIP5 earth system models, which, on average, tend to warm more than observations in response to historical CO2 emissions and other forcings. Following the IPCC approach and calculating budgets relatively to 1861-1880, and then subtracting emissions to date yields a median remaining 1.5 °C carbon budget in 2015 of 55 PgC, which can be compared with annual emissions of 10.6 PgC yr-1 in the same year. However, calculating carbon budgets and temperature changes relative to the last decade (2006-2015) eliminates uncertainties related to model spread and model-observation differences over the historical period, and increases the median remaining 1.5 °C carbon budget, to 198 PgC. While it might be thought that uncertainties in projected budgets could be further constrained by choosing a subset of models with historical warming most consistent with observations, we demonstrate that subsetting CMIP5 models in this way does not substantially change calculated CO2 emissions budgets. We further explore the substantial influence of non-CO2 forcings including land use change on this budget in earth system model simulations, and demonstrate their combined effect is primarily through enhanced climate warming, rather than through induced changes in the carbon cycle. Overall, while limiting median projected global warming to below 1.5 °C is undoubtedly challenging, our results indicate it is not impossible as might be inferred from IPCC carbon budgets.

Nathan Gillett is an atmospheric scientist with research interests in the detection and attribution of climate change, and the influence of stratospheric ozone depletion on climate. He holds a PhD from the University of Oxford and is the manager of the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis (CCCma), where he oversees the development and application of Canada’s earth system model. He served as a lead author of the IPCC Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports and of the 2014 WMO/UNEP Ozone Assessment.

Light refreshments will be served.

Implementing the Pan-Canadian Framework on Climate Change

March 28, 2017

In December 2016, the Prime Minister and Premiers announced a national plan to grow the economy, meet its emissions reduction targets under the Paris Agreement, and adapt to a changing climate: the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. We know the Framework includes plans to price carbon, phase out coal-fired plants, grow the clean tech sector, and increase renewable energy supply (among others), but how will Canada turn these commitments into action? Member of Parliament Jonathan Wilkinson will discuss key components of the framework, progress, and what Canadians can expect on climate action.

Join us for a free public dialogue with Jonathan Wilkinson, Member of Parliament for North Vancouver and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna.

When: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Where: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Room 7000


This is a free, public event - please register to save your seat. 


Jonathan Wilkinson, Member of Parliament for North Vancouver

This talk is hosted by Carbon Talks with support from PICS.

Towards a Circular City

March 15, 2017

The concept of the “circular city” has the potential to solve a number of urban challenges

A circular economy aims to replace a traditional linear “take-make-waste” economy with one that is “restorative and regenerative by design”. While this approach has been primarily championed by businesses, cities are also in a position to capitalize on the benefits of a circular economy. But, what does a municipal approach to a circular economy look like? What are the opportunities and barriers, and which examples should cities follow?

Join us for a free public dialogue with a guest from the city of Amsterdam, which is a recognized leader in urban circularity and is taking steps to become a “circular city”.  Dr. Jacqueline Cramer is a circular economy ambassador of the Amsterdam Economic Board, strategic advisor at the Utrecht Sustainability Institute, and Professor of Sustainable Innovation at Utrecht University, and will be our guest for this Carbon Talk. 

When: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Where: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Room 7000
Webcast: Can't make the dialogue? This event will be webcast live, courtesy of our partnership with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. Want a webcast reminder email? You may order a webcast reminder ticket from the event page. Join the conversation on Twitter at #CarbonTalks and Tweet your questions to @CarbonTalks


Dr. Jacqueline Cramer, Circular Economy Ambassador, Amsterdam Economic Board; Professor of Sustainable Innovation, Utrecht University; Strategic Advisor at the Utretcht Sustainability Institute 

Jacqueline Cramer is a strategic advisor of the Utrecht Sustainability Institute and in charge of the circular economy activities for the Amsterdam Economic Board. She is also the managing director of the consultancy firm ‘Sustainable Entrepreneurship; strategy and innovation consulting’, from which she worked as a senior advisor to more than 150 companies on the implementation of sustainable entrepreneurship and CSR. Before, she was the Cabinet Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment of the Netherlands. Cramer has been a professor in the area of environmental management and sustainable innovation since 1990.

Next to this, she was and still is member of various (inter)national advisory boards of the government, industry and non-profit organisations.

Can cities have the foresight to adopt preventive measures before disaster strikes as we shift into a climate unsteady future?

As communities familiarize themselves with urban resilience, it becomes apparent that this concept is not just a trend; it is an opportunity. The increasing number of initiatives from agencies such as 100 Resilient Cities, Resilience Alliance, and the United Nations as well as the growing attention to the term in scholarly, professional and community forums support that urban resilience is relevant because of both its ability to systematically understand interactions, and because of its ability to explore and facilitate opportunities for proactive responses to short and long-term stresses in urban environments.

The Pacific Water Research Centre and Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions at SFU are pleased to invite you to this free public talk and discussion where invited guest speakers Nadine Magdefrau and Robin Chang from the Technical University of Dortmund in Germany will address this question drawing on examples from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and the aftermath of long-term economic stresses in Rotterdam (NL) and Bremen (GE).  Moderator, Alec Balesescu will consider what implications these insights have on how to move towards an urban climate resilience future.

When: Thursday, March 9th 2017, from 7pm to 9 pm

Where: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Room 1400



Can British Columbia's Forests Help to Reduce Emissions?

Forest and forest products can be a major piece of the low-carbon puzzle.

British Columbia's forests and forestry products have a large impact on provincial emissions, through both their ability to store and release carbon into the atmosphere. So what are the opportunities to manage forests and wood products with the goal reducing emissions? And how might climate change impacts interact with carbon-focused forest management goals? 

Join us for a free public dialogue with Dr. Werner Kurz, Senior Research Scientist at the Canadian Forest Service (Natural Resources Canada) and lead of the Pacific Institute of Climate Solutions' Forest Carbon Management Project. 

When: Thursday, February 16, 2017 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Where: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Room 2270
Webcast: Can't make the dialogue? This event will be webcast live, courtesy of our partnership with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. Want a webcast reminder email? You may order a webcast reminder ticket from the event page. Join the conversation on Twitter at #CarbonTalks and Tweet your questions to @CarbonTalks



Dr. Werner Kurz is a Senior Research Scientist at the Canadian Forest Service (Natural Resources Canada) in Victoria, BC. He leads the development of Canada's National Forest Carbon Monitoring, Accounting and Reporting System and the Forest Carbon Management Project of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. His research focuses on carbon dynamics in forests and harvested wood products and the opportunities of the forest sector to contribute to climate change mitigation. Dr. Kurz co-authored six reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published over 125 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and many other reports. He serves as adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and at Simon Fraser University. He obtained his PhD in Forest Ecology from UBC and an honorary doctorate from the Swedish Land University. He is an International Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry.

This event is hosted by Carbon Talks with support from the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions


Is the Paris agreement on track?

What happened at COP22 and what does it mean for global cooperation on climate change?

At COP21 last December, the Paris Agreement was unanimously adopted and charted a new course in the global response to climate change. In Marrakesh this November, world governments came together for the first time since Paris to discuss the implementation of the Paris Agreement at COP22. Ministers and civil society met against the backdrop of fresh evidence that 2016 will be the warmest year on record and with the election of a new administration in Washington that could reverse American support for the Paris Agreement.

So what happened at COP22? What was (and wasn't) agreed to, and what does this mean for progress on climate change? We will hear from two experts who were deeply involved at this year's COP—Tzeporah Berman and Jennifer Allan.

When: Friday, December 9, 2016 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM

Where: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Room 7000

This is a free public event.  




Jennifer Allan, Team Leader/Writer, IISD Reporting Services, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Jen Allan is a PhD Candidate in political science at the University of British Columbia studying global environmental politics, particularly global efforts to address climate change and to reduce chemical pollution and waste. Her research focuses on the social aspects of environmental politics: why and how some social movements become involved in and even thrive in global environmental negotiations. She currently works with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). With IISD, she has attended many multilateral environmental negotiations, including all the negotiations for the new climate change agreement expected in Paris.

Tzeporah Berman, environmental activist and writer, Adjunct Professor at York University

Tzeporah Berman is a Canadian environmental activist and writer, and has 20 years of experience designing environmental campaigns in Canada and internationally. She is known for her role as the blockade coordinator for largest civil disobedience in Canada’s history in Clayoquot Sound in 1993.  She currently works as a strategic advisor to a number of First Nations, environmental organizations and philanthropic foundations on climate and energy issues, including the oil sands and pipelines. This year she was appointed by the Alberta Government to Co-Chair the Oilsands Advisory Working Group tasked with making recommendations to implement climate change and cumulative impact policies.  Last year she was appointed to the BC Government Climate Leadership Team tasked with making policy recommendations to meet BC legislated climate targets.  Tzeporah is an Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, the former Co-Director of Greenpeace International's Climate Program and Co-founder of ForestEthics.

Event supported by the Pacific Institute for Climate solutions


Powering Prosperity: Achieving local support for 100% renewable energy in Canada

November 24, 2016

As Canada's federal government prepares to meet its international climate change obligations and as several provinces ready to eliminate coal from their electricity mix, unique opportunities are emerging to transform Canada into a renewable energy leader. In this Carbon Talk, Dr. Jose Etcheverry, Co-Chair of the Sustainable Energy Initiative and Professor at York University, will look at safe strategies to help Canada achieve 100% renewable energy and prosperity at the community level. 

Link to the recording

Dr. Jose Etcheverry is the co-chair of the Sustainable Energy Initiative of York University, and a member of the World Council of Renewable Energy, Japan's Renewable Energy Innovation Network, and the Scientific Committee of the International Renewable Energy Storage Conference.

Event supported by the Pacific Institute for Climate solutions

Laudato Si + 1: Faith, Business and Climate Change

October 11, 2016

Limiting global warming to 2°C by the end of the century is the greatest challenge our generation is facing. Cities, businesses, communities, and individuals around the world are taking action by reducing their green house gas emissions and embracing solutions to create a sustainable future. Faith communities are also supporting this task to help care for our planet.  In June 2015, the world saw the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si: On care for our common home” which focused on the environment and climate change, and asked leaders and citizens, businesses and communities around the world to act.

One year after the encyclical, the SFU Interfaith Centre, in collaboration with the SFU Sustainability Office, the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and SPNAGE PR and AD Agency, is hosting a public dialogue to highlight the concrete steps that businesses, organizations, researchers and individuals in the Lower Mainland have taken to improve “our common home”.  

Commitment to sustainability and climate solutions will be awarded at the event. The SFU Interfaith Laudato Si awards intends to recognize actions that have contributed to improve “our common home”, specifically actions that have helped advance cities and communities in BC as sustainable cities while caring for the people, specially the poor, who live on them.  Recognition will be given in four categories: (1.) Businesses, (2.) individuals/ groups in the Arts, (3.) academics and researchers, as well as, (4.) individuals in their own capacity or non-profit organizations that have made remarkable efforts to care for "our common home" in British Columbia.  To nominate your candidates click here.  

Where: Asia Pacific Hall, Wosk Centre for Dialogue - 580 W Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC

Follow us on twitter @LaudatoSiPlus.  

Link to the Recording:


Victor Thomas, Director, Interfaith Centre, Simon Fraser University


Anne Giardini, Chancellor, Simon Fraser University

J. Michael Miller, Archbishop, R. C. Archidiocese of Vancouver

Andrea Reimer, Councillor of the City of Vancouver

Praveen Varshney, Varshney Capital 

Paul Kariya, Executive Director, Clean Energy BC.

Sybil Seitzinger, Executive Director, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions



Anne Giardini, Chancellor, Simon Fraser University

An executive, lawyer, director and writer, Anne Giardini was president of Weyerhaeuser Company Limited from 2008 to 2014 after serving as Weyerhaeuser's General Counsel. A long-time leader within Canada’s resource industry, she served on many related boards including B.C.’s Council of Forest Industries, the Alberta Forest Products Association, the Forest Products Association of Canada, and Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc. She is currently a member of the board of WWF-Canada and Vice Chair of the Vancouver Board of Trade.

The author of two novels and the editor of a collection of writing advice, Giardini has been Chair of the Vancouver International Writers Festival and a board member of the Writers Trust of Canada. She is an honorary patron of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada.

