Climate Change Research

Early in the 2000s I joined with Nancy Olewiler, the head of SFU’s School of Public Policy, to set up an organisation called ACT. Our intention was to accept that a certain amount of climate change was bound to happen so we would work with local governments to help them deal with the consequences. Today her organisation is still flourishing and describes its mission on its website as follows.

“ACT at SFU was the first university-based think tank in North America dedicated to climate change adaptation and remains the only one focused on a comprehensive suite of adaptation research topics, spanning biodiversity, extreme weather, energy, water security, crops & food supply, sea level rise, health risks, population displacement, the nexus between water, food, energy and biodiversity, infrastructure adaptation funding, green infrastructure, and low carbon resilience (LCR) – the integration of adaptation and emissions reduction.”

In 2014, I became a Commissioner of The Canadian Ecofiscal Commission, an NGO devoted to developing methods for reducing climate-change-causing emissions through market mechanisms rather than fiat. After that commission ended its work, I joined another organisation called Climate Choices with more or less the same purpose.

I have many times argued publicly with those who believe it is necessary to stop growth in order to control climate-causing emissions. In contrast, I argue that it is possible to have both a green and growing economy, particularly since technological change lies at the heart of growth and contributes to our ability to deal with its consequences. In 2019 I published the substance of my argument in a chapter called “Policies for Green Growth Versus Policies for No Growth: a matter of timing” in The Handbook of Green Growth edited by Roger Foquet.