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Media Advisory: 2017 Ontario Climate Symposium: The Next 150 Years

Media Advisory: 2017 Ontario Climate Symposium: The Next 150 Years

May 10, 2017 Toronto, ON –The 2017 Ontario Climate Symposium being hosted by York University this week will bring together more than 70 leading thinkers to discuss the twin challenges of eliminating fossil fuel use over the coming century and building resilience to climate change.

At a time when extreme weather events caused by climate change are becoming increasingly disruptive and energy and greenhouse gas reduction policies are more and more politically contentious, participants in the symposium will work together to develop solutions for the next 150 years that cross the boundaries of natural science, social science, law, humanities and the arts.

Special guests at this year’s Ontario Climate Symposium include: Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario; Kyle Powys-Whyte of Michigan State University; and David Miller, former Toronto Mayor and currently the President and CEO of the World Wildlife Federation (WWF). (See Keynote and Plenary Panels)

When: Thursday May 11 to Friday May 12, 2017

Where: York University Keele campus, Accolade East building (May 11) and Osgoode Hall Law School (May 12)

Program (with map):


Mark Winfield, professor of Environmental Studies at York University will host a panel on “Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan in the Subnational and Intercontinental Context.” The panel will feature experts from Ontario, Quebec and the United States who will discuss the future of Ontario’s climate change policy in the context of what is happening in partner jurisdictions such as California and Quebec. Notable on this panel is Dr. Barry Rabe from the University of Michigan who will bring unique perspectives on the implications of a Trump White House for Ontario’s climate and energy policy. (May 12 at 9am–10:30am)

José Etcheverry, assistant professor and Co-Chair of the Sustainable Energy Initiative at York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, will take part in a panel discussion on the future of Ontario’s energy systems. His work is focused on supporting communities with the transition to 100% renewable energy.
(May 12 at 1:45-3:15pm.)

Usman T. Khan, assistant professor in Civil Engineering at York University, will take part in a panel discussion on Addressing Challenges Faced by Low-Income Communities. His research interests lie in Water Resources Engineering, focusing on urban hydrology, including flood risk analysis, sustainable water resource management and infrastructure, and the impacts of climate change on these systems. (May 12 at 1:45pm-3:15pm.)

Patricia E. (Ellie) Perkins, professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, will chair a panel on Climate Justice and the Commons. She teaches ecological economics, community economic development, and critical interdisciplinary research design and her research focuses on feminist ecological economics, climate justice, and participatory governance. (May 12, 1:45–3:15pm)

York University is known for championing new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-discipline programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 26 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 295,000 alumni. York U's fully bilingual Glendon campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.


Media Contact to RSVP and for more information : Anjum Nayyar, Media Relations, York University, 416-731-2100 ext. 44543,