In May 2017, the Ontario Climate Consortium will be co-hosting its 5th Annual Ontario Climate Symposium with York University and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. This event is the premier forum for sharing cutting-edge research and initiatives that address climate change in the province.
The aim of the 2017 Ontario Climate Symposium is to facilitate discussions across research disciplines, as well as policy and practice communities, about Ontario’s future as we collectively address climate change through mitigation and adaptation strategies.
We are mindful the “future” is usually conceptualized in decades – 2030 or 2050 – or at most as “end of the century” in climate change policy discussions. From many indigenous/aboriginal perspectives, however, the collective responsibility we bear for ensuring the well-being of the Earth and its communities (both human and non-human) applies to at least seven generations into the future.
Inherent to this responsibility is the importance of caring for marginalized and vulnerable communities and sharing fairly the benefits of our transition towards a more sustainable society. This perspective will inform the symposium throughout the program.
Given that Canada is celebrating the 150th anniversary of confederation in 2017, we will also be encouraging discussions of what Ontario could be like in the next 150 years, or seven generations, when Canada will celebrate the 300th anniversary of Confederation.
We hope to encourage the development of positive narratives and visions of a sustainable and just future — ones that cross boundaries between natural science, social science, law, humanities and the arts.
Within the overarching themes described above, we will organize the program around a set of sub-themes, including energy, climate justice, planning and implementation, eco-health, climate data, and the performing arts.