Group of 78 Annual Policy Conference
Cartier Place Suite Hotel, Ottawa, September 28-29, 2018
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 it.
- The leadership needed to promote global cooperation in addressing the Climate Crisis in a timely manner.
- 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.
THURSDAY, Sept 27, 2018 evening – $10.00 tickets at the door
Film Screening: Anote’s Ark (2017), at Mayfair Theatre, co-presentation with One World Arts and the One World Film Festival
Panel & Discussion to follow
FRIDAY, Sept. 28, 2018 evening
Dinner & Keynote Address:
What’s love got to do with it? Climate politics, solutions and the future of our planet
Indigenous Acknowledgement: Elder Verna Macgregor, Algonquin Nation
Moderator: Roy Culpeper, Chair, Group of 78
Keynote speaker: Joanna Kerr – Executive director, Greenpeace Canada
SATURDAY, Sept 29, 2018 day
Panel 1: Magnitude of the Problem, A Comprehensive Approach Needed
Moderator: Manfred Bienefeld, Vice Chair, Group of 78
Speaker 1: Rohinton P. Medhora – President, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)
Speaker 2: Prof. Gordon McBean – President, International Council for Science; Co-chair, Governing Council, Future Earth
Speaker 3: Mike de Souza – Managing Editor, National Observer
Panel 2: The Trudeau Government’s Policies in a Global Perspective
Moderator: Susan Tanner, Board Director, Group of 78, & Chair, Conference Planning Committee
Speaker 1: Tzeporah Berman – Author, environmental campaigner, and Adjunct Professor, York University Environmental Studies
Speaker 2: Scott Vaughan, CEO, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Lunch & Speaker: Serious About Climate Resilience? Empower Gender Equity
Tracy Mann, Climate Wise Women
Panel 3: Getting from Here to There – Inspiring initiatives – Mobilizing People
Moderator: Andrea Harden, Climate Campaigner, Council of Canadians
1: Martin Settle, Co-Executive Director, USC Canada – Actions on Global Agriculture
2 : Karine Peloffy, Avocate conseil, Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement – Climate Lens on Environmental Assessment
3: Val Courtois, ED, – Indigenous Leadership Initiative on Indigenous Stewardship
4: Dr. Curtis Lavoie, CPHA, – Climate Change Impacts on Public Health
4:00 p.m. Conference Conclusion and Closing Remarks: Roy Culpeper & Susan Tanner
Group of 78 Annual Meeting to follow immediately