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Stephen Hume: Canada in need of climate change strategy, report says

March 18, 2015
The Vancouver Sun
Author: 
Stephen Hume

Over 70 Canadian scholars unanimously recommend putting a price on carbon. That’s one of 10 policy orientations proposed by Canadian Sustainable Dialogues in a document released yesterday.

Acting on Climate Change: Solutions from Canadian Scholars was developed by a network of academics from engineering, sciences and social science, including Royal Roads’ School of Environment and Sustainability Prof. Ann Dale.

The group’s work and recommendations were featured in the Mar. 18 edition of the Vancouver Sun. Here is an excerpt:

“The scientists and scholars represent 25 universities across Canada, including UBC, Simon Fraser, University of Victoria, Royal Roads and Thompson Rivers University. They set out to study how Canada can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by producing electricity from low-carbon sources, modify energy consumptions with urban design, revolutionize carbon-intensive transport systems and link the transition to a low-carbon economy to a broader plan for sustainability.

The report calls for the development of either a national carbon tax or a cap-and-trade program across the whole Canadian economy; elimination of subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and the integration of the oil and gas production sector in climate policies. As well, sustainability and climate change should be integrated into planning at regional and municipal levels to ensure that investments in new urban infrastructure are consistent with a long-term goal of decarbonizing the economy.

It says, for example, that creating intelligent national electrical grid connections to permit hydroelectricity-producing provinces to sell to neighbouring provinces would enhance the national opportunity to take full advantage of Canada's low carbon energy potential. And it says a transition strategy could support a "revolution" in electrified transportation.”