Canadian Climate Expert Takes on New International Role

OTTAWA - Canadian climate expert Dr. Gordon McBean
has been elected President-elect of the International Council for Science
(ICSU), the first Canadian to hold this office.  

The International Council for Science (ICSU) is a
non-governmental organization devoted to international co-operation in the
advancement of science.  The ICSU plays an important role in international
science, including hosting the World Climate Research Program.  Dr. McBean
has been recognized as a leader in climate research, including as a co-author
of the International Panel on Climate Report that won the Nobel Peace Prize.
 He is also a co-author of the IPCC’s newest report, Special Report on
Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change
Adaptation, and is chair of the ICSU Integrated Research on Disaster Risk
program. A professor at the University of Western Ontario, Dr. McBean is also the
Policy Director for Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.

“We have world class scientists here in Canada who
are part of the global effort to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis,”
said Green Leader Elizabeth May.  “Dr. McBean’s renowned expertise is being
recognized internationally but unfortunately our own government is slowly
dismantling the scientific infrastructure in Canada, including cutting
financial support to the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric
Sciences and the Climate Change Scenarios Network.”

“The IPCC and scientists like Dr. McBean are
starting to concentrate on how we are going to adapt to the extreme weather
events that are the unavoidable consequence of climate change,” said May.
 “Our failure to reduce greenhouse gases globally has now led to an
increase in catastrophic events with corresponding economic losses and loss of
life. The world’s scientists are sounding warning bells and the Green Party of
Canada urges Prime Minister Harper to pay attention before it is too late.”

The National Round Table on the Environment and the
Economy, in its report Paying the Price: The Economic Impacts of Climate Change
for Canada, estimates that the cost of Canada’s failure to act on climate
change will range from $5 billion per year by 2020 to as high as $91 billion
per year by 2050.  Impacts on forests and coastal areas will be
particularly felt in terms of hits to the Canadian economy.  An increase
in flooding, wildfires, heat waves, and poor air quality has already resulted
in increased death and destruction of property. As a result Canada's insurance
sector is seeing costs from storms and wildfire escalating rapidly.



Media Contact:

Rebecca Harrison