Creating space for transformative conversations

Climate Solutions

Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT)

Identifying opportunities for sustainable adaptation

ACT brings leading experts from around the world together with industry, community, and government decision-makers to explore the risks posed by top-of-mind climate change issues and identify opportunities for sustainable adaptation.

Climate change is here, bringing unprecedented challenges, but also new opportunities. We have already released enough emissions to warm the globe by about one degree, and will likely continue to emit at levels that will elevate that warming to two degrees or more. This means that we have what is called a “commitment to climate change”; in other words, we will face the impacts of warming now for decades, if not centuries, even if we reduce our emissions to zero today. It is vital that we equip decision-makers with resources that will assist industry, governments, and communities to adapt to the impacts. ACT was formed in response to this need.

We are:

  • The only university-based think tank initiative in North America dedicated entirely to climate change adaptation
  • Involved in adaptation in Canada and internationally through academic, corporate and community events, networks and affiliations
  • A publisher of research reports identifying policy opportunities and resources designed to bridge from theory to action in support of sustainable adaptation
  • A clearing house for Canadian and international adaptation and climate change information
  • A way to get involved

ACT’s principal focus is a series of nine top-of-mind climate change areas (Biodiversity, Extreme Weather, Energy, Water Security, Crops & Food Supply, Sea Level Rise, Health Risks, Population Displacement, and New Technologies). We also conduct research projects in related areas. Working in conjunction with leading experts supported by the expertise of SFU researchers and faculty, ACT studies the problems posed as well as potential solutions, and identifies policy opportunities while developing adaptation resources.

ACT’s advisers include experts such as leading environmental economist Dr. Nancy Olewiler, former provincial Deputy Minister of Sustainable Resource Management Jon O’Riordan, and adaptation science expert Dr. Stewart Cohen. ACT’s findings have stimulated new policymaking and research as well as widespread public interest.

ACT is a unique combination of research, education, outreach and policy innovation designed to benefit the Canadian economy, its decision-makers and communities.

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Carbon Talks

Solutions for a low-carbon economy

Carbon Talks is a partnership with Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, in collaboration with the Beedie School of Business, the School for Public Policy, and the School for International Studies. It provides a platform to discuss, define, and manage the transition to a low-carbon economy. The initiative is run by Fellow Shauna Sylvester, a skilled facilitator, social entrepreneur, and commentator on international issues.

Carbon Talks looks for opportunities where carbon shifts are possible, convening invitational and public dialogues on issues ranging from greening the built environment to the role of transportation in a low-carbon economy. These opportunities might be identified by a business, an industrial association or a government department, but all focus on issues where all the pieces might not yet be in place for concerted action. Carbon Talks brings together government, civil society, the private sector, academia and individual thought leaders in order to foster greater understanding, identify innovative solutions and strategies and build connections and networks.

The transition to a low-carbon economy is inevitable. If Canada is to remain globally competitive, we must accelerate the shift from a carbon intensive economy to an economy that is more diversified and recognizes the costs of natural capital. Carbon Talks creates spaces for dialogue – not debate – spaces that stimulate participants to think creatively, consider alternatives and develop solutions that are practical, viable, cost-effective and sustainable.

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Clean Energy Canada

We work to accelerate Canada’s transition to an energy-efficient, ecologically responsible, and prosperous low-carbon economy.

We build awareness of and support for solutions that address climate disruption and foster an energy efficient, environmentally responsible, and prosperous economy. We do so in collaboration with civil society, governments, and the private sector.


Clean Energy Canada envisions a future in which our nation has one of the most advanced energy systems in the world, having significantly reduced its carbon emissions by the year 2050. In our vision, Canada has become a leader in clean and renewable energy production, consumption, and innovation—benefitting citizens socially, environmentally and economically.

A Collaborative Approach

We regularly partner and collaborate with other civil society organizations on matters of shared interest. For example, we are a member of BlueGreen Canada—an alliance of labour unions and civil-society organizations promoting environmental solutions that have positive employment and economic impacts. We are also partners in Better Future BC and The Energy Forum—alliances that work to promote low-carbon energy and responsible energy and climate policy.

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Renewable Cities

Building on the leadership to support cities through the transition to 100% Renewable Energy

Renewable Cities aims to accelerate the adoption of 100% renewable energy within cities globally and recognizes that an integrated approach to energy efficiency and urban design is required. It is a five-year program that has been co-designed with leaders in local government, the private sector, key innovators and thought leaders, and utilities. With reductions in consumption and energy system transformation, Renewable Cities can become a reality.

As a first step for the 5-year program, a Global Learning Forum will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver, Canada from 13-15 May, 2015. Leaders from municipalities and government, the private sector, and civil society will gather to participate in small group capacity building sessions and join the global movement for 100% renewable energy and energy efficiency in cities.

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