First Canadian association for professionals supporting climate change action in Canada launched

November 1, 2021

Reading time: 4 minutes

To address the climate change challenges, it is essential that the broad transdisciplinary community of natural (meteorologists, biologists, oceanographers, etc.), social, engineering, economics, health, Indigenous and other scientists be brought together, and collaborate with all communities, so that they may address all climate-related issues and provide effective strategic action plans that are implemented. 

To address the climate change challenges more effectively, the Canadian Association of Professionals in Climate Change (CAPCC) has been created to bring together the trans-disciplinary and community expertise to address the climate challenges, push the climate agenda, and accelerate integrated climate action.

Infographic that gives the same information in a visual form as written in the post text.
The Canadian Association of Professionals in Climate Change (CAPCC) will bring together trans-disciplinary climate professionals to enhance the influence, relevance, and value of climate efforts in Canada.
Prince Edward Island, Canada, November 1, 2021.

Unlike other professional associations, which offer homes to specific professions, CAPCC emphasizes the trans-disciplinary nature of climate change related issues and offers a space for active collaboration. There are countless calls-to-action happening nationwide with little capacity to get them off the ground. Breaking down the disciplinary silos can help change this with the added potential of cultivating real and substantial change.

The new Association’s Board Chair, Dr. Gordon McBean, Professor Emeritus, Western University and former President, International Council for Science, describes the Association’s main function as to enhance the interdisciplinary nature, influence, professionalism, scientific excellence, and overall value of the climate profession within Canada and beyond. Uniquely, the Association is the first professional association for climate workers of various sectors in the country.”

Understanding the value in various viewpoints and knowledge systems, CAPCC’s initial board members were strategically selected. Bringing a variety of professional and personal backgrounds to the table was an important task, as to ensure careful consideration in decision-making.

By encouraging membership from all levels, including but not limited to government, NGO’s, academia, and activists, this new Association will provide individuals with an appropriate professional designation based on their relevant education and experience,” says the new Association’s Board Vice Chair, Dr. Adam Fenech, Associate Professor, University of Prince Edward Island. In addition to professional designations, the new association will offer members various opportunities for professional development through training, workshops, and in-person events across the country.”

While the association’s main functions include unifying climate actors, providing relevant and up-to-date knowledge, and offering professional designations, CAPCC believes these efforts will in turn advance the credibility of evidence-based decision-making and policy advice in Canada.

For more information, please contact: Dr. Gordon McBean, Board Chair (; Dr. Adam Fenech, Board Vice Chair (; Kaleigh Duffy, Association Secretariate (


With the publication of the IPCC 6th Assessment in August 2021, UN Secretary General A. Guterres declared that the climate change warming was Code Red for Humanity.” In September 2021, a new UK academics report projected that, by 2100, the economic cost of climate change could be six times higher than previously estimated. Earlier, in remarks to the One Planet Summit, 11 January 2021, the UN Secretary General stated: Stop ignoring science. The fight against climate change will only succeed if everyone comes together to promote more ambition, more cooperation and more credibility.” There is a need to bring all the sciences together to address climate change.

The World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Risk Report stated that: Climate continues to be a looming risk as global cooperation weakens. Their assessment is that, over the next 10 years, the top global risks by likelihood are: (i) Extreme Weather, including storms, wildfires, and floods; (ii) Climate Action Failure, that is, the Failure of governments and businesses to enforce, enact or invest in effective climate-change adaptation and mitigation (emissions reductions) measures;” and (iii) Human Environmental Damage. The top global risks by their impacts are: Infectious Diseases (the Pandemic); Climate Action Failure; Weapons of Mass Destruction; Biodiversity Loss; and Natural Resources (water, food, …) Crises. Climate Action Failure is ranked as the second most impactful and second most likely risk. These risks clearly intersect, and coordinated actions are required.

The past five-years have been the warmest period for global mean temperatures on record.  Global warming is projected to continue at the same rate for at least another 3 decades, with Canada warming about twice as fast as the global average, and the Canadian Arctic about three times as fast. With the warming, there will be increases in the frequency and severity of extreme events. There is an increasing need for communities to build resilience to reduce the impacts, including the adverse health impacts, of the changing climate. Actions to reduce emissions are essential to reduce the projected warming.   

Canadian Association of Professionals in Climate Change (CAPCC) Board members:

  • Gordon McBean, Chair. Professor Emeritus, Western University. 
  • Adam Fenech, Vice Chair. Professor and Associate Dean, School of Climate Change and Adaptation, University of Prince Edward Island
  • Alain Bourque. Executive Director, Ouranos – Consortium on Regional Climatology and Adaptation to Climate Change
  • Ian Burton. Emeritus Professor, Department of Geography, University of Toronto
  • Deborah Harford. Formerly Executive Director of ACT (Adaptation to Climate Change Team); effective Sep 2021 – Head of Philanthropy and CEO of the Foundation at Legible Media
  • Jason Dion. Mitigation Research Director, Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, Ottawa 
  • Jo-Ellen Parry. Director, Adaptation (Canada), International Institute for Sustainable Development
  • Dave Sauchyn. Director, Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative (PARC), Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Regina
  • Graeme Reed. Senior Policy Advisor, Environment, Lands and Water Branch, Assembly of First Nations
  • Daniel Scott. University Research Chair, Climate and Society, Geography and Environmental Management, Director, Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, University of Waterloo
  • Éliane Ubalijoro. Director, Future Earth Global Hub Montreal and Executive Director, Sustainability in the Digital Age.