In 2011, Giardini received the Robert V.A. Jones Award recognizing leadership in corporate counsel practice, and was named one of Canada's 25 most influential lawyers. Giardini was honoured with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and a Lexpert Zenith Award in 2013 and served as a member of the Federal Advisory Council for Promoting Women on Boards. In 2014, she was recognized by WXN as one of Canada's 100 most powerful women. In 2015 she received a Western Canada General Counsel Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Giardini also served on SFU's Board of Governors for five years before being appointed Chancellor in 2014. Giardini holds a B.A. in Economics from SFU, LL.B. from UBC, and LL.M. from Cambridge University (Trinity Hall). She has been married to Tony Giardini for 28 years, and they have three grown children.

J. Michael Miller, R.C. Archbishop of Vancouver

Archbishop Michael Miller has been chief shepherd of Vancouver’s 430,000 Catholics since 2009, and has been a prominent part of the city’s religious landscape since Pope Benedict named him coadjutor archbishop in 2007.

In the 40 years since his ordination, he has held a remarkable number of positions, from seminary theology instructor, to university president to the Vatican’s secretary for Catholic education.

Born in Ottawa he attended the University of Toronto and joined the Basilian Fathers in 1966. He received his Licentiate and Doctorate in theology at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University and was ordained a priest by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1975. He holds six honorary doctorates from universities around the world.

Archbishop Miller is a specialist on the papacy and modern papal teaching and has written seven books on topics including Catholic education, the history of the papacy, and the encyclicals of Pope John Paul II.

Since his arrival in Vancouver, he has established new offices at the John Paul II Pastoral Centre for First Nations Ministry, Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations, Communications, Development, and Stewardship.

Archbishop Miller started the first permanent diaconate program in the Archdiocese, and in 2015 he established the Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary Redemptoris Mater.   He has invited the foundation of seven new religious communities of women in the Archdiocese.  He re-established the tradition of the Red Mass, and has seen to the formation of a chapter of Legatus.

As well as his positions as Chancellor and board member of St. Mark’s College and Corpus Christi College, Archbishop Miller is president of the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese, sits on the board of governors of Catholic Pacific College, and is a member of the Providence Health Care Society

Andrea Reimer, Councillor, City of Vancouver

Inspired by Mayor Gregor Robertson's leadership to join Vision Vancouver, Councillor Andrea Reimer was first elected to Vancouver City Council in 2008, and re-elected in 2011 and 2014. She had previously served as a School Board member with the Green Party from 2002–2005.

In her original campaign for City Council, Councillor Reimer made commitments in three key areas:

  1. Greenest city on Earth
  2. City of compassion and opportunity
  3. City of strong communities 

As the lead councillor on the City's award-winning Greenest City Action Plan, Councillor Reimer led efforts to make Vancouver a global leader in environmental action, validated by Vancouver being named the fourth greenest city on Earth in 2014. In 2013, she was awarded the Queen's Jubilee medal in recognition of her leadership role on this initiative.


Praveen Varshney, Varshney Capital Corp.

Mr. Varshney has been a principal of Varshney Capital Corp., a Vancouver based merchant banking, venture capital and corporate advisory services firm, since 1991.  Mr. Varshney obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia in 1987 and is a FCPA, FCA.

He is a director or officer of various publicly traded companies including Mogo (Co-Founder) and Hempco Food and Fiber Inc.  He is also a Co-Founder of G-PAK and former CFO of Carmanah Technologies Corp. which became Canada's largest solar company.  He also was Co-Founder of a predecessor of Mountain Province Diamonds who’s Gahcho Kué is the largest new diamond mine in the world & De Beers’ second-largest producer behind its Jwaneng mine in Botswana.

Mr. Varshney is a Toniic member and a long-time member of both EO Entrepreneurs Organization & TiE (Founding Director).  He’s also on a number of non-profit boards such as The Varshney Family Charitable Foundation, and a Founding Member of He's also an SVP Vancouver Partner, on the Advisory boards of Room to Read - Vancouver, Heart & Stroke Foundation - BC Yukon and The Thomas Edison Innovation Foundation in New Jersey, USA.

Mr. Varshney is also a past recipient of Business in Vancouver's 40 Under 40 Awards.


Paul Kariya, Executive Director, Clean Energy BC.

Paul Kariya is Executive Director of Clean Energy BC. Prior to this he was Executive Director of Pacific Salmon Foundation. Kariya has also worked in the public sector both federally and provincially. He was CEO of the provincial crown corporation, Fisheries Renewal BC and Executive Director of the BC Treaty Commission. Paul holds a BA (Hon) from UBC and a MA and PhD from Clark University in Massachusetts. He is an adjunct faculty member at Trinity Western University. Paul serves on a number of boards and commissions, including A Rocha International (Christians in Conservation). Between 2005–2010 Paul was a Commissioner representing Canada on the Pacific Salmon Commission.






Dr. Sybil Seitzinger is the Executive Director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), and Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions is a dynamic knowledge network that brings together leading researchers from British Columbia and around the world to study the impacts of climate change and to develop positive approaches to mitigation and adaptation.

Dr. Seitzinger joins PICS from her position as executive director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) based in Stockholm, Sweden. Prior to that, she was director of the Rutgers/NOAA Cooperative Marine Education and Research Program and visiting professor at Rutgers University in the US. She served as president of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography from 2006-2010.

Dr. Seitzinger’s work at the IGBP involved facilitating and integrating the work of scientists and researchers across Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe on global environmental change. As a pioneering scientist, her work at Rutgers centred on land-atmosphere-ocean biogeochemistry, with a focus on changes in the global nitrogen cycle and how humans are affecting it.

Dr. Seitzinger holds a PhD in biological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island, is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been awarded an honorary PhD from Utrecht University in the Netherlands.  She is highly cited, with more than 130 peer-reviewed publications to her credit.

Carbon Talks Public Dialogue

Climate Action in BC: Where do we go from here?

October 4, 2016

BC has released the much-awaited update to its Climate Leadership Plan. Now what? 

B.C.'s updated Climate Leadership Plan was released this summer, and many have said that it falls short in ambition and specificity to get British Columbia on track to meet its greenhouse gas emissions targets. In this Carbon Talk, we'll hear from two experts on what this new plan means for B.C., and what opportunities exist and could emerge to keep BC's climate action on track with its legislated goals. 

Join us for a free public dialogue with Climate Leadership Team member Nancy Olewiler, economist and professor of Public Policy at SFU; and Jeremy Moorhouse, Senior Analyst at Clean Energy Canada.  


Link to the recording


  • Nancy Olewiler, Professor of Public Policy, SFU
  • Jeremy Moorhouse, Senior Analyst, Clean Energy Canada

Carbon Talks Public Dialogue

Low-Carbon Resilience: Integrating Adaptation and Mitigation Planning for a Resilient Canada

September 27, 2016

How can climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies work together for a more resilient low-carbon Canada?

Climate change mitigation and adaptation have typically been addressed as separate goals and through different planning lenses. But how can these two necessary strategies be harmonized in order to take advantage of meaningul co-benefits and more effective action on climate change? What are the most promising and urgent opportunities for decision-makers to coordinate action, policies, and planning for resilient energy, food, and natural systems?

Join us for a free public dialogue with Deborah Harford, Executive Director of SFU's Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT), as she explores opportunities and strategies for low-carbon resilience in Canada at the intersection of mitigation and adaptation.

Link to the recording


Deborah Harford, Executive Director, SFU Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT) 

Deborah Harford is the Executive Director of ACT (Adaptation to Climate Change Team), based at the School of Public Policy at SFU.  She directs and produces ACT's policy recommendations for effective adaptation strategies at all levels of government, as well as communication of the program's outcomes.  Through Deborah's efforts, ACT has created networks between local, national and international climate research practitioners, NGOs, industry representatives, all levels of government, First Nations groups and local communities. 


Effective Climate Leadership in Cities: Lessons from Germany

June 7, 2016

Germany is known for its ambitious national energy policies, but its cities are also home to some important innovations.

We all know about the Copenhagens and Oslos of the world that are leaders in climate action, but those big names are not the only ones forging ahead in this space. The City of Osnabrück is one of the 19 German cities and counties engaged in a federal research project to set and achieve ambitious renewable energy targets. Since signing onto Germany’s Climate Action Master Plan in 2012, Osnabrück’s Energiewende (energy transition) is on track for 100% renewable electricity, 90% renewable heating and cooling, and 60% renewable transportation by 2050.

Join us for a free public dialogue with Detlef Gerdts, Head of Department of the Environment and Climate Protection at the City of Osnabrück, as we learn from an inspiring example of climate leadership in Germany.

We’ll explore the following guiding questions: What is the City of Osnabrück doing to achieve its ambitious renewable energy and climate goals? What have been their challenges and successes, and what can other leaders learn from the German experience?


Link to the recording



Detlef Gerdts

Detlef Gerdts, Head of the Environment and Climate Protection Department at the City of Osnabrück

Detlef has served as Head of Department for Environment and Climate Protection in the City of Osnabrück since 2012. From 1985 to 1992, his work focused on soil protection and communal treatment of hazardous waste landfill, and other contaminated sites’ effects on soil and ground/surface water in the cities of Saarbrücken and Wuppertal, Germany. In 1992, he became Head of the Osnabrück Department for Environment. Since 2002, he has been a Vice Chairman of the European Land and Soil Association (ELSA). During 2003-2004, he served as a member of the Advisory Forum to evaluate the Thematic Soil Strategy of the European Commission. He graduated from University of Munich (Geology).

This talk is hosted by Carbon Talks with support from the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions


GTEx Forum

Clean Energy in The Age of Green Economy – Investment, Projects and Economic Impact, A British Columbia Perspective

April 22, 2016

On April 22nd, 2016, top level representatives of 175 countries, including Canada, gathered at the United Nations Headquarters in NYC and signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. This signing represented a culmination of continuing, and growing interest in the environment and associated sustainable development globally. It provides a roadmap for climate actions that will reduce emissions and build climate resilience.

Suitable policy decisions, technology developments, innovative solutions plus timely and meaningful projects will be key aspects of the overall implementation to meeting the goals and objectives of the Paris Agreement. To achieve sustainable development goals, Renewable Energy solutions and projects are receiving increasing attention and investment toward a better environment. These investments and projects can bring benefits to the economy including job creation, enhanced living standard plus economic expansion and growth. Relevant activities are occurring locally, nationally, regionally and globally.

The question for many in the local community of interest is - what has been and is happening in British Columbia in this area? On Wednesday, May 25th, come join us at the GreenTech Exchange Forum and hear some insightful elements of the answer. We may be surprised at some of the findings.



Paul Kariya, Executive Director Clean Energy BC

Paul Kariya is Executive Director of Clean Energy BC. Prior to this he was Executive Director of Pacific Salmon Foundation. Kariya has also worked in the public sector both federally and provincially. He was CEO of the provincial crown corporation, Fisheries Renewal BC and Executive Director of the BC Treaty Commission, which was established by Canada, BC and First Nations. Paul holds a BA (Hon) from UBC and a MA and PhD from Clark University in Massachusetts. Paul serves on the board of trustees of A Rocha International (Christians in Conservation) and is affiliated with several other not-for-profit organizations. Between 2005 – 2010 Paul was a Commissioner representing Canada on the Pacific Salmon Commission.

Chief Patrick Michell, Nlaka'pamux Nation

Patrick Michell is a member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation and has lived in the Fraser Canyon all his life. Patrick has an Administrative Management diploma from Douglas College and a Bachelor of Laws (UBC). After working in Vancouver with DFO and INAC, Patrick articled with the Ministry of Attorney General in Victoria before being called to the Bar in 1997. Patrick then practiced in the Fraser Canyon until he became a full-time worker for the Kwoiek Hydro Project performing the role of Community Liaison (2005) which transitioned into the Economic Development Officer after the project completed in January 2014. Patrick has been part of all four phases for the hydro project in 1978 and is now overseeing the installation of two small scale solar projects (6 Kw ground & 2 Kw pillar) at Kanaka Bar and small wind (VAWT technology) is been explored for installation to begin in 2017. With the retirement of Chief James Frank in Spring of 2015, Patrick became the Chief of Kanaka Bar in the communities first election in over 30 years.

Jessica Courtney, MA

Jessica is a Manager in the Economics and Research Practice of MNP LLP, a Canadian consulting and business advisory firm, with several years of consulting experience in energy and utilities, film and television, health care and tourism. At MNP, Jessica has been the lead consultant on a number of projects involving data analysis, cost-benefit analysis, economic modelling, performance measurement and applied research. She has experience analyzing large and diverse sets of data and information, and providing concise and meaningful conclusions to clients, regulators and stakeholders. Prior to joining MNP, Jessica worked as an analyst at BC Hydro where she prepared and communicated analytical reports on quality assurance and performance improvement issues and contributed to the development of economic attributes of energy resource options.

