New Centre for Climate Risk Reduction on the Prairies to be established
WINNIPEG—June 23 2015—The University of Winnipeg and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) are pleased to announce a new joint initiative—The Centre for Climate Risk Reduction on the Prairies.
This new initiative will be a network offering research, advice and policy development to governments, businesses and community members on the pressing and increased impacts of climate change. The goal is to identify and anticipate risks to increase community resilience to climate change.
The Centre is much needed. Until now, adaptation planning and implementation has been limited, increasing the vulnerability of our economy, infrastructure, social systems and natural environments to the adverse consequences of a changing climate. A tangible example of the coordinated research the Centre will provide includes detailed climate data and mapping to allow farmers, municipalities and governments to plan more effectively for floods and other weather-related events.
“UWinnipeg’s Richardson College is establishing itself as a centre of excellence in applied research and policy in climate change, including climate change mitigation and adaptation,” said Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg. “Working together with government, industry and leading environmental organizations, we can mobilize knowledge to develop relevant public policy and real-world solutions.”
“Climate change is presenting unprecedented challenges worldwide, from record breaking droughts in some regions to increased flooding and severe storms in others. There is an urgent need to understand the impacts of climate change at scale in communities and sectors, and to design and implement adaptation plans. The Centre will work with Manitobans to craft the solutions they need to respond to these challenges, helping to bolster our resilience now and in the future. We are very grateful to Great-West Life for their support of the establishment of this Centre,” said Scott Vaughan, President-CEO of IISD.
Great-West Life is the first donor to support establishment of the Centre, pledging $250,000 over the next five years. The company made a contribution of $75,000 in 2004/05 to help set up IISD’s Innovation Fund, established to allow IISD researchers to nurture their creativity and develop projects outside of the realms of their traditional research.
“Alongside our own efforts to manage the environmental impact of our operations, we’re pleased to support IISD as it coordinates a broad risk-management response to the complex issues around climate change,” said Paul Mahon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great-West Lifeco Inc. “Our new funding is intended to spur debate, dialogue and innovation to inform insights and action around climate change.”
"Manitoba has long valued research based solutions and risk mitigation actions," said Premier Greg Selinger. "Our government is committed to working with all parties to support the establishment of this new centre."
The intent is that the Centre for Climate Risk Reduction on the Prairies will be operational in the fall of 2015 -- subject to approval by The University of Winnipeg's Senate and Board of Regents.
About the International Institute for Sustainable Development
Established in 1990, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is a non-partisan, charitable organization specializing in policy research and analysis, and information exchange. Through their head office in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and their branches in Ottawa, New York, Geneva and Beijing, the Institute champions sustainable development around the world through innovation, partnerships, research and communications. It is dedicated to engaging decision-makers in business, government, non-government organizations and academia on issues around economic and legal frameworks, energy and climate change, water, resilience, and knowledge.
About UWinnipeg’s Richardson College for the Environment
The Richardson College for the Environment at the University of Winnipeg is, by design, a place where people and ideas converge to address some of the most important issues of the day, especially those related to the frequently overlapping issues of urban environments, climate change, Indigenous development, water resources and the North. It is home to Institute of Urban Studies, the Department of Indigenous Studies, the CN Indigenous Resource Centre, offices of the Masters in Development Practice program, the Cisco Innovation Centre, two Canada Research Chairs, and a number of externally-funded projects. It is the home base for the Prairie Regional Adaptation Collaborative (PRAC) funded by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), and also a variety of federally-and provincially-funded projects evaluating the nature and impact of climate change in the prairie provinces, with emphasis on the development of appropriate and adaptation strategies. It is a frequent host and sponsor for special lectures and workshops, and in 2014 it was host to the University’s inaugural Research Chair in Environmental Sciences through the Fulbright Scholarship program (Dr. Stephanie Kane of the University of Indiana Bloomington).
About Great-West Life
Great-West Life, together with subsidiaries London Life and Canada Life, offers a broad portfolio of financial and benefit plan solutions, and serves the financial security needs of more than 12 million people across Canada. Responsible and ethical management is an intrinsic value of the companies and is essential to long-term profitability and value creation. As an Imagine Caring Company supporting the principles of corporate citizenship and benchmarks for community investment established by Imagine Canada, the companies donate a minimum of one per cent of average pre-tax profits to non-profit, charitable and community organizations each year.
Learn more about the organization’s corporate social responsibility.
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 200 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.
You might also be interested in
Can the cotton industry protect its workforce in a changing climate?
Cotton is ubiquitous in human lives, with approximately half of all textiles made of the material, according to the International Institute for Sustainable Development. But the sector's sustainability issues stand to be exacerbated by increased risk to extreme heat, drought, floods and wildfires already being caused by climate change, Forum for the Future warned in a 2021 report. Besides cutting yields, it will also affect the well-being of those involved in the supply chain.
Guiding Principles for the Preparation of Financing Strategies for Climate Change Adaptation in Developing Countries
This report provides seven guiding principles for effective financing strategies for climate change adaptation prepared by developing country governments.
New Report Finds Carbon Capture And Storage Far Too Expensive
A new report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development found carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to be very expensive in Canada. According to the report, which focuses on carbon capture in the context of Canada's oil and gas industry, the climate solution’s persistently high costs are rooted in the "high design complexity and the need for customization."
G20 Summit Agreement Fails To Strengthen Coal Phase-Down Even As Data Show High Per Capita Coal Emissions
As world leaders gather in New Delhi for the Group of 20 (G20) Summit–with 19 member countries and the European Union–data show that a majority of the group still has very high per capita coal power emissions. At the summit, countries agreed to "pursue further efforts" to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees celsius, agreeing to "encourage efforts to triple renewable energy capacity globally" but the G20 New Delhi Leaders Declaration included no new commitment on phasedown of coal power or on phasing down all fossil fuels.