media release

SFU experts among 60 scholars calling for low-carbon future

March 18, 2015

Shauna Sylvester, SFU Centre for Dialogue, 778.231.0715,
Anthony Perl, SFU Urban Studies, 778.782.7887,
Scott McLean, University Communications, 778.782.5151,

On Wednesday, academics from across Canada, including three prominent Simon Fraser University scholars, will announce a plan of sustainability solutions to help Canada successfully transition to a low-carbon society, in response to the dire consequences of climate change.

Called the Sustainable Canada Dialogues (SCD), the group has built consensus on the plan and is encouraging public debate on climate policy in light of the upcoming Canadian election and December 2015 climate summit in Paris.

Among the 60 scientists and scholars calling for a low-carbon economy are SFU Urban Studies professors Anthony Perl and Meg Holden, and SFU Centre for Dialogue and SFU Public Square Executive Director Shauna Sylvester. In addition, SFU Faculty of Environment professor Mark Jaccard served as an external reviewer for the paper.

“It’s better to talk about a post-carbon transition while we still have the time and energy to manage such a transition, rather than waiting for a crisis,” says Perl. “We can’t talk about building a sustainable city without mapping out a path to a post-carbon future. It’s like taking care of our bodies, the longer we put off a visit to the doctor or dentist, the more costly it’s going to be to cure our ills.”

SCD will unveil its climate action position paper at the 2015 Americana International Trade Show on Environmental Technologies, where the group will unanimously recommend putting a price on carbon. The paper, entitled Acting on Climate Change: Solutions from Canadian Scholars, also identifies ten policy orientations illustrated by actions that could be immediately adopted to kick-start Canada’s necessary transition toward a low carbon economy and sustainable society.

“The release of this plan marks a historic shift in Canada; scientists and academics no longer feel that they can stand on the sidelines while climate change wreaks havoc on our economy and our environment,” adds Sylvester. “Never before have so many scholars collaborated to develop solutions for how Canada can move to a low-carbon future. In absence of a serious national policy on climate change, their plan offers some hopeful strategies for action.”

The full policy document and its executive summary are available on the SCD website:

As Canada's engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded almost 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is a leader amongst Canada's comprehensive research universities and is ranked one of the top universities in the world under 50 years of age. With campuses in British Columbia's three largest cities—Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby—SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 30,000 students, and boasts more than 130,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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