Jessica holds a Masters degree in Economics from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Windsor.


GTEx Forum

Remote Sensing Technologies

April 19, 2016

Environmental monitoring has reached a new level with the widespread use of remote sensing technologies. Digital orthophotography, thermal imaging and airborne LiDAR are just some of the technologies used to assess our changing environment. Beyond analyzing physical changes to our landscapes, these technologies have several other applications for sustainability including assessing land for renewable energy projects, for urban planning, and for disaster responses. Join us April 19 for a discussion on remote sensing technologies and an extended networking session. Admission by donation.

Featuring: Terra Remote Sensing Inc

Terra Remote Sensing Inc is a Canadian remote sensing company providing airborne LiDAR, digital orthophotography, hyperspectral, multi-beam bathymetry and marine geophysics. Through the use of our cutting-edge remote sensing technology, a more comprehensive understanding of our environment can be achieved, allowing for precise monitoring, resource application and project management. Terra has provided data for many environmental projects ranging from wind farm feasibility studies to watershed mapping, site assessments, change detection, and vegetation health assessment in Canada and around the world.


Levelling the playing field as Vancouver implements its Renewable City Strategy

March 23, 2016

What are the roles equity, justice and democratic process as the Cigy 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.

Link to the recording 


·       Councillor Andrea Reimer, Deputy Mayor, City of Vancouver

·       Ananda Lee Tan, Organizer, Facilitator, Trainer and Guide

·       Alex Boston, Principal and Senior Planner, Boston Consulting

Registration: Please reserve your free seat here.
This event will be webcast live and archived on our YouTube Channel, courtesy of support from the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. Join the conversation on Twitter at #CarbonTalks and Tweet your questions to @CarbonTalks.

The Future of Canada’s Oil Sands in an Emissions Constrained World

March 16, 2016

Speaker: Jeff Rubin

With hundreds of countries commiting to aggressive emissions reductions at the UN climate talks at COP21 in Paris this past December, a signal has been sent to world markets and future investors. We are now living in a carbon constrained world. But what does that mean for global oil production and consumption and the future of the Canadian oil sands?

Event hosted by Join CIGI, the David Suzuki Foundation, and Carbon Talks.  


  • Jeff Rubin
  • Dermot Foley, Vancity
  • Karen Mahon, ForestEthics

Moderated by Michael Small, Executive Director of SFU Carbon Talks

Link to the recording


BC's future Climate Leadership Plan: What YOU can do

March 16, 2016 at SFU Burnaby Campus

This January the B.C. government launched a 60-day consultation period - ending on March 25th - on its forthcoming Climate Leadership Plan and is inviting all British Columbians to give their feedback on the most important actions BC can take to lower our greenhouse gas emissions and take advantage of the low carbon economy of the future. 

Join Matt Horne and Jonn Axsen for an overview of the Climate Leadership team recommendations and their insights on what it is needed to make this plan effective.  Matt Horne will highlight the Climate leadership team's 32 recommendations, and talk about the ongoing consultation process and the opportunity for BC residents to engage in the process.  Jonn Axsen will talk on the possibility of a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate and how it could help make BC's climate plan stronger. Then will be your turn to ask questions and share your thoughts on the most relevant actions you think BC needs to take.

This event is sponsored by the SFU Sustainability Office and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

When: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm

Register at:



Matt Horne is the Pembina Institute's associate director for British Columbia. Drawing on fifteen years of experience with energy and climate change  issues, he is a leading voice on climate policy in Western Canada. He was recently a member of B.C.'s Climate Leadership Team, which was tasked with providing the government recommendations on how to meet its climate targets while maintaing a strong economy. Mr. Horne holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Dalhousie University and a Master of Resource and Environmental Management from Simon Fraser University.

Dr. Jonn Axsen is an Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University. He explores transitions to sustainable energy systems. He draws from disciplines of economics, psychology, sociology and engineering to investigate the nexus of technology, environmental policy, and consumer behaviour. Jonn’s study of consumers’ social valuation of plug-in electric vehicles has earned him recognition as “Young Researcher of the Year” at the OECD’s 2011 International Transportation Forum. His specific research interests include: adoption of pro-environmental technology; electric mobility and alternative fuel vehicles; consumer attitudes, values, lifestyle and social influence; citizen acceptance of energy and policy; energy system simulation modelling; and climate policy design and impacts

Building a Strong BC Climate Leadership Plan: Your Chance to Contribute

March 8, 2016 

Asia Pacific Hall, SFU Wosk Centre for Dialogue

Link to the recording

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.

Explore the PowerHaus Pavilion at GLOBE 2016 Innovation Expo

The PowerHaus Pavilion part of the Innovation Expo will give the opportunity to BC’s emerging companies to showcase their green tech solutions and state of the art research.   The Pavilion is hosted by Green Tech Exchange and the PowerHaus Network, and it is co-sponsored by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS).

Where: Booth 814 on the Expo Floor, 999 Canada Place (below the Pan Pacific Hotel), Vancouver.

When: March 2 – 3 (10:30 am to 6:00 pm) and March 4 (10:30 am to 5:00 pm)

Power generation, smart grids, natural resource efficiency, alternative fuels, advanced materials and transportation, energy recovery in buildings, energy efficiency tools, carbon capture and storage, as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) management, are some of the clean technology solutions that will be on display.

Among the exhibitors:
BC Biocarbon, BL Innovative Lighting, Climate SmartBusiness, dPointTechnologies Inc, ElectraMeccanica, Vehicles Corp, Emergent Waste Solutions Inc.,  General Fusion Inc., Ground Effects Environmental Services Inc,  Loop Energy Saver, PCS Technologies, Polymer Research Technologies Ltd., Saltworks Technologies Inc., SFU Faculty of Applied Sciences, Solegear Bioplastics Inc., Sun Pump Solar Inc., Tenth Principle Energy Technologies, and many others.

Visit the PICS booth!  Details right below.

PICS at GLOBE 2016 Innovation Expo

Join PICS at at the PowerHaus Pavilion!  Learn about our major research projects, explore opportunities for collaboration through our internship and fellowship programs and learn about our educational and outreach products, such as our Climate News Scan, a weekly roundup of major global climate news analyzed for BC, and more.

Where: Booth, 814-16, on the Expo Floor, 999 Canada Place (below the Pan Pacific Hotel), Vancouver.

When: March 2 – 3 (10:30 am to 6:00 pm) and March 4 (10:30 am to 5:00 pm)


Centre for Natural Hazard Research

Hazard Change caused by Climate Change Workshop

CNHR will host a workshop co-organized with the SFU Adaptation to Climate Change Team and Natural Resources Canada to stimulate a national discussion about weather-caused and -triggered hazards that are changing in a warming world.

The workshop will:

  • examine current and likely future changes in the frequency and intensity of hydro-meteorological hazards due to climate change;
  • consider "Non-stationarity" of hazards;
  • define the needs of professionals for information about future changes in the frequency and intensity of hazards controlled or affected by climate;
  • examine the potential for national support for a program that documents changes in hazards and risk, and identify champions for such a program (IPC subcommittee?);
  • examine "Implementation" of climate knowledge into hazard and risk assessments;
  • be national (not regional) in scope;
  • scope best practices for professionals.

When: February 22nd, 2016 - 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Where: Segal Room - SFU Harbour Centre Campus, 515 Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 5K3

Sponsors: SFU - Adaptation to Climate Change Team, Natural Resource Canada, SFU - Centre for Natural Hazard Research, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

For the outputs of the workshop, slide decks and video recording please visit the CNHR website downloads.  


Carbon Capture and Recovery: Opportunities, Challenges, and Potential


What are the challenges, opportunities, and research pathways for carbon capture and recovery?

Even with the ambitious adoption of new and ambitious climate and clean energy policies and technology, many say that we will still lose the race to limit global warming to 2°C by the end of the century. Leading climate thinkers like Tim Flannery assert that, if the world is to avoid exacerbating climate change, new "climate negative" technologies will need to be developed and adopted in order to draw CO2 from the air and either re-use or store it.

Canada and BC are home to an emerging research field in carbon capture and recovery, as well as new and developing technologies such as Carbon Engineering’s air capture technology.

But what exactly is carbon capture and recovery—what does it offer us? What are the scientific and commercial challenges? What is current research telling us and which projects have potential?  

Join us for a free public dialogue with CMC Research Institutes (formerly Carbon Management Canada). We’ll discuss those questions and learn about the new Carbon Capture & Conversion Institute, which is situated right here in Vancouver.

Link to the recording

When: Wednesday, January 27 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Where: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Room 7000

Join the conversation on Twitter at #CarbonTalks and Tweet your questions to @CarbonTalks


Richard Adamson, M.Sc., P.Eng., President, CMC Research Institutes (CMC)

Naoko Ellis, Ph.D.,  M.E.Sc., B.Sc., Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia

For more information please visit CarbonTalks website. Event in partnership with the Pacific Insititute for Climate Solutions.

GTEx Forum

Wind 2.0: Next Generation Wind Energy

Often when people think of wind power, they think of tall white turbines standing still, waiting for a gust of wind so they can generate electricity. Traditional windmill models rely on strong currents and backup sources to provide consistent energy, however, Airborne Wind Energy Systems are working on solutions for dependable wind power. These systems employ tethered wings or aircrafts that reach high altitudes to access consistent jet streams and reliable wind currents. Electricity can be generated at ground level from the traction created when the wind pulls on a tether or from turbines integrated with the airborne equipment, as is the case with Google’s Project Makani. This technology has also been considered for environmental monitoring, telecommunication, and agribusiness applications. Hybrid wind systems can challenge traditional wind power boundaries as well; by combining conventional turbines with other renewable energies, the hybrid configurations can deliver uninterrupted energy. Wind 2.0 technology and hybrid systems have tremendous potential for on and off grid energy production, and will be a cost effective way to diversify power grids in the future. Join us on January 26th to learn about how the new generation of wind energy is taking off.

Speaker: Sanjin (Sonny) Banjac, Consultant, TwingTec AG       

Date: January 26th, 2016 - 5:00 to 8:00 pm

Location: Room 1410, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver , BC

See map: Google Maps


Sanjin (Sonny) Banjac, Consultant, TwingTec AG       

Sonny Banjac is an experienced business and project development consultant specializing in start-ups and renewable energy projects in high latitudes, as well as off-grid communities. He is knowledgeable about emerging clean energy generation and energy storage technologies. With his projects, he has a proven track record of developing and formalizing strong working relationships with Aboriginal groups. Currently, Sonny leads business development initiatives for various technology start-ups such as TwingTec AG, a kite generation developer based out of Switzerland that is interested in off-grid markets. In addition, he is leading project development of a solar-diesel-storage project for Sea Breeze Power Corp in the Yukon.

Après Paris: A COP21 Debrief

Carbon Talks Public Dialogues

After the UN climate talks, what's next for climate and energy in BC and Canada?


Join us for a free public dialogue to hear from three attendees of the Paris climate talks one week after the negotiations conclude.

The purpose of this event is to translate what COP21's outcomes mean for provincial and national climate policy now and into the future. While unpacking the results of the UN's latest and arguably most important climate conference will take some time, there will (hopefully) be a number of tangible and immediate results for climate and energy concerns in both BC and in Canada. 

When: Thursday, December 17 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Where: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, Room 7000

Registration: Please reserve your free seat here

Link to the recording

Join the conversation on Twitter at #COP21 and Tweet your questions to @CarbonTalks.


  • Merran Smith Executive Director, Clean Energy Canada 
  • Jennifer Allan Team Leader/Writer at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and reporter of negotiations at COP21
  • Bryan Buggey Director, Strategic Initiatives & Sector Development, Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC)

Event in partnership with the Pacific Insititute for Climate Solutions.

GTEx Forum

The Renewable Revolution: Cultivating Green Technology for Developing Nations

The global shift to renewable energy is underway and international attention has focused on deployment in developing nations. As countries in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America continue to grow in population and GDP, so have their energy demands. These countries will leapfrog over traditional energy sources and incorporate renewables directly into their growing infrastructure. Significant potential exists for the construction of diverse power grids, with biomass, hydropower, wind and solar energy. The opportunity to deploy other green technologies is immense, as water filtration, cold storage and agricultural technologies will play a large role in further developing communities.

