The inaugural meeting of the North American Climate Policy Forum was held on June 22-23, 2016 at the University of Ottawa. The Forum involves a partnership between the University of Ottawa’s Institute of the Environment, Sustainable Prosperity, the Duke University Energy Initiative, and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke.
Government officials, academics, and key industry and policy leaders came together to share research and discuss climate policy tools and strategies with a special focus on low-carbon technology and innovation. John Stackhouse, Senior Vice President in the office of the CEO at the Royal Bank of Canada and Canadian author and journalist, delivered the opening keynote address built around the simple but powerful observation that “choosing between a strong economy and a healthy planet is a false choice.” We can have both if we focus on innovation and work together to find ways to bring together North American talent and investment, capable of supporting a resilient long-term sustainable economy.
In fact, this annual forum stems from a collaborative partnership that has been built between the University of Ottawa and Duke University, in large part due to the persistence of Dr. Stewart Elgie, the Director at the Institute of the Environment, and Chair, Sustainable Prosperity at the University of Ottawa and Dr. Brian Murray, the Director, Environmental Economics Program, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and Interim Director of the Duke University Energy Initiative. (Dr. Brian Murray held the first Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in the Environment and the Economy at the University of Ottawa in 2015.)
In a welcoming address to the Forum participants, Dr. Michael Hawes, CEO of Fulbright Canada, explained that this partnership between the University of Ottawa and Duke University exemplifies “how highly successful and progressive researchers can collaborate in a meaningful way and how long-term institutional partnerships can grow out of exchange opportunities.” It is Fulbright Canada’s experience that international exchange opportunities can yield valuable partnerships.
The Forum proved to be a great success and Fulbright Canada is proud to have played a small part. We look forward to seeing the ways in which the Forum will help to build the bridges capable laying groundwork for an environmentally sustainable North American economy – one of the foremost challenges of our time!