Annual Policy Conference 2018

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 Group of 78 Annual Policy Conference
Cartier Place Suite Hotel, Ottawa, September 28-29, 2018


 Conference Outline

Accumulating evidence shows the world’s ecosystem careening towards ever more unpredictable and disruptive outcomes, even as the global community’s responses become increasingly disjointed and incoherent. If this course is not altered, the global community faces an existential crisis that, similar to the use of nuclear weapons, could spell the end to civilization as we know it, and perhaps of humanity itself.

The aim of the conference is to identify policies, actions and forces to be mobilized to achieve transformation to a fully sustainable society, in every nation state and globally.

Too often, news reports of climate change related disasters in all parts of the world do not make the connection to human causes. Thus much of the global public remains in denial of the serious need to act aggressively both politically and economically.

Yet there are solutions. A small but increasing number of governments are adopting policies and promoting actions to mitigate climate change. Market forces are shifting toward cheaper green energy and other low carbon technologies. Civil society is mobilizing public opinion and advocating constructive government action.

Against this backdrop Canada’s Liberal government has defined itself – and has been widely perceived – as a beacon of hope and positive engagement in sharp contrast to the depressing spectacle of a US government gutting environmental regulations, doubling down on use of fossil fuels and actively sabotaging the modest achievements of the Paris Climate Accord.

While the Canadian government’s language in this drama has changed for the better since the previous government’s “war against science”, the question remains how serious is our government’s commitment to the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Recent projections indicate that Canada will fall well short of meeting its Paris commitments. Some argue that its efforts are incoherent and lack the ambition necessary to make more progress and show leadership on this front.

The conference will examine questions such as:

  • The complex context of the Climate Challenge, nationally and internationally, and the policy framework required to address
  • The leadership needed to promote global cooperation in addressing the Climate Crisis in a timely
  • Creating coherence between green public policies and related socio-economic policies such as military and trade agreements.

A conference report will be shared widely and the Group of 78 will work with other organizations to press for changes in government policy and action to implement the conclusions and recommendations.

Further information on the detailed program and the process to register as a participant in the conference will soon be available on the Group of 78 website (


THURSDAY, Sept 27, 2018 evening

Film Screening: Anote’s Ark (2017)

Speaker: TBC


FRIDAY, Sept. 28, 2018 evening

Dinner & Keynote Address: Meeting our Sustainable Development Goals: The Need to Accelerate Short-Term Climate Efforts

Moderator: Roy Culpeper

Keynote speaker: Johanna Kerr – Executive director, Greenpeace Canada


SATURDAY, Sept 29, 2018 day

 Panel 1: Magnitude of the Problem, comprehensive approach needed

Moderator: Manfred Bienefeld

Speaker 1: Rohinton P. Medhora – President, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)

Speaker 2: TBC

 Panel 2: The Trudeau Government’s Policies and how they could provide more leadership

Moderator: Susan Tanner

Speaker 1: Tzeporah Berman – Author, environmental campaigner, and Adjunct Professor York University Environmental Studies

Speaker 2: TBC

 Lunch: Speaker and Networking (Speaker TBC)

 Panel 3: Getting from Here to There -Inspiring initiatives –Mobilizing People


Speaker 1: Maude Barlow – Author, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, and former senior advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly

Speaker 2: TBC

Conference Conclusion and Closing Remarks: Roy Culpeper

 Group of 78 Annual Meeting to follow immediately

Evening: Music & Dancing