Vancouver is home to several R&D projects and SMEs with the capacity to serve in this global transition. The projects are in a unique position to help create low carbon economies, stable job opportunities, and better quality of life in these areas. Join us November 25th to discuss various technologies that could help solve the energy demand in developing nations, and the challenges and opportunities that surround market access.

Speaker: Dr. Majid Bahrami, Simon Fraser University

Date: November 25th, 2015 - 5:00 to 8:00 pm

Location: Room 1400, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver , BC

See map: Google Maps


Dr. Majid Bahrami P.Eng. is the founder and the director of the Laboratory for Alternative Energy Conversion (LAEC), Canada Research Chair in Alternative Energy Conversion Systems and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the School of Mechactronic Systems Engineering. His research group studies new sustainable adsorption A/C-refrigeration, cold and heat storage storage/management, transport phenomena in emerging microstructured porous materials related to fuel cell vehicles, and water generation technologies with a focus on sustainable energy conversion systems. Bahrami (PhD, U of Waterloo: 2004; Post-doc, U Waterloo: 2004-2006) has authored/co-authored more than 160 publications and won several national and international awards, including Clean50 award for sustainable design 2015. He recently developed a patented atmospheric water generation technology that enables cost-effective sustainable water generation from air in all climate including hot and dry conditions. Dr. Bahrami practiced for 5 years (1995–2001) as a thermal engineer and consultant in industry. He is a member of ASME, AIAA, ASHRAE, ECS, SAE and CSME. Dr. Bahrami is the CEO and Co-Founder of WATERGENICS Ltd., a SFU spin-off active in sustainable air energy and water solutions.

John Balanko, President & CEO Quest Water Solutions Inc.

John Balanko has been in the clean water business for over 15 years, and has an extensive background in corporate finance, sales, marketing, contract and license negotiation, project management, and business development.  His expertise is in the area of corporate finance and business management.  Over the past 20 years, John has held executive positions, including being a member of the Board of Directors, with over a dozen private and public companies. His involvement within the water technologies sector began in 2000. In 2002, Mr. Balanko founded and was managing partner of Liquid Air San Diego, a distributorship for parent company, H2O Liquid Air. In 2006, Mr. Balanko established Environmental Water Solutions, the predecessor to Quest Water Solutions Inc.

Moderator: Mark Rabin, M.Sc, M.B.A

Mark Rabin is a consummate energy specialist and entrepreneur working at the intersection of the new energy paradigm of decentralized energy systems, big batteries/storage, new technology development, and micro-grids. Previously he was working on hybrid energy systems for the developing world with a start-up called Zolair Energy. Mark is a Professional Geologist by training, with an MSc in Energy Studies, and has a strong background in operations. He has recently completed an MBA with a focus on innovation and energy technology, and incorporates design thinking in his approach to energy systems.

GTEx Forum

Opportunities for GreenTech in a Renewable City

Building on the Greenest City Action Plan, the City of Vancouver just adopted its Renewable City Strategy and will move to 100% renewable energy in the electricity, heating & cooling, and transportation sectors by 2050. This policy is based on a massive increase in energy efficiency and is part of a movement towards 100% renewable energy by a number of world cities including Copenhagen, San Francisco, Munich, and Frankfurt. The strategy has the potential to create opportunities for BC's GreenTech sector and demand innovation from local companies and entrepreneurs to develop solutions that reduce energy use, generate renewable energy, and reduce emissions. Join GreenTech Exchange and Renewable Cities, a global program of the SFU Centre for Dialogue, to discuss the opportunities and challenges for the private sector in reaching the 100% RE goal in Vancouver. Guiding questions include: What does the Renewable City Strategy mean for local entrepreneurs? What are some of the broader trends in the GreenTech market for companies working in the urban space? What sort of challenges do entrepreneurs and startups face?

When: December 16th, 2015 - 5:00 to 8:00 pm

Where: Room 1300, SFU Seagal Building, 500 Granville street, Vancouver , BC



  • Bryan Buggey is responsible for economic and business development at the City of Vancouver’s Economic Commission.
  • Paul SDTC’s Regional Director based in Vancouver, Paul's role is to work with cleantech SMEs, venture capital, industry, governments, academia and ENGOs.
  • Colleen Giroux-Schmidt is the Senior Director – Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs for Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. and is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors for Clean Energy BC

Event sponsor by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

PICS UBC SFU Lecture Series

BC's Balancing Act: Forest Fires, Ecology, Smoke and Health

Fire is an essential ecological process for many ecosystems in British Columbia, yet our burning forests result in human health and other serious costs. Join Meg Krawchuk, SFU and Sarah Henderson, UBC as they discuss the pros and cons of forest fires in the context of climate change and human health impacts. Meg Krawchuk will highlight where, how and why wildfires play a key role in forested landscapes, amid our contemporary socio-cultural concerns about too much or too little wildfire. She will identify the drivers of wildfire occurrence, and share information about the early successional forest communities that thrive once the fire is out. Sarah Henderson shares what is known about the health impacts of forest fire smoke, and will introduce the BC Asthma Monitoring System (BCAMS), which was used by the BC Centre for Disease Control to track smoke exposures and their impacts on a daily basis through the smoky summer of 2015.

Speakers: Meg Krawchuk and Sarah Henderson

When: November 5, 2015 - 7:00pm

Where: Room 1300- 1500 – Segal Building, SFU Vancouver Campus, 500 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC

Link to the recording



Meg Krawchuk is Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University. Dr. Krawchuk's work focuses on landscape ecology, pyrogeography, and conservation science - looking at biophysical controls over ecological phenomena.  Using a geographic lens, Meg has worked at scales from local to global, addressing the drivers and effects of ecological disturbances with a primary interest in wildfire.  Recent investigations include ideas of predictable fire refugia within burn mosaics of western North American forests, ecological implications of overlapping short-interval disturbances such as insect outbreaks, forest harvest, and wildfire in British Columbia, and spatially varying constraints over contemporary patterns in burning, for British Columbia and globally.  Dr. Meg Krawchuk currently leads the Landscape and Conservation Science Research Group at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada but will be moving the lab to Oregon State University in January 2016.

Sarah Henderson is the senior environmental health scientist at the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and Assistant Professor in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. Her mandate is to conduct applied environmental health research to support the development and implementation of good environmental health policy for the province. Sarah has been studying forest fire smoke for more than a decade. Following the extreme fire season of 2003 she conducted her doctoral research on the public health impacts of forest fire smoke across the province. She conducted her post-doctoral research at the Menzies Institute in Tasmania, studying the health impacts of forest fire smoke in Australia and around the world. Since joining the BCCDC she has led a wide range of research and surveillance to better understand smoke exposure and its impacts in the BC population, and to help mitigate its effects.


Resilient Renewable Cities


How do you reduce energy use and shift to renewables while ensuring resiliency in a city?

A number of global cities, including the City of Vancouver, have adopted a 100% renewable energy target in one or more of their electricity, heating & cooling, and transportation sectors. While reaching these goals will require a shift towards renewables, the foundation lies in changing the way we plan and build cities and consume energy. Canadian cities are also on the forefront of coping with the impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather, and any urban planning and renewable energy strategy will need to keep the realities of a changing environment in mind. Moreover, any plan for achieving ambitious renewable energy and livability goals lies in a massive increase in energy efficiency.

The purpose of this event is to discuss how to best reconcile increasing renewable energy supply while reducing energy use and ensuring resiliency.

Join us for a free public dialogue with two renowned experts on urban planning and adaptation.

When: Monday, November 2 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Where: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Room TBD
Registration: Please reserve your free seat here

Link to the Recording


Larry Beasley
'Distinguished Practice' Professor of Planning, UBC School of Community and Regional Planning and Founding Principal, Beasley and Associates

Stephen Sheppard
Director, UBC Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP)

Event in partnership with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

Climate Extremes - What can we learn from global models?

Part of the Solutions and YOU - Combating Climate Change Series

Speaker: Dr.  Jana Sillman, Senior researcher at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO), Norway

When: October 28, 12:30 - Academic Presentation

Where: IRMACS Theatre, ASB 10900, SFU Burnaby Campus

Webcast: This talk is being webcast thanks to the support of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

Climate extremes are likely to be one of the largest societal challenges associated with climate change in this century. In this talk, Dr. Sillmann will provide an overview of historical and projected changes in climate extremes indices as defined by the Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices  (ETCCDI) and used across various chapters in the IPCC assessment report (AR5 WGI). These temperature- and precipitation-based indices were computed with a consistent methodology for observations, reanalyses and climate model simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 3 (CMIP3) and Phase 5 (CMIP5) multi-model ensembles. The analyses show that the CMIP5 models are generally able to simulate climate extremes and their trend patterns as represented by the indices in comparison to a gridded observational indices data set (HadEX2). Some improvements in the CMIP5 ensemble relative to CMIP3 are also found in the representation of the magnitude of precipitation indices. Substantial discrepancies are found between the reanalyses, indicating considerable uncertainties regarding their simulation of extremes.

Hosted By: Faculty of Environment, Faculty of Science


Dr.  Jana Sillman has a strong background in the analysis of weather and climate extremes in observations and model simulations of the present and future climate. She earned her PhD from the University of Hamburg and was part of the International Max Planck Research School of Earth System Modelling in Hamburg, Germany. Her research has contributed significantly to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the work of the Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices (ETCCDI). She is co-leading activities of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) Grand Challenges on Climate Extremes and she is a member of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Task Team for Tailored Climate Information.

Currently, she is employed as senior researcher at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO), Norway and leads the platform on “Local Solutions for Global Change”. In her research she strives for a better integration of natural and social sciences to study the challenges associated with changes in climate extremes with more holistic approaches.

GTEx Forum

GreenTech Collaboration in Motion: Emerging Solutions from Belgium and the Netherlands

Speaker: Wilco van Bemmel

When: October 27, 2015 - 5:00pm

Where: 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver , BC

See map: Google Maps

British Columbia’s thriving green environment and culture makes it an attractive market for global sustainability businesses to launch their products and services in North America. The region is a growing hub for these innovations and emerging ventures, and is world-renowned as enjoying one of the greenest and cleanest natural settings. Furthermore, with the goal to reach 100% renewable energy use by 2020, Vancouver is seeing an increase in green tech traffic as international companies arrive to share in their solutions. Join us at the next GTEx Forum on October 27th to share insights with Belgian and Dutch companies who are specialists in their field, and wish to bring their expertise to North America. The evening will highlight proven technologies and solutions deployed in passive building architecture, lighting innovations and indoor heating designs.



Wilco van Bemmel has 12 years of experience in land and real estate economics and development management. He has worked as Land Use Economist and Director of Area Development at Dutch coastal cities and public-private partnerships between 2004 and 2011. In 2011, he moved to Vancouver BC where he founded Dunefield Consulting and now works as an Affordable Housing Specialist and Development Manager for municipalities, housing providers and developers in Alberta and British Columbia. He also works as a Project Manager for Dudoc Vancouver (a project of Walas Concepts), in which role he helps Dutch and European innovators of proven solutions for sustainable, healthy and affordable buildings, find partners and clients in the North American market.


Reality Check: Climate Change, the Resource Economy and the Road to Paris

An Evening with Professor Tim Flannery

Hosted by Simon Fraser University's Centre for Dialogue in partnership with the City of Vancouver and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS).

When: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 @ 7pm
Where: Vancouver Playhouse,  600 Hamilton Street at Dunsmuir
Doors: 6pm

At this special lecture, Professor Tim Flannery, recipient of SFU’s 2015/16 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue, will engage with local thought leaders to tackle the thorny topic of how to reconcile climate action with economic growth and resource development in the lead-up to the international climate change negotiations in Paris this December. Audience members will also witness the Canadian launch of Professor Flannery’s latest book, Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis, which follows his past international best seller, The Weather Makers.

For more information and tickets please click here

About Professor Tim Flannery

Tim Flannery has published over 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers and has named 25 living and 50 fossil mammal species. His 32 books include the award winning The Future Eaters and The Weather Makers, which has been translated into over 20 languages. He has made numerous documentaries and regularly reviews for the New York Review of Books.

He received a Centenary of Federation Medal and in 2002 delivered the Australia Day address. In 2005 he was named Australian Humanist of the Year, and in 2007 Australian of the Year. In 2011 he was made a Chevalier of the Order of St Charles.

