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Climate change conference to bring academics together

By Will Sloan

Sustainable Canada Dialogues

Sustainable Canada Dialogues aims to serve as a voice on environmental issues for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

The future of our environment is the future of the world. On Sunday, a multidisciplinary conference will give the Ryerson community and Toronto at large a say in that future.

Sustainable Canada Dialogues’ (SCD) People’s Climate Forum will bring together academics and guest speakers to discuss climate and environmental issues, including new research, sustainability projects, and government policy. Held at Ryerson University, the event will foster discussion for SCD’s official climate change strategy, to be released Earth Day 2015.

“Canadians have always been concerned about the natural environment as part of our history,” said Deborah De Lange, professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management and co-organizer with Alison Kemper, social activist and entrepreneurship professor. “We’d like to turn to our past, which is to be connected to the natural environment, and rebuild connections that have been broken.”

The Toronto event is one of several across the country by Sustainable Canada Dialogues, a network of academics that seeks to reach consensus on climate change solutions. Since beginning at McGill University, the network has expanded across the country, and aims to serve as a voice on environmental issues influencing the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference and the next federal election.

While hosted by Ryerson, the People’s Climate Change Forum is a rare collaboration between professors from across Toronto’s major universities. “It’s always been hard to get academics together because we’re all really busy,” said De Lange. “I think this is bringing us together.

“At Ryerson, we have the Centre for Urban Energy, environmental science programs, and there’s definitely a progressive spirit growing. We’re trying to generate a movement with this event that spreads in Ontario and across the country.”

The People’s Climate Forum takes place September 21, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ted Rogers School of Management, TRS1-147 (7th floor). Free tickets are available online.

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