The world needs to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century for a chance at limiting warming to less than 1.5°C. Last year, the Canadian government followed the lead of other nations and legislated a goal of net-zero by 2050. Achieving this goal requires shifting from incremental to transformational approaches to public policy, a challenge for a physically large country with decentralized governance and a substantial fossil fuel industry. In this talk, I will discuss the Canadian approach to climate policy and the lessons for US climate action, based on my work as a member of Canada’s Net-Zero Advisory Body, created to advise the federal government on achieving its 2050 goal.
Bio: Simon Donner is a professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) whose research lies at the intersection of climate science, marine science and public policy. He holds appointments in the university’s Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, Department of Geography, and Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. He was as a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent Sixth Assessment Report, and is the only climate scientist appointed to Canada’s Net-Zero Advisory Body.
- Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment
- High Meadows Environmental Institute
- Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
- Canadian Studies Program