In 1998-1999 he was a visiting professor at Harvard, and is a founding member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, a director of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, and has served on the International Board of WWF.

In 2007 he co-founded and was appointed Chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council. In 2011 he became Australia’s Chief Climate Commissioner, and in 2013 he founded and heads the Australian Climate Council. He serves of the Sustainability Advisory Board of Tata Power (India). His most recent book is ‘Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for solutions to the climate crisis,’ will be published by Harper Collins in October 2016.


The Economics and Politics of Carbon Pricing in Australia

CarbonTalks Public Dialogue

Australia has the distinction of being one of the only jurisdictions in the world to both implement and scrap a carbon tax. What's up Down Under?

The proposal to introduce an economy-wide carbon price has been a controversial issue in Australia for over 20 years. That controversy came to a head with the election of the Rudd Government in 2007 and saw the eventual introduction of a fixed price permit for the release of emissions, with the intention that it convert to an emissions trading scheme after 3 years. The 2013 election saw the Abbott Government take power--among the first legislative initiatives was the abolition of the carbon price. In this dialogue Dr. Parkinson will discuss the background to events that arguably led to the loss of Office of 4 Prime Ministers and 2 Opposition Leaders. He will also discuss the contribution of the economics profession to public confusion over the policy choices confronting Australia and will consider options for future reform. 

Most recently, Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott lost his seat as the leader of the governing party--arguably, in part due to his stance on climate change--to a more moderate Malcolm Turbull, who has replaced Abbott as the PM of Australia. Historically, Turnbull has backed more ambitious climate action, but whether or not this translates into national policy is anyone's guess.

Join us for a free public dialogue to learn from one of Australia's preminent voices on public policy and on the implementation of national carbon pricing. A special thank you to the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions for helping to bring Dr. Martin Parkinson to Vancouver for a series of public engagements.

When: Thursday, October 1 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM

Link to the recording

Event in partnership with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions


Martin Parkinson
Former Secretary to the Treasury and Department of Climate Change, Government of Australia

Dr Martin Parkinson served as Australia’s Secretary to the Treasury from March 2011 to December 2014. Prior to this, Martin served as inaugural Secretary of the Department of Climate Change from its establishment in December 2007.

The Secretary to the Treasury is the Australian Government's chief adviser on all areas of economic policy. As such, Martin led a team of around 1000 staff with direct responsibility for macro-economic analysis, design and implementation of budget and fiscal policy, taxation policy and legislative design, commonwealth-state financial relations, and microeconomic and structural issues.

During 2007 he led the Secretariat of Prime Minister Howard’s Task Group on Emissions Trading, and headed the Climate Change Group in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, developing Australia’s climate change policy and, at the time, garnering bipartisan support for an emissions trading system.

Martin holds a Ph.D and a M.A. from Princeton University, a M.Ec from the Australian National University and a B.Ec (Hons 1) from the University of Adelaide.

GTEx Forum

Growing Deployment of Alternative Energy: Biomass and District Energy


Speakers: David Woodson, Dr. Scott Stanners and Alexandre Hebert

Date: September 30, 2015 - 5:00pm

Location: 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver , BC

See map: Google Maps

Metro Vancouver is home to several communities focusing their efforts on the application of alternative energy sources. From district energy facilities, waste-to-energy sites, to sustainable biomass projects, innovative new energy sources can be seen in municipalities and institutions across the lower mainland of B.C. EcoDistricts are also on the rise, where urban development is centered around sustainably sourced energy and a desire to diversify the power grid. Join us September 30th for an inside look at green energy solutions in local districts and institutions, and their solutions for greening communities and beyond.



David Woodson is the Managing Director of Energy and Water Services (EWS) at UBC. As part of this role, David oversees the management of UBC’s annual budget for the operations and maintenance of the utility infrastructure including: high-voltage electricity, district energy (steam and hot water), natural gas and water systems. David is leading the transformation of the University’s utility infrastructure on the 1,000 acre campus, in association with the Campus as a Living Lab initiative and the alternative energy sources project, to achieve UBC’s aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets. At the heart of the unit’s activities are new, collaborative relationships between administrative units, academic departments, governments, communities, and private industry partners. Prior to taking on this new role, David held several leadership positions within UBC Building Operations, Utilities, and Plant Operations over the past 17 years. His responsibilities ranged from managing capital renewal and deferred maintenance to resource planning and work control. He began his career as a Building Systems Engineer with the City of Surrey in 1993. David has a Master of Business Administration from UBC and a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Washington. David is a Professional Engineer in B.C. (mechanical), Facilities Management Administrator (FMA), and a Certified Educational Facilities Professional (CEFP).  

Dr. Scott Stanners has spent nearly 20 years in research, private, and not-for-profit renewable energy and biotechnology organizations and has grown a +4,000 network in the bioenergy sector. Currently, Scott serves as Secretary, Treasurer, and Director of Business Development at BC Bioenergy Network as well as VP of Business Development at Aeon Energy Solutions. Scott is a mentor and judge in the BC Innovation Council's New Ventures Competition, a mentor for Connecting Environmental Professionals and Managing Director of Stickhandling Ventures Inc. and the West Coast Bioenergy Guild. Scott is a Director with the Pacific Energy Innovation Association and Consular Liaison with the Canada Australia & New Zealand Business Association. Scott earned a BSc from The University of Calgary, a Graduate Certificate in Innovation and Enterprise and a PhD from The University of Sydney, Australia.  

Alexandre Hebert is currently the Energy and Sustainability Manager at the British Columbia Institute of Technology where he explores how holistic energy management could yield additional energy savings and how to integrate sustainable energy concepts into the curriculum. Alexandre leads the energy component of the Factor Four, (, an initiative that explores whether a factor four (fourfold) improvement in energy- and materials - related resource productivity can be achieved without compromising service levels. Alexandre is a professional engineer with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Universite de Sherbrooke in Quebec. He is a certified energy manager (CEM) from the association of energy engineers (AEE) and completed a Master of Business Administration with a focus in sustainability at UBC's Sauder School of Business. He studied at the School of Economics and Management at the Tsinghua University in Beijing where he completed the last portion of his MBA.


Climate, COP21, and Paris: Behind Closed Doors

CarbonTalks Public Dialogue

The next UN climate conference will be one of the biggest and most important yet. What can we expect?

One of the largest and most important international climate meetings is about to take place.

On November 30, governments from around the world will gather at COP21 in Paris to (hopefully) finalize and agree to a deal that keeps the global temperature increase to below 2°C. The outcome in Paris could signal the future direction and ambition of global climate action. Many greet this optimism with cautionary notes, reminiscent of countries’ previous failures to secure a global deal, and muted expectations heading into COP21. There are already some hints of what we can expect in Paris, including the US, China, and other countries recent pledges to reduce emissions.

But what actually happens behind closed doors? What can COP21 achieve and what does that mean for the future governance of our climate?

Join us for a free public dialogue with a seasoned veteran of global climate negotiations. Jen Allan will shed light on how COP21 is organized and how the various negotiators interact. She'll also give an insiders perspective on some of the stories we're expecting to emerge as well as key countries and actors to watch.

When: Thursday, September 24 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Where: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC Room 2245

Link to the recording

Event in partnership with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.


GTEx Forum

Clean, Green and Sustainable: Making Waves in the Marine and Shipping Industry

Metro Vancouver is home to Canada’s largest port and the third-largest container port in North America, responsible for Canada’s trade with more than 160 world economies. Enabling the trade of approximately $187 billion in goods annually, the Port Metro Vancouver generates an estimated 100,000 jobs, $6.1 billion in wages, and $9.7 billion in GDP across Canada. With the projected volume of world trade doubling by 2030 and tripling by 2050, demand for Canada’s exports will increase with the growing global population and rising middle class. The challenge will be to complement growth in trade and shipping with environmental improvements in both terminal operations and ship performance, striving to minimize impacts on local ecosystems and global emissions. The upcoming July GTEx Forum will feature insights from industry perspectives on green marine innovation from Port Metro Vancouver, Seaspan ULC, and Neptune Bulk Terminals, in a panel discussion to be moderated by Stephen Brown, President of Chamber of Shipping of BC (COSBC). Join us and participate in this informative exchange.

Event Schedule:

5:00 PM Showcase of local Green Businesses & Networking
6:00 PM Presentations and Panel begin 


Capt. Stephen Brown, President of the Chamber of Shipping of BC (COSBC)

Daryl Lawes, Environment Manager - Seaspan ULC

Tony Nardi, Senior Executive of Community Relations for Neptune Terminals in North Vancouver.

For more information about the speakers and to register please follow this link.  Event sponsored by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions at SFU.


GTEx Forum

Yokohama FutureCity Initiative + Developing Game-changing Global Agri-Technology in BC

Part I: Vancouver-Yokohama Sister Cities and the FutureCity Project

To celebrate GreenTech Exchange’s 6-year anniversary, we are pleased to present a special two-part Forum this month. The first half is hosted in partnership with the Vancouver-Yokohoma Golden Jubilee, celebrating the sister cities’ 50-year relationship. We are pleased to welcome a green business delegation from the City of Yokohoma, including the Mayor Fumiko Hayashi. The Mayor will present the Yokohoma Smart City Project (YSCP), a five-year project that has been testing new technologies, mechanisms, and business models for city-wide Japanese-style

Part II: Developing Game-Changing Global Agri-Technology in BC

BC currently gets 67% of its imported vegetables and 44% of its imported fruits from the US, over half of which is from California. Agriculture uses 80% of California’s water supply, and with the last 40 months being the driest on record, food security has become a pressing issue for all who depend on this former “breadbasket” of North America. In BC, vegetable crop production fell by 20% between 1991 and 2011, with significant decreases in several staple crops. California’s ongoing drought underscores the need to increase our local food self-reliance. According to a Vancity study, further support and investment for the local food economy could bring BC’s $2.8 billion total farm gate sales in 2012 up to $9 billion circulating in the local economy. This month’s forum will focus on innovative home-grown solutions for local and global food security, featuring insights from agri-tech expert Dr. Rickey Yada, the importance of agricultural land use from the City of Surrey, greenhouse technologies from BW Global, and optimizing yields with crop science from Ecoation. We invite you to join us for this timely discussion.

Event Schedule:

Please arrive at 5:00 PM for Meet & Greet with visitors. Presentations begin promptly at 5:30 PM.

5:00 PM Showcase of Japanese Green Businesses & Networking 
5:30 PM Presentations by Mayor of Yokohoma and Vancouver Economic Commission
6:15 PM Presentations and panel on Agri-Tech in BC

Information about the speakers and to register



A preamble to the Canadian Water Summit Conference

Community-Engage Water Research Dialouge: SFU and Its Partners

When: June 24th, 2015

Where: Simon Fraser University, Morris J. Wosk, Centre for Dialogue, Asia Pacific Hall, 580 West Hastings, Vancouver, BC

Are you interested in knowing more about community-­‐engaged water research in BC?

As a preamble to the Canadian Water Summit, join us at SFU BLUE – a dialogue of community-­‐engaged water research, profiling work emerging  between the university and its partner organizations.

Innovative research and case studies will support conversations on the themes of ecological conservation, urban sustainability, climate change, socio-­‐economic factors, health, governance, stakeholder management and technological change.

1. To build and maintain partnerships and engage interest groups
2. To understand how research can inform future water policy
3. To highlight successes and share how to overcome obstacles

See full event program here.

Sponsors: Faculty of Environment, and Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions


How much would five trillion tonnes of carbon warm the climate?

Please join us for this free research seminar with Nathan Gillett, co-hosted by the Climate Research Lab - Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

Given that actions to limit greenhouse gas emissions have so far been limited on a global scale, the ultimate magnitude of climate change in the absence of any mitigation is an important consideration for climate policy. While estimates of fossil fuel reserves and resources are very uncertain, and the amount which could ultimately be burnt under such a business as usual scenario would depend on prevailing economic and technological conditions, an amount of five trillion tonnes of carbon (5 EgC), corresponding to the lower end of the range of estimates of the total fossil fuel resource, is often cited as an estimate of total cumulative emissions in the absence of mitigation actions. While an approximately linear relationship between global warming and cumulative carbon dioxide emissions is known to hold up to 2 EgC emissions, several studies have suggested that at higher cumulative emissions the warming would be less than that predicted by such a linear relationship , with one simple model predicting a most likely global warming in response to 5 EgC emissions of around 5 °C, and earth-system models of intermediate complexity simulating 4.7-9.8 °C warming in response to 4.5-11.5 EgC.  Here, we demonstrate that in simulations from four state-of-the-art Earth System models (ESMs), CO2-induced warming continues to increase approximately linearly with cumulative carbon emissions even up to 5 EgC emissions. These models simulate global mean warming in response to 5 EgC of CO2 emissions of 6.6-11.1 °C, mean Arctic warming of 14.8-19.5 °C, and mean regional precipitation increases and decreases by more than a factor of four. These results indicate that the unregulated exploitation of the fossil fuel resource would ultimately result in considerably more profound climate changes than previously suggested.

