An integrated approach is needed for emissions reduction and adaptation to climate change practices, according to a Simon Fraser University (SFU) report.
The report, Low Carbon Resilience: Best Practices for Professionals, detailing best practices for the integration of climate mitigation and adaptation has been endorsed by leading Canadian national professional associations
The SFU report calls for governments to combine emission reduction and climate adaptation strategies and outlines practices that can help reduce extreme climate impacts.
The report authored by SFU’s ACT (Adaptation to Climate Change Team), is the first to propose integration of climate mitigation (the reduction of carbon emissions, and climate adaptation, addressing ongoing climate changes) in Canadian professional practices.
The low carbon resilience (LCR) approach would facilitate resource efficiencies and provide transformative solutions throughout a variety of sectors ranging from transportation, urban planning and agricultural operations.
“Typically, emissions reduction and climate adaptation have been addressed separately,” says Deborah Harford, executive director of ACT and the report’s co-author. “By integrating these two streams of action, governments can save time and resources, increase returns on investment, and generate economic, environmental, social and health co-benefits.”
The report’s findings have been endorsed by several leading national Canadian professional associations: the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, the Canadian Institute of Planners, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and are supported by the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association and ICLEI Canada.
“Canada’s professionals are essential contributors to climate action,” Harford says, “Practitioners across the professions have a key role as change agents in advancing LCR practices in all aspects of society.”
The associations have signed a joint statement of agreement endorsing the low carbon resilience approach and others are preparing to sign. The joint statement notes Canadian professionals have both the opportunity and responsibility to respond to this challenge and address both emissions reduction and adaptation.
It goes on to say: “Our national professional associations have a crucial role to play in advancing ethics, awareness, practices and policies that support this integrated LCR approach to action on climate change, due to their prominent roles in many aspects of the development and management of resources, ecosystems and communities.”