VIU's ACER Climate Change Symposium to Generate Discussion on Policy and Science

VIU’s ACER team is gearing up for their 5th annual symposium called Climate Change: Policy for a Sustainable Future, which gets underway Saturday, Oct. 1.

September 28, 2016 - 9:45am

On Oct. 1 VIU’s student-led climate change initiative, ACER, offers a free symposium on policy changes that could help mitigate climate change effects 

The Awareness of Climate Change through Education and Research (ACER) is a Vancouver Island University-based public outreach initiative to promote a greater understanding of the science and social implications of climate change. This inter-disciplinary group believes that in order to make informed decisions on the issue of climate change there needs to be more public engagement to create a deeper understanding of this complex topic.

Across the globe climate scientists are warning that the window to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions is closing. The consensus is that climate change is occurring and if left unchecked it will significantly reduce the habitability of the planet and result in unprecedented economic hardship.

To help improve understanding of the science, politics and policy of climate change a free symposium is being offered on Oct. 1 by students and faculty at VIU.

“Our primary goal is to provide members of the public opportunities to mobilize knowledge, improve scientific literacy and encourage them to promote social change,” said ACER member, Melissa Tomlinson.

The symposium, called Climate Change: Policy for a Sustainable Future, will start with an update about the science of climate change and lead into presentations by Tom Pederson, former executive director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, and Rob Lawrence, City of Nanaimo environmental planner. Lawrence will discuss the provincial and municipal initiatives being considered including the BC carbon tax.

“This year we are discussing actions and policies that could help us to avoid more extreme climate change” said Tomlinson. “Starting a discussion within our community about how different levels of government handle climate change and the implications of implementing policies is what we hope to achieve.”

The day-long event is free and lunch is included. The afternoon includes a panel discussion as well as interactive demonstrations on marine acidification, the greenhouse effect, computer-based visualizations and more.

“I believe there is no longer a debate about whether climate change is happening or not, as it is now a widely accepted phenomena. The debate has now shifted to what will we do about it and to what extent the climate will change?” said Tomlinson.

To register and participate in this free event please email ACER. To view this story online please go to VIU News.


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Dane Gibson, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

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