When: June 11th, 2015 at 2:30 pm.

Where: room RCB 6206, SFU Burnaby Campus, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby.

Light refreshments will be served.  Please register here.

Nathan Gillett holds a PhD in atmospheric physics from the University of Oxford. After his doctorate, Nathan worked as a post-doc at the University of Victoria in Canada on the detection and attribution of climate change, before being appointed as a lecturer then reader at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. In 2008, Nathan returned to Canada to work as a research scientist at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis (CCCma). He was appointed manager of CCCma this year, where he oversees the development and application of Canada’s earth system model.  His primary research interests are in detection and attribution of climate change, and the influence of stratospheric ozone depletion on climate. He served as a lead author of the IPCC Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports and of the 2014 WMO/UNEP Ozone Assessment.


GTEx Forum

Getting More with Less from the Grid: Innovations in Energy Demand Management

Recent statistics show that an average Canadian resident uses over 300 gigajoules of energy each year, equivalent to more than 50 barrels of crude oil. That’s twice the amount as in Japan and many European countries with comparable standards of living. The extra energy being consumed may not equate to societal or health benefits, and contributes to overall energy and economic insecurity. Among the suite of solutions is better managing energy demand, whereby incentives and technologies are put in place to optimize energy consumption, by matching real-time grid supply with usage data and managing peak demand. The May 2015 GTEx Forum will feature insights from energy researcher Dr. Eric Mazzi and energy solution companies EnerNOC, Enbala, and SHM Controls, on effective and practical developments in energy demand management. We invite you to join us for this lively conversation.

Wednesday May 27th, 2015

Networking 5:00 PM, Event Begins 6:00 PM

SFU Harbour Centre, Room 1400

515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, V6B 5K3


  • Dr. Eric Mazzi, New York Institute of Technology
  • Malcolm Metcalfe, ENBALA Power Networks
  • Oded Malky, SHM Controls Inc.
  • Steve Jones, EnerNOC

Registration link:

For information about the speakers click here.   Event sponsored by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions at SFU.


Dealing with dragons: deciding if, when and how to intervene in ecosystems in a rapidly changing world


Please join us for this free public lecture by Dr. Richard Hobbs from the School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia.

Rapid, extensive and ongoing global climate change is causing unprecedented shifts in ecosystems. Traditional conservation goals and methods are increasingly insufficient in the face of this rapid pace of change. The principles of restoration ecology and conservation biology are being debated and must be reshaped to respond to this new reality. Deciding when and how to intervene (or not), and why, is an emerging and vital challenge for conservation.


When: May 19th, 2015 at 6:00 pm

Where: Room 1500, Segal Building, SFU Vancouver, 500 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC


There will be light refreshments served and a chance to connect with Dr. Hobbs.


Dr. Richard Hobbs leads the Ecosystem Restoration and Intervention Ecology Research Group. Originally from Scotland, he spent 3 years in California and has been in Western Australia since 1984, working with CSIRO and at Murdoch University before joining UWA in 2009. He is the author of over 300 scientific publications and author/editor of 20 books. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and was 2011 Western Australian Scientist of the Year. His research focuses on effective ecosystem interventions in a changing world.

For more events hosted by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions visit the PICS calendar.

Renewable Cities Global Learning Forum

When: 13-15 May, 2015

Where: Vancouver, BC - Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver

The pressure on cities and city staff to provide affordable energy services to citizens while ensuring livability and reducing emissions has never been greater. Cities now face unprecedented pressures to provide affordable energy to their citizens, while at the same time ensuring livability and reducing emissions. But what are the best practices and affordable models to transitioning to renewables and energy efficiency in the electricity, heating, and transportation sectors?

Renewable Cities is a new global program that supports cities through the transition to 100% renewable energy and energy efficiency and was launched through a Global Learning Forum from 13-15 May in Vancouver, BC. Here, city and utility staff, private sector innovators, civil society leaders, and key researchers gathered in one of the world's greenest cities to take part in a solutions-focused dialogue.

The Global Learning Forum included an inspirational event during the opening night; mayors' round table to highlight political leadership in the shift; small group capacity building sessions; site visits to Vancouver's cleantech innovators; and more.

Outcomes from the Forum: a Final Report, Synthesis Report, nearly 20 videos, presentations from speakers, and a Media Report. Everything is available at please visit and share this link.

An initiative of the SFU Centre for Diologue in partnership with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions

Talking Climate: Why Facts are Not Enough with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe

Free Public Lecture

Please join us, in person or by webcast, for this free public lecture with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, hosted by Simon Fraser University and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

The challenge of human-induced climate change and its impacts on society and the natural environment have been methodically summarized by thousands of peer-reviewed studies and decades’ worth of exhaustive reports. As the scientific evidence builds, however, public and political opinion in the U.S.—and increasingly in other developed nations including Australia, the U.K., and even here at home in Canada—is becoming ever more sharply divided along ideological, socio-economic, and religious lines.

How can scientists effectively engage on climate issues in what is becoming an increasingly hostile public environment? Our first instinct is often to assume that we just need more information; but social science shows that scientific literacy is not correlated with greater acceptance of climate science, but rather with greater polarization. Instead, I argue that understanding the reasons that have created and fed this polarization is crucial to bridging the divide and inspiring positive action, based on a foundation of shared values and concerns.

When: May 8th, 2015 at 5:30 pm.

Where: Room 1500, Segal Building, SFU Vancouver, 500 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC.

Link to the recording

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist who is an Associate Professor and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. An expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, her research has been dedicated to quantifying the impacts of climate change at the regional scale.  Dr. Hayhoe is also founder of ATMOS Research, which strives to bridge the gap between scientists and stakeholders to provide relevant information on how climate change will affect our lives.

She was recently named one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World and awarded the American Geophysical Union's Climate Communication Prize.


The SFU Climate and Energy Research Day, hosted by the SFU’s Office of the Vice-President, Research, and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, provided an opportunity for SFU scholars with interest in energy and/or climate change research to engage with other scholars at SFU and share their research with the broader community .

The areas of interest SFU researchers are involved include climate science, climate change impacts on ecosystems and human health, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, climate policy, sustainable energy systems, alternative energy technology, sustainable living among others.

When: April 14th, 2015 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Where: Room 10041-Saywell Hall, 8888 University Drive, SFU - Burnaby Campus

Recordings of the event:

The day was comprised of 

  • Plenary Talk “Integrating Research from Natural to Social Science: The 2 degree target ”– Mark Jaccard
  • En’lightening talks (5-min. presentations) – SFU faculty
  • Panel sessions Interdisciplinary Climate and Energy Research at SFU, Steps Forward for SFU Climate and Energy Research
  • Poster session (29 posters from across SFU Departments)
  • Among the speakers: Dr. Joy Johnson, Vice-President, Research, Norbert Haunerland, Associate Vice-President,Research, Ingrid Stefanovic, Dean Faculty of Environment

Please follow this link for the Abstract Book.

 “Integrating Research from Natural to Social Science: The 2 degree target ”–  A plenary talk with Dr. Mark Jaccard

Understanding and acting upon the threat of human-caused climate change requires the integration of research from the natural and social sciences. This talk looks at the rationale for the target of limiting global warming to 2 οC above pre-industrial levels, and then at how natural science researchers establish carbon budgets and how social science researchers use these to design climate policies and estimate their effects on energy markets and individual fossil fuel investments.

Dr. Mark Jaccard is a professor in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at SFU. He is known for his work on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Global Energy Assessment, and has advised governments worldwide.

Link to the Recording

FACTS Panel Discussion

A Political Discussion on the Road to the COP21

The Consulate General of France in Vancouver along with Carbon Talks and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions are pleased to invite you to “From Local to Global Challenges, What Needs to Be Done for a Successful Climate Conference in Paris 2015? A Political Discussion on the Road to the COP21” on March, 26th (5pm) at SFU Asia-Pac Hall.


  • Hon. Mary POLAK, B.C. Minister of Environment,  
  • Gregor ROBERTSON, Mayor of Vancouver,
  • Nicolas CHAPUIS, newly appointed Ambassador of France to Canada,

Moderator: Michaël SMALL, Carbon Talks and Renewable Cities Executive Director

When: Thursday, March 26th, 2015 at 5 pm.
Where: Asia Pacific Hall, Simon Fraser University, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Link to the recording

Our guest speakers will discuss how the conference in Paris could set the conditions for a transition towards resilient, low-carbon societies and economies.

Please note: registration is currently full. However, the event will be available by live webcast and we invite you to participate virtually in the Q & A session using the hash tag #COP21.

GTEx Forum

Beyond Compost:  Closing the Organic Waste Loop for a Greener Economy


  • Rob Costanzo, City of Surrey
  • Steve Harpur, EarthRenu
  • Brad Marchant, Enterra Feed Corp

When: Wednesday, March 25th, 2015. Registration & Networking 5:00 PM, Event Begins 6:00 PM
Where: Harbour Centre, Simon Fraser University, Room 1400. 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Registration Link

Redeploying food waste as a renewable resource has been considered a sensible approach in waste management in present day society.  It is true that compost has been central to agricultural operations for centuries as both fertilizer and feed for livestock.  Due to a variety of factors, in today’s urban centers, organics are often landfilled, not capitalizing on a valuable resource while further adding to undesirable environmental emissions. To contribute to the overall solution of waste management, companies and municipalities around the world are developing methods to convert consumer food waste into feedstock, fertilizer, bio-­energy and other valuable by-­products. The March GTEx Forum will feature three of BC’s home-­grown innovations in organic waste diversion: the City of Surrey’s biofuel processing facility, EarthRenu’s food to biogas technology, and Enterra’s food to feedstock approach.  We invite  you  to  join  the panel  and  other  participants  in discussing  this important topic.

For more information visit GTEx website

Transit Vote Burnaby: Congestion, Health, and Livability


Speakers: Benjamin Dachis, Senior Policy Analyst, C.D. Howe Institute, Meghan Winters, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, SFU and Joshua Cairns
Transit Team Coordinator, Sustainable SFU.

Date: March 10, 2015 - 12:00pm

Where: Fraser-Thompson Room of the Diamond Alumni Centre, SFU Burnaby Campus Burnaby , BC

Link to the recording

For information about the speakers visit Carbon Talks website

A congested transportation system has consequences for emissions, health, and livability. Join us to hear from experts on how these subjects relate to the transit referendum.

Metro Vancouver's road network and transit system are currently strained and regional growth will ensure that this trend continues into the future. But what are the economic and health costs of congestion? Join us at SFU Burnaby to hear from two experts as they describe the current situation as well as what to expect in the future. With the transit referendum on the line, a number of potential transportation improvements could help to alleviate stress on the road network as well as offer more sustainable commuting options for residents. Find out what these transit options have to offer. This public dialogue is co-presented by Carbon Talks and Moving in a Livable Region.
Event in partnership with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.


GTEx Forum

Clean as Water: Revisiting the Potential of Hydrogen Energy



Colin Armstrong is the President, CEO, and Director of Hydrogen Technology & Energy Corporation (HTEC).
Grace Quan is the CEO of Hydrogen In Motion Inc. (H2M).

When: Wednesday February 25th, 2015. Registration & Networking 5:00 PM, Event Begins 6:00 PM
Where: Harbour Centre, Simon Fraser University, Room 1400. 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Registration Link for Vancouver

Energy is a critical driver of modern society and demand for clean power is on the rise. There is global interest in public and private sectors on sustainable energy initiatives to reduce emissions, combat climate change, and wean off heavy dependence on fossil fuels. Hydrogen, a simple and abundant element on Earth, presents an attractive option as it is high in energy and its by-product of combustion is water. Major strides have been made in the conversion of hydrogen into electricity and the hydrogen fuel cell is also a topic of discussion in some circles. The February GTEx Forum will focus on hydrogen and feature two local companies developing innovative technologies and solutions that can efficiently exploit the potential of hydrogen energy.


