In The Press

United Nations University

2016 article on the 2 year working group on resilience,  climate related loss and damage and rollout of the UNFCCC Warsaw International Mechanism on loss and damage.


Full article available here.


On Loss and Damage in The Arctic at UNFCCC COP21

Mobilizing Arctic Knowledge into Policy: Perspectives from United Nations COP20 and translating traditional and scientific knowledge.

February 25th, 2015

For centuries Arctic societies informed decisions grounded in local knowledge and values. In the past 50 years socio-environmental change in the circumpolar north has been unprecedented. Today the field and future of Arctic policy making involves not only indigenous peoples but scientists, filmmakers and multilateral policy making.

Panelists shared their experiences from their participation at the recent United Nations Framework on Climate Change, 20th Conference of the Parties (COP20) in Lima Peru and the role of traditional knowledge informed regional planning policy in the Yukon and communicating Arctic issues through film. Addressing the concepts of intergenerational equity and bridging indigenous and scientific knowledge, two members of the Youth Arctic Coalition discussed the workings of UNFCC COP20 to provide perspective on opportunities to integrate Arctic knowledge(s) into policy approaching COP21 in Paris. Further, the panel also discussed the politics of Arctic representation at the international stage, at the UN conference, and emerging practice of translating knowledge(s) into effective Arctic policy at international, circumpolar, and local levels.


In order of appearance Katherine Tourigny (B.Sc Behavioural Neuroscience, Youth Arctic Coalition).Christopher Carter (MSc. Community and Regional Planning, Youth Arctic Coalition), Julie Cruikshank Ph.D (Social Anthropology), Kevin McMahon(Filmmaker – The Polar Sea).

Slides are here.

Interview with MEOPeer Christopher Carter at United Nations Climate Conference


December, 2014While at the climate talks in Lima during COP20 I had a chance to sit down with the fantastic crew at MEOPARCanada, a national center of research excellence, to talk climate change and vulnerability between negotiation sessions.The following is the transcript from our chat.

MEOPAR: Tell me about the meeting in Lima.

CC:I was honoured to represent UBC at the UN Climate Conference and to attend as a MEOPAR graduate RA. I was in Lima, Peru from Dec 3-13.

There was a tremendous amount to learn about ranging from climate diplomacy for GHG mitigation, financing adaptation and questions of social equity amidst coastal change.

The COP20 climate talks look at adaptation planning and evidence-based policy-making at the highest policy level, where finance for adaptation and emission reduction for mitigation is negotiated in a multi-stakeholder environment.

In Lima, I attended the ICLEI Lima talks that looked specifically at how cities plan for adaptation, putting the most vulnerable populations at the center of coastal change planning.

MEOPAR: What was your role?

CC: As a nominated delegate of the Youth Arctic Coalition and Polar Bears International, I attended negotiations, panels and side events as a representative of the respective organizations. I spoke to the findings of our polar scientists, voicing concerns of our Inuit partner communities and promoted responsible arctic policy and conservation of sea ice.

As a graduate researcher, I was especially engaged with the 5th IPCC report on climate change working groups on policy translation and mobilization. I namely focused on its implication for land use and risk reduction planning in Canadian coastal communities.

I did work with the alliance of small island developing states and indigenous people’s congress on draft language for vulnerability and self-determinism in adaptation, namely the Nairobi Work Plan.

To prepare, I read a lot of policy briefings on previous climate talks and spent time choosing from the thousands of events and panels!

MEOPAR: What is the connection with your MEOPAR research?

CC: In our MEOPAR research group at UBC, we focus on reducing risk with vulnerable populations. Namely in climate adaptation, land use planning and risk management. My advisor Stephanie Chang’s work on social vulnerability, resilience and coastal planning institutions connects quite well with the conference focus on both mitigation and adaptation planning.

We are using an indicator based approach, informed by qualitative and quantitative sources that can build a network of local planning institutions that are similarly at risk, to better plan resilient coastal communities and regions in coastal Canada. Our study area to pilot this approach is the Strait of Georgia.

Dr. Chang is working to understand pre-existing vulnerability and the role local planning institutions play in reducing risk in coastal communities to hazards like sea level rise and marine transit spills, or disruptions.

Follow Christopher Carter on Social Media:
Twitter: @cjvisualpolicy
Instagram: @ultericommunications 

MEOPeer Christopher Carter’s blog about his experience at the UN Climate Talks in Peru.