integrated climate action

Associations endorse integrated climate action

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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.”

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