GTEx Forum

Marine Transportation and LNG Market Deployment    


Capt. Stephen Brown is the President of the Chamber of Shipping of BC (COSBC).
Ernest Buchan is the Projects Director for Steelhead LNG
Mark Wilson is the Vice President of Engineering at BC Ferry Services.

When: Thursday February 19th, 2015. Registration & Networking 5:00 PM, Event Begins 6:00 PM
Where: Vancouver Island University, 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo BC, V9R 5S5
Building 355 Lecture Theatre 203  

Registration Link for Nanaimo 

Marine shipping is one of the most efficient means of moving cargo worldwide, with ships carrying more than 90% of global trade by water. British Columbia, as North America’s shortest, most efficient gateway to the Pacific, allows west coast ports to support a large shipping industry through ice-free, deep-water ports. This forum will focus on the marine regulations and policies in place, LNG propulsion deployment and new LNG markets to ensure the marine industry on Vancouver Island and in BC continues to be attractive and vibrant whilst being performed safely, without harm to the surrounding environment.



Mapping extreme temperatures and their health risks in the Lower Mainland

Speakers: Anders Knudby, Department of Geography, SFU and Sarah Henderson, School of Population and Public Health, UBC.

Moderator: Tim Takaro, Faculty of Health Science, SFU.

Link to the recording

Event on: January 22nd, 2015  

Extreme hot weather can be a serious health threat in our region. Climate change models indicate these hot weather events will become more frequent and intense over the coming decades. Join speakers Sarah Henderson (UBC) and Anders Knudby (SFU), and moderator Tim Takaro (SFU) as they chart a map of our Lower Mainland’s extreme heat events and health risks. 

Sarah will take us back to the summer of 2009, when the Lower Mainland experienced a 7-day extreme hot weather event, which taxed the health of our at-risk populations. As a result of this event, Sarah has been involved in the research and development of a new local Heat Health Warning System to assist health agencies and the general public to better prepare for hot weather. 

Anders will provide insights into Greater Vancouver’s unique urban heat “archipelago,” and will demonstrate how health authorities and local governments can map heat-health risk hot spots—areas with high temperatures, population sensitivities to heat, and insufficient infrastructure and/or public facilities—throughout the region. This talk will be moderated by Tim Takaro, Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University.

GTEx Forum

Thinking Outside the Box:  
Energy Efficiency and Green Buildings

Speakers: Helen Goodland, principal with Brantwood Consulting and co-founder of Building Technology Innovations; Lorina Keery, Sustainability Manager - Colliers International Canada; Tadz Brown, Business Development Manager, Energex Inc.

When: Wednesday December 17th, 2014 
Registration & Networking 5:00 PM, Event Begins 6:00 PM
Where: Harbour Centre, Simon Fraser University, Room 1400, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Registration Link

The construction industry is experiencing a state of change and moving towards innovative designs and approaches to enhance energy efficiency. There are a number of emerging crucial issues on the way buildings are built and maintained; construction companies are responding to the issues with focus and attention. The influx of new technologies, the rafts of new regulations, the sustainability agenda, the rising costs of raw materials and an aging workforce are just some of the challenges which lie just around the corner.

A solid indication is that the construction industry is showing an increasing receptiveness to new technology. So, as an entrepreneur providing solutions to the building industry, where are those opportunities and what does one need to know to get product into the market?  For a designer or builder, how does one get to grips with innovation? What are the trends to be aware of and how to best prepare?

The December GTEx Forum will discuss some of these questions, provide an overview of some of the success stories emerging in “green buildings” and offer an entertaining tour of some of the real and radical new products and approaches that are causing construction companies to rethink their business.

GTEx Forum

Beyond Images: Remote Sensing Solutions for Cleantech and Industry

Speakers: Adrian Bohane, Dr. Nicholas Coops, Pavel Haintz and Daniel Tresa

When: Thursday November 27th, 2014

Registration & Networking 5:00 PM, Event Begins 6:00 PM

Harbour Centre, Simon Fraser University, Room 1400.  515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Registration Link

The use of remote sensing for natural resources and cleantech development is a fascinating and often overlooked technology. Mapping and land assessment is required for all major projects and the potential for remote sensing solutions is diverse and growing.

Come to the November GTEx Forum to learn and discuss how LiDAR can be used to assess solar potential and energy demands as well as Sonar for underwater mapping, infrastructure inspections and environmental monitoring in harsh environments.

Carbon Talks

District Energy and the Role of the Private Sector


Speaker: Trent Berry and Hart Starr Crawford

When: November 25, 2014 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Where: SFU Harbour Centre Room 2270, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC

Link to the recording

By 2020, the City of Vancouver aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 33% from 2007 and will require that all new buildings be carbon neutral. However, with the majority (54%) of the city’s carbon emissions coming from buildings, largely originating in heating and cooling systems, the challenge of reducing GHGs is daunting considering the age and inefficiency of current buildings and the projected growth in population.

Enter district energy: An old technology that’s enjoying a renewed interest from cities worldwide.

District energy works by amalgamating the heating, and sometimes cooling, needs of a network of buildings. Heat can be produced more readily from alternative fuels, including waste heat from cooling systems, sewers or industrial processes. District energy can also be a means for producing more efficient local electricity through combined heat and power, can support micro-grids, and can reduce demands on the electrical system that would otherwise be needed for heating and cooling.

The beauty of a community energy system is that it shares infrastructure, leverages economies of scale, and has the potential of producing low-carbon heating for neighbourhoods.

The purpose of this dialogue is to explore district energy from the perspective of the private sector and the following questions:

What is the private sector’s role in developing and operating district energy?

What do municipalities, developers, and financiers need to do in order to encourage the development of district energy systems?

What is the potential for district energy in Metro Vancouver?


Trent Berry, MRM, Principal, Reshape Strategies Chair, Creative Energy Canada Platforms Corp. 

Trent is a professional economist and management consultant based. He has 20 years of experience in the electricity, gas and district energy sectors, including technology evaluation, project feasibility, market studies, ownership, financing, contracts and regulation. Trent has led feasibility studies and supported development of several dozen district energy systems, including Southeast False Creek, River District, UniverCity, UBC, Children & Women’s Hospital, and Surrey City Centre. Trent assisted Creative Energy in its recent acquisition of Central Heat in Vancouver (one of the largest district energy systems in Canada) and he was recently appointed the Chair of Creative Energy’s Board.  

Hart Starr Crawford-Project Manager, Fēnix Energy

Hart Starr Crawford leads project development and implementation at Fēnix Energy. Most recently, he managed design and installation of the world's first geo-exchange retrofit in an occupied high rise. This system currently serves two buildings and has potential for further expansion. His professional experience started at a mechanical consulting firm, where he blended progressive energy performance designs and ran the LEED team. He brings his intimate knowledge of buildings to district energy, and a fresh perspective to the industry.


Using Digital and Social Media to Mobilize Climate Action: From Communities of Interest to Communities of Practice

When: Thursday, November 20, 2014 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Where: Room C180, UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson Street, Vancouver

Register to Attend in Person

Link to the recording

Join Professor Maged Senbel, Professor, School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) and UBC researchers Erik Blair and Victor Ngo as they share results on the use of social media for the Do It in the Dark campus residence energy challenge. Their research demonstrates how using multiple pathways of engagement, including entertainment engagement, can result in reduced energy consumption well beyond the period of public engagement. They will offer insight into how a mixture of social media and face-to-face interaction can best be used to educate, inspire, engage and support young people to value energy more and to reduce their everyday energy consumption.


Climate Change and solutions from Innovation

The French Ameri-Can Climate Talks (FACTS) invites you to the public talk entitled "Climate Change and Solutions from Innovation. 

When: November 12, 2014 at 6 pm

Where: SFU Woodwards - Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

More information:   

 Link to the recording

The talks will focus on green innovations and how they can curb the negative impacts of climate change and become an economic driving force. The Consulate General of France in Vancouver has worked hand-in-hand with SFU Woodward's, Hoggan&Associates, the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, and Clean Energy BC to organize this special event.

A total of 6 key speakers from both Canada and France will be exchanging ideas and present some radical innovations, savvy environmental policies and recent scientific discoveries. Opening remarks by David Suzuki and moderation by Bob McDonald.

The conference will be webcasted live and recorded through the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS). 

This event is sponsored by: David Suzuki Foundation, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, and Vancity. The Consulate General extends its thanks and appreciation for the support of BC Innovation Council and Foresight, and to our media partner The Tyee

GTEx Exchange Event

Understanding Energy Options: LNG?



Dr. Paul Blomerus, Vice President of Natural Gas Fuel Supply Systems at Westport Innovations

Dr. Hadi Dowlatabadi,  Canada Research Chair and a Professor in Applied Mathematics and Global Change at UBC

Chris Hilliard, President and Director of LNG Direct Rail Ltd.

Jason Wolfe, Director of Energy Solutions at FortisBC.

October 29th, 2014 from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Where: 515 West Hastings Street Simon Fraser University Harbour Centre Room 1400
For more information:

The global energy focus is at a compelling inflection point and the Pacific north west has an opportunity to affect change pertaining to our energy mix. Speed and agility certainly play an important role for industry, however, serendipity is also needed in attracting both capital and consumer interest in the energy sector. Quoting one of our speakers, “We have labile objectives, incomplete knowledge and make decisions less rationally than we would like to believe.”  The upcoming GTEx Forum aims to provide insight and draw your attention to multiple variables in the energy debate including LNG and renewables.  


Changing Behaviours for a More Sustainable Future

Speakers: Kate White, UBC and Stephanie Bertels, SFU

When: October 14, 2014 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Where: SFU Centre for Dialogue, Strategic Room 320, 580 West Hastings Street

More information

Link to the recording

Join Kate White, UBC and Stephanie Bertels, SFU as they discuss and share their research findings on how to encourage individuals to engages in sustainable behaviours and to embed sustainability into the organizational culture.  First, Kate will highlight some key principles on engagins sustainable behaviours, providing examples of ways to ensure these principles are capitalized on, and people are most encouraged, to change behaviours for the better.  Afterwards, Stephanie will discuss recent findings from a major research study to assess what leading firms, globally, are doing to embed sustainability into their organizational culture. Stephanie will outline the progress they are making, and how it is possible to even further inlay, through sound business practice, sustainability into corporate culture.


Climate Change Research Lecture Series

Adapting to Climate Change: Global Knowledge, Local Action


When: September 23rd, 2014 from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Where: UBC Robson Square, Room C180, 800 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
For more information and to register:

Link to the Recording

Join moderator Tim Takaro, Faculty of Health Sciences, SFU, and speakers Stewart Cohen, Environment Canada, Lori Daniels, Faculty of Forestry, UBC and Jonathan O’Riordan, former Deputy Minister and now advisor with SFU’s ACT, as they share perspectives on climate change impacts and adaptation. Dr. Stewart Cohen is coauthor of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Working Group II report, “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.” He will offer an overview of the report, including future risks for North America: extreme heat events, wildfires and urban flooding. Lori Daniels will present on BC’s increasing and intensifying wildfires and the adaptation strategies we’ll need to learn to live with them. Jonathan O’Riordan will offer insight into the future Nexus - our life supporting water, energy, food and ecosystems in a changing climate - and the transformative policies and technologies we’ll need to manage and adapt. After their presentations, Tim Takaro will moderate questions and answers amongst the audience and panelists.

GTEx Forum

Microgrid for Vital Systems: A Range of Applications

Recent earthquakes and the growing energy demand highlights the importance of finding solutions for improving power efficiency and resiliency. In an effort to put microgrid applications into context, the September GTEx Forum will focus on three themes: legacy systems, disaster recovery and remote communities. During the session, you will hear about the challenges with adapting power infrastructure to legacy systems, the dynamic nature of communication networks to withstand or quickly recover from a disaster and the process of building microgrid projects in various remote locations around the world.

Speakers and Moderator:
Joey Dabell, BCIT
Victor Goncalves, Alpha Technologies
Neil Salmond, SgurrEnergy
Adam Stephenson, American Vanadium Corp.
Sonny Banjac, Sea Breeze Power Corp.  

When: Wednesday September 24th, 2014
Registration & Networking 5:00 PM, Event Begins 6:00 PM
Where: Harbour Centre, Simon Fraser University, Room 1400, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver


Carbon Talks

Divest: Smart Strategy or Selling Out?

