Dozens of academics and policy experts launched the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, a new independent national research body.

The Institute aims to bring clarity to the challenges, opportunities, and choices ahead for Canada as governments at all levels work to address climate change. It will undertake rigorous, evidence-based, and integrated research, analysis, and engagement.

With this approach, the Institute aims to help decision-makers and Canadians understand and evaluate the policy choices that could put Canada on a path to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“Climate change is already affecting life in Canada, and impacts are expected to become more profound and far-reaching in the decades ahead,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices.

“There are no easy paths to achieve the transformative results necessary to thrive in the face of climate change, but Canadians are resourceful, practical and innovative, and we are already making progress,” Bardswick added. “By drawing on experience and expertise from across the country, we can get further, faster and help decision makers successfully steer the country toward a low-carbon, resilient and prosperous future.”

The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices brings together experts from a broad range of disciplines including economics, climate change adaptation and mitigation, Indigenous knowledge, natural and social sciences, public policy, energy systems, and engineering.

Staff will engage business leaders, policy makers, Indigenous governments, communities, and thought leaders in constructive discussions about policy choices. The discussions will also aim to showcase effective solutions and best practices from leading Canadian cities, regions, and industries.

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“Canada can design climate policies that work better and cost less by considering the full range of cost and benefits,” said Dale Beugin, vice president of research and analysis at the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices. “To do so, we need multiple perspectives. Well-designed climate change policy doesn’t just mean tackling climate change, it’s also about keeping life affordable, protecting Canadians’ health, and making our economy and communities better prepared for the changes ahead.”

The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices was established following a competitive call for proposals led by Environment and Climate Change Canada. That process resulted in a mandate to create a pan-Canadian expert collaboration that would “provide independent and expert-driven analysis to help Canada move toward clean growth in all sectors and regions of the country.” While the Institute’s work is supported through a five-year contribution agreement with Environment and Climate Change Canada, its is a wholly independent entity and retains full control over its research, findings, and policy recommendations.

Alongside its launch, the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices has also released its initial report, Charting our Course, which takes stock of the current climate policy landscape in Canada. It also makes the case for integrating expertise and conventional policy silos that can support a more resilient and prosperous future. The report concludes with four recommendations for policy makers and governments seeking to design and implement more effective policy:

  • Broaden objectives for climate policy.
  • Embrace Canada’s role in global outcomes.
  • Expand the scope, scale, and pace of climate policies.
  • Seek out integrated solutions that drive multiple benefits.
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