issues and experts

COP26 & climate change: SFU experts available

October 26, 2021

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), a global event to unite the world in tackling climate change, is being held in Glasgow, Scotland from Oct. 31 – Nov. 12. 

SFU is among institutions committed to the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, a global alliance launched in advance of the conference and dedicated to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The following conference participants from SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, and SFU climate change experts, are available. 


For more on participants, their schedules and events in Glasgow visit this page, or contact Stephanie Hall,, or Claire Patterson, media coordinator (in Glasgow) Participants include: 

SHAUNA SYLVESTER, executive director, Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue (In Glasgow Oct 30 – Nov 11) 

  • The role of cities and their major 'asks' in order to achieve international climate goals
  • Climate action and the need to combine resident support, government strategy, multi-stakeholder collaboration in a sustained effort over time

ROBIN PREST, program director, Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue (In Glasgow Nov 5 – 12)

  • The role of climate engagement in accelerating climate action 
  • The need for a more participatory relationship between governments and the communities they serve to accelerate the shift to net-zero emissions



KAMYAR RAZAVI, PhD candidate, communication

  • The importance of communicating climate change effectively 
  • How to engage members of the public, governments, civil society on climate through storytelling
  • The role of journalism in engaging audiences on the climate emergency 

DAVID ZANDVLIET, professor, education

  • Zandvliet is the first United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chair in Bio-Cultural Diversity and Education to improve environmental education
  • Environmental education and climate change education, ocean literacy issues, science and environmental communication


MAYA GISLASON, professor,  health sciences, Planetary Health Research Group

  • Planetary health, climate change, intergenerational climate equity, cumulative impacts of intensive resource extraction, climate change, mental health and children, climate change communication 


RADOSLAV DIMITROV, associate professor, political science

  • Participated in UN climate talks for more than 10 years as a government diplomat on the European Union delegation; helped negotiate the Paris Agreement and redesign the EU negotiating strategy in 2018, and was co-chair of the EU Task Force on Climate Communication.
  • Climate change negotiations, UN diplomacy, international institutions and global environmental politics

MARK JACCARD, professor, resource and environmental management

  • Lead author of the IPCC Working Group III, which focuses on GHG reduction policy 
  • Challenges of global action - global diplomacy, the necessity of carbon tariffs  
  • Canada’s national effort (2030 target, new Liberal government, specific policies, 2050 net-zero target)
  • Canada’s relationship to the US Biden administration

GEOFF MANN, director, Centre for Global Political Economy

  • Author of Climate Leviathan: A Political Theory of Our Planetary Future (2018)

SETH KLEIN, adjunct professor, urban studies

  • Climate emergency and climate policy; author of A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency (2020)

HERIBERT ADAM, professor emeritus, sociology

  • Previous German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s track record on energy and the environment
  • The compromise to be reached among the two ideological opposed junior parties (the Greens and the FDP) of the likely three-party coalition government in Germany

CHRIS BATAILLE, associate researcher IDDRI, Canadian Energy and Emissions Data Centre

  • Net-zero emissions and economy-wide deep decarbonization
  • Industrial decarbonization
  • Climate policy

THOMAS GUNTON, professor, founding director of SFU’s resource and environmental management planning program

MERRAN SMITH, executive director, Clean Energy Canada
Contact Keri McNamara at

  • Clean economy, energy policy, B.C. climate policy, federal climate policy, climate advocacy
  • Clean energy, clean tech, clean investment, clean transport, climate advocacy
  • EVs, ZEV mandate, COVID-19 economic recovery, Buy Clean


KIRSTEN ZICKFELD, professor of climate science and director of SFU’s Climate Research Lab, geography

  • Lead author of the special report on the Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2018 and an author of the IPCC’s sixth assessment report (2021)
  • Climate science, carbon budgets and net zero

TACO NIET, assistant professor, sustainable energy engineering

STEVE HOLDCROFT, Canada Research Chair in electrochemical materials, professor, chemistry

  • Leading authority on advanced materials for electrochemical energy conversion and storage—materials vital to the creation of sustainable energy sources such as fuel cells, green hydrogen and CO2 reclamation

JOHN CLAGUE, professor emeritus, earth sciences

  • Climate-caused natural hazards, changes in risk related to climate change and global population demographics


MAJID BAHRAMI, professor, mechatronic systems engineering

SAMI KHAN, assistant professor, sustainable energy engineering

  • Carbon capture and conversion system to reduce CO2 emissions 
  • Action Canada Fellow – looking into policy and sustainability

DEBORAH HARFORD, senior adviser, Action on Climate Team

  • Exploring policy options and developing resources for adaptation to a range of climate change impact areas, including water, food, health, biodiversity, energy, infrastructure, and population displacement
  • Responses to the Paris Agreement and sustainable development goals (SDGs)

ZAFAR ADEEL, professor, sustainable energy engineering

  • Global water security and management 
  • Climate change adaptation and responses to the Paris Agreement and sustainable development goals (SDGs) in relation to the 2030 agenda for sustainable development

TAMMARA SOMA, assistant professor, resource and environmental management

  • Food security, food system planning, waste management 

ALEX BOSTON, executive director, Renewable Cities, or contact Andrea Hedley, communications specialist at

  • Community energy planning, climate policy, urban sustainability and climate change adaptation
  • Sustainable energy, green cities issues (energy, buildings, transport)
  • Can also speak to BC’s new Roadmap to 2030 and the City of Vancouver Making Home proposal

RON WAKKARY, professor, interactive arts and technology, founder, SFU’s Everyday Design Studio (currently in Europe)

  • Author of a newly published book (Fall 2021), Things We Could Design for More Than Human-Centered Worlds, MIT Press
  • The changing nature of interactive design in response to sustainability


ANDREANNE DOYON, assistant professor, resource and environmental management

  • Issues related to urban planning, sustainability and climate change, equity and justice considerations regarding climate change


MELISSA SHAW, SFU  Communications & Marketing 
236.880.3297 |

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