Recent divest campaigns have attracted widespread attention as a number of prominent cities, foundations, religious institutions, and universities have pledged to sell off their fossil fuel assets. Currently, the City of Vancouver, Simon Fraser University, and other groups are considering divestment, but is it a smart investment strategy or an effective climate action? 

Proponents cite the success of divest campaigns in moving South Africa away from apartheid in the 1980s, tout the moral responsibility of climate action, and decry the financial risks of owning fossil fuel assets in an increasingly carbon constrained world. Critics of the divest movement say that it’s divisive and can be counterproductive, a distraction from more effective climate action.

How should our pension, institutional, and other investment fund managers handle their ownership of fossil fuel companies? Is divestment a good strategy for climate action? How would such a shift impact citizens?

Andrea Reimer, Councillor, City of Vancouver
Marc Lee, Senior Economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Jamie Bonham, Manager, Extractives Research & Engagement, NEI Investments

Friday, September 26 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Sponsored by: Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions
Link to the recording


PICS Public Panel

The Cleantech Edge: Canada's fastest growing industry in the age of climate change

Canadian leader in the rapidly expanding cleantech economy, Céline Bak, will be in Vancouver to share her insights on Canada’s advantage in clean technology, and how to build on this momentum towards a clean and prosperous future. Cleantech business leaders will join in a post-presentation discussion and audience-participation question and answer session.

Hosted by the David Suzuki Foundation and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions with special thanks to our partners BC Cleantech CEO Alliance, BC Technology Industry Association, Business in Vancouver and Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre.

Date: September 18, 2014

Link to the recording


Dr. David Suzuki

Dr. Tom Pedersen– Executive Director, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions  


Céline Bak–  President, Analytica Advisors


Ross Beaty –Chairman, Pan American Silver Corp & Alterra Power Corp

David Helliwell – CEO of Pulse Energy

Jonathan Rhone– Head, BC Cleantech CEO Alliance & CEO, Axine Water Technologies


Ian Bruce– Science and Policy Manager, David Suzuki Foundation

GTEx Forum

The Diminishing Bee Population: A Conversation on Green Technology Solutions

Dr. Leonard Foster, University of British Columbia
Keith Gillard, Pangaea Ventures
Karn Manhas, Terramera PlantScience

When: July 30th, 2014.   Registration & Networking 5:00PM, Event Begins 6:00PM
Where: Simon Fraser University, Harbour Centre, Room 1400, 515 West Hastings St., Vancouver
Registration Link:

Pollination is responsible for providing us with a wide variety of food, as well as the survival of many species of flora and fauna. Pollinators such as bees, that pollinate nuts, fruits and vegetables, are directly or indirectly responsible for a significant part of the world’s crop production. The decline of pollinators can impact future food production capabilities. Therefore the diminishing bee population is a serious concern. Bees have diminished drastically in recent years due to a variety of factors including pesticides, diseases and habitat degradation resulting in a loss of genetic diversity. Come and join the conversation at the July GTEx Forum to discuss safer and more sustainable options that are being pursued by BC based researchers and companies.

Carbon Talks

Waste to Energy, Low-carbon Future?


Paul Richard, Phd, PAg - ‎Chair, Environmental Protection Technology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Douw Steyn, PhD, ACM, FCMOS - Professor, Department of Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, UBC

When: Tuesday, June 24 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Link to the recording

Waste to energy is a popular solution in Europe and has been proposed as a potential option for managing solid waste and generating electricity in Metro Vancouver. However, does incineration fit in with a low-carbon future? 

Currently, Metro Vancouver’s waste to energy facility is the largest of its kind in the lower mainland. Operated by Covanta Burnaby Renewable Energy, the facility turns 285,000 tonnes of garbage into steam and electricity annually, enough power for 15,000 households. Metro Vancouver is also proposing to build a $470 million waste to energy project to cope with future regional growth and is in the process of siting the facility. Opponents of waste to energy cite air pollution issues, and a dependence on a constant waste stream, which is counter to the goals of zero waste policy. Proponents believe that waste to energy is a responsible solution that generates electricity from a resource that would otherwise be sent to the landfill. This dialogue will explore the following questions:

How do we rectify the conflicting values of reducing waste and providing a reliable energy source? Does waste to energy mitigate or contribute to climate change?

Sponsored by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions

GTEx Forum

Agri-Food Development in the Tropical Region: An Overview of Marketplace Dynamics

Déborah Barros Leal Farias is a PhD candidate of Political Science at the University of British Columbia and a scholar at the Liu Institute for Global Studies.

Dr. Jeremy Hall is a Professor at the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Engineering and Technology Management.

Nicolas Honorato is the Marketing and Speaker Coordinator for ExpoPlaza Latina.

When: Thursday, May 29, 2014.   Registration 5:00PM, Event Begins 6:00PM
Where: Simon Fraser University, Harbour Centre, Room 1400, 515 West Hastings St., Vancouver BC 

As the importance of agri-food business is growing, the dynamics between innovation, social impact, sustainable supply chain, development strategy and the environment are emerging as some of the key considerations.  Related to this is the notion of food security.  Latin America is known for global food production.  In 2013, Brazil’s agri-food exports generated almost US $100 Billion – it is a leading producer and exporter of coffee, orange juice, sugar, beef, soy, pork, corn, ethanol, among others.  GreenTech Exchange in collaboration with Latincouver - ExpoPlaza Latina is pleased to deliver the May 29th forum and explore agri-food development in the tropical region. 

PICS Lecture Series 2014

The Good Life, The Green Life

Documentary Screening and Free Public Lecture

Speakers: Shannon Daub, CCPA and Shane Gunster, SFU.

When: April 24, 2014 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm

Recording :

Join Shanon Daub and Shane Gunster for an advance screening of a soon-to-be-released short documentar film - The Good Life, The Green Life.  This PICS-funded project was born out the challenge that dealing with climate change requires us to transform our society in some fundamental ways...which can be difficult for people to imagine, let alone figure out how to make happen. We set out to learn more about the ways people concerned about climate change are taking action, and to create a documentary film in the process that could help others get engaged. The film features 9 everyday green heroes from communities around the Lower Mainland who share their hopes, fears, ideas, experiences, vision, and courage.  Shannon and Shane will discuss the research process behind the film, and how the documentary will be used as the centrepiece of an engagement strategy that invites a broad range of people into a conversation about what it means to live a good, green life.

This event is hosted by PICS, UBC and SFU.

Carbon Talks

Beyond the Politics: The Benefits of Moving in a Livable Region - Surrey

This dialogue is the second in a series of two and takes place in Surrey. Beyond the Politics: Benefits of Moving in a Livable Region was held in Vancouver on March 14.

When: Tuesday, April 8, 1:00 - 2:15 PM
Link to the recording

Are you frustrated with the politics around our region's transportation network? Are the mixed messages on transit and upcoming referendum leading you astray? Transportation is important, it has an oversized impact on the region's economy, energy use, emissions, and livability. While Metro Vancouver is widely known as being one of the best places in the world to live and has a leading public transit system, road vehicles are the largest source of greenhouse gases in the region, accounting for 36% of the region's emissions. Moreover, by 2041 Metro Vancouver is projected to have a million new people, 600,000 more jobs, and 700,000 more vehicles on the road; the costs of congestion in our region have been pegged as high as $1.5 billion per year.

The decisions that govern, plan, and pay for our transit, roads, cycling, and walking networks are incredibly complex and require good public engagement. However, citizens and stakeholders are being inundated with contradictory information around the current state and future direction of our transportation system.

Join us as we host a public dialogue on transportation and launch Moving in a Livable Region, a new initiative of the SFU Centre for Dialogue that seeks to engage and educate Metro Vancouver citizens and stakeholders on transportation issues. Our panelists will discuss transportation, the economy, and what is needed to ensure high livability in the region.


Sponsored by the  Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

GTEx Forum

Pathways to Green Transportation: Highlights of BC Development


Anwar Sukkarié, President & Founder of Saturna Green Systems
Donald Wong, Founder & CEO of Moovee Innovations Inc.
Kody Baker, Founder & President of VeloMetro Mobility and Managing Director of Perkuna Engineering

Walter Wardrop, Industrial Technology Advisor with the NRC-IRAP program

When: Thursday March 20th, 2014

The technology for getting around has been evolving in recent years and exciting developments related to green transportation are taking place in British Columbia. User experience and clean technology are being incorporated into designs of modern transportation means. The next GreenTech Exchange Forum highlights some progressive initiatives in BC and three emerging companies will share their concept and path to realization for urban mobilization of the future. Come explore the myths and realities together.

Carbon Talks

Beyond the Politics: The Benefits of Moving in a Livable Region - Vancouver

When: Friday, March 14, 12:30 - 2:00 PM
Where: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Room 1700 

Link to the recording

Are you frustrated with the politics around our region's transportation network? Are the mixed messages on transit and upcoming referendum leading you astray? Transportation is important, it has an oversized impact on the region's economy, energy use, emissions, and livability. While Metro Vancouver is widely known as being one of the best places in the world to live and has a leading public transit system, road vehicles are the largest source of greenhouse gases in the region, accounting for 36% of the region's emissions. Moreover, by 2041 Metro Vancouver is projected to have a million new people, 600,000 more jobs, and 700,000 more vehicles on the road; the costs of congestion in our region have been pegged as high as $1.5 billion per year.

The decisions that govern, plan, and pay for our transit, roads, cycling, and walking networks are incredibly complex and require good public engagement. However, citizens and stakeholders are being inundated with contradictory information around the current state and future direction of our transportation system.

Join us as we host a public dialogue on transportation and launch Moving in a Livable Region, a new initiative of the SFU Centre for Dialogue that seeks to engage and educate Metro Vancouver citizens and stakeholders on transportation issues. Our panelists will discuss transportation, the economy, and what is needed to ensure high livability in the region.

Sponsored by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.


Small Steps in Ecological Footprinting



Jennie Moore, Sustainable Development and Environmental Stwerdship at BCIT
Jim Boothroyd, Boothroyd Consulting

When: Friday, February 28, 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Link to the recording

If everyone in the world consumed resources and materials at the same rate as the average North American, we would need four planets to provide for the needs of every human being on Earth. While most of us have heard of the concept of an “ecological footprint”, an idea that originated with UBC’s William Rees, it’s a difficult principle to put into practice. Measuring and understanding the way we use resources and create waste is the key to reducing our ecological input, however, scaling from the planetary to the personal is not an easy thing to do. This dialogue will seek out answers to the following questions: What are the challenges to understanding our ecological footprint? How can the concept best be communicated and how effective is it in promoting behavioural change? What does the future hold for “ecological footprinting”?

Our panelists have both been involved with Evergreen's Project Green Bloc, a demonstration initiative where residents of Vancouver's Riley Park neighbourhood are working to lower their collective ecological footprint by 25 percent over 3 years through community collaboration and science-based research models. For more information, see Jim Boothroyd's article on Project Green Bloc in the Tyee.

GTEX Forum

Novel Water Treatment Technology: Greening Ice Rinks to Save Energy and Cut Costs



Florian Gabriel, Senior Advisor of Export and Innovation for Swisscleantec
Rob Crema, Director of Tech Services at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE)
Michael Woodman,Manager of Tech Services and Sustainability at the PNE

When: February 26th, 2014 5:00 PM   through   8:00 PM

The method of making ice for skating rinks has been relatively unchanged since the 1940s. Resurfacing ice traditionally uses hot water which consumes a significant amount of energy but a small new device fitted to the existing piping system can do this using cold water, enabling energy savings and cost reduction. Better still; the resulting ice surface may even be advantageous for the skaters. At the next GreenTech Exchange Forum, come and hear the REALice technology and how it can alter the properties of water and lower its viscosity. The possibilities of this water treatment technology could have other horizontal applications that bring benefits to users and the environment.

Climate Change Research Lecture Series

Planning Cities for Climate Change: Lessons Learned through Energy Modeling and Community Engagement

When: February 12th, 2014 from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Where: UBC Robson Square, Room C300, Theatre, 800 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
For more information and to register:

Link to the recording

Join Ronald Kellett, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA), UBC and members of his research team Cynthia Girling, SALA and Maged Senbel, School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) alongside Michael Wolinetz, Navius Research and SFU research associate, and Jeremy Moorhouse, School of Resource and Enviornmental Management (REM), SFU as they share results of PICS social mobilization and sustainable communities research projects. Their talks will highlight lessons learned through development and exploration of community energy modeling and public engagement tools for municipal planning in climate change.