Cox: Global reconciliation key to climate action

School of Humanitarian Studies Prof. and Royal Roads University’s ResiliencebyDesign (RbD) Lab Director Robin Cox delivered today’s keynote presentation at the Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s 26th Council Session in Mexico City.

“Climate change is calling us to a global reconciliation – a recognition of the harm we have done and are doing to the planet, and to each other, and recognition that we need to craft a new way of being,” Cox said.

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) facilitates collaboration and public participation to foster conservation, protection and enhancement of the North American environment. CEC meets annually to assess progress on cooperation between Canada, Mexico and the United States and establishes shared priorities and actions for environmental cooperation among the NAFTA partners.Cox highlighted the discipline of disaster resilience, which historically positions resilience in response to single events, like fires, hurricanes or tragedies.

"As we watch the news, simultaneously viewing a fire in British Columbia, a flood in Mozambique, the desperate flight of migrants, and the devastating impacts of the drought and heat wave in India, it becomes apparent that this cascading report of disasters that characterize the impacts of climate change will require a different response,” she said.

Cox urged participants to engage in a transformational resilience agenda and to imagine a new way forward grounded in creativity, critical-thinking and respect.

Cox and the RbD team are leading a three-year Inspiring Climate Action project, funded by Natural Resources Canada and the BC Climate Action Secretariat. This project is focused on increasing the climate adaptation capacity of professionals in British Columbia.

Canada, Mexico and the United States established the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC ) in 1994 when  the North American Free Trade Agreement came into force. The Council for Environmental Cooperation is the intergovernmental organization formed in support of NAAEC.