News and Events

Expert Opinion: The Right To Breathe Clean Air

Posted on: September 21, 2020

In the recovery from this pandemic, leaders gathering at the United Nations have the opportunity and duty to “simultaneously tackle the deadly pollution and work to achieve everyone’s right to breathe clean air,” urges IRES prof David Boyd. Boyd is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, and presented a report […]

City Bar Association Urges UN to Formally Recognize Human Right to a Healthy Environment

Posted on: September 17, 2020

The New York City Bar Association, a group of over 24,000 lawyers and law students, joins IRES prof David Boyd in pushing the United Nations to recognize the human right to a healthy environment by the end of this year. Among specifically listed goals, the bar association calls on the U.S. permanent representative to the […]

People don’t really grasp how their actions impact climate, study shows

Posted on: September 3, 2020

A study led by IRES prof Jiaying Zhao and Simon Donner & Seth Wynes of UBC Geography looked at how well people understand the climate impact of individual actions. Unfortunately, balancing a carbon budget is not intuitive for most people. Consumers struggle to make tradeoffs between sets of different actions that impact climate.

December 3, 2020: IRES Faculty Seminar with Inês Azevedo (Last Seminar in Term 1)

Posted on: September 3, 2020

In this talk I will cover three related recent papers: 1) Comparing the Health Damages from Air Pollution to the Value Added in the U.S. Economy (PNAS, 2019). 2) Fine Particulate Air Pollution from Electricity Generation in the US: Health Impacts by Race, Income, and Geography (ES&T, 2019). 3) What are the best combinations of fuel-vehicle technologies to mitigate climate change and air pollution effects across the United States? (ERL, 2020).

November 26, 2020: IRES Professional Development Seminar with Cicely Blain

Posted on: September 3, 2020

November 26, 2020: IRES Professional Development Seminar with Cicely Blain

October 29, 2020: IRES Professional Development Seminar with Baruch Fischhoff

Posted on: September 3, 2020

The talk will address opportunities for integrating research and public service by creating empirically based communications responsive to user needs. It will draw examples from a diverse application areas.

October 22, 2020: IRES Faculty Seminar with Juno Salazar Parreñas

Posted on: September 3, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has starkly demonstrated the depth of social inequalities in North America, leading to an agitated summer of 2020 that has been characterized by popular uprising and growing support of social movements for Black Lives Matter and prison abolition. Universities have joined in on antiracist language, declaring statements against racism, violence, and white supremacy. Are these recent efforts an example of the decolonization of institutions or might they serve as examples of the institutionalization of decolonization? Considering past efforts to decolonize higher education and a colonial-era ethnological and ethological museum, this talk considers the pitfalls of ambiguity between aspirations for transformation on one hand and the cynicism of merely symbolic gestures on the other.

October 15, 2020: IRES Student Seminar with Balsher Sidhu and Luis Felipe Melgarejo Perez

Posted on: September 3, 2020

October 15, 2020: IRES Student Seminar with Balsher Sidhu and Luis Felipe Melgarejo Perez

October 8, 2020: IRES Faculty Seminar with César Rodríguez-Garavito

Posted on: September 3, 2020

Climate litigation based on human rights is proliferating around the world. From the Netherlands to Mexico, from Canada to South Africa to the Philippines, from the Arctic to the Amazon, from domestic to international courts, litigants are bringing legal challenges against governments and corporations to hold them accountable for massive human rights violations associated with global warming. This talk presents the first systematic study of the universe of rights-based climate litigation around the world. The talk discusses the origins and the emergent legal doctrines as well as the  impact and limitations of rights-based litigation in advancing climate action.   

October 2, 2020: The Ethics of Publishing Webinar

Posted on: September 3, 2020

The Ethics of Publishing When: Friday, October 2, 2020 – 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM  Publishing in academic journals is crucial for academic knowledge dissemination and can enhance your academic CV. However, the academic publishing landscape is complex and navigating this system can be challenging for scholars and authors. In this webinar, you will: gain insight into […]

Reintroducing sea otters is good for the environment and the economy, and both matter

Posted on: September 1, 2020

A UBC study led by Edward Gregr, an adjunct professor at IRES, notes the economic costs and long-term benefits of sea otter recovery. While sea otters are detrimental to fisheries income, economic gains in other sectors outweigh these losses.

Think You’re Making Good Climate Choices? Take This Mini-Quiz

Posted on: August 31, 2020

An intuitive questionnaire tests the user’s ability to make trade-offs that impact individual carbon emissions. The New York Times quiz is based on a study by researchers in IRES and UBC’s Department of Geography.

‘Non-union’ bees make blueberries thrive — but only if they have a home

Posted on: August 28, 2020

Native bumblebees — as opposed to the semi-domesticated honeybees that farmers are increasingly reliant on — are better for many B.C. farming systems, observed Claire Kremen, prof at UBC in zoology and IRES.

October 1, 2020: IRES Student Seminar with Anthony Persaud and Ilana Judah

Posted on: August 26, 2020

October 1, 2020: IRES Student Seminar with Anthony Persaud and Ilana Judah

September 24, 2020: IRES Faculty Seminar with Areef Abraham

Posted on: August 25, 2020

Areef has worked for over three decades with underserved communities who struggle to pay their energy bills. This presentation will discuss how and why it all began, and the successes and pitfalls he experienced along the way. Areef’s learned experience speaks to the importance of working effectively at the interface of communities, governments and tradespeople to improve outcomes for all.

Commentary: Road to recovery post-coronavirus paved with green bricks

Posted on: August 24, 2020

In the aftermath of COVID-19, UBC IRES and IOF prof Kai Chan resists a return to our pre-pandemic practices that contribute to crises in climate and ecology by detailing transformative pathways towards a thriving, sustainable future.

September 22, 2020: On Buildings, Energy, and Health in a Changing Climate with Holly Samuelson

Posted on: August 20, 2020

This talk presents research using building performance simulation and other methods to improve energy and environmental performance and human health in buildings and cities. Topics include improving modeling methods for urban context, stormwater, occupant behavior, and occupant views. Other topics include investigations into heat vulnerability at the building and city scale, as well as moisture and mold performance of buildings in future climates.

September 18, 2020: The 5Ds of Redistribution Roundtable

Posted on: August 19, 2020

Dismantling and Rebuilding the Food System after COVID-19: The 5Ds of Redistribution

September 17, 2020: IRES Faculty Roundtable with Milind Kandlikar, David Boyd, and Claire Kremen

Posted on: August 17, 2020

In March and April of 2020 as COVID-19 lockdowns were put in place around the world, observers noticed a palpable change in environmental conditions. As economic activity and movement of people stalled environmental quality improved. For example, air quality in places with notoriously bad levels of pollution became a lot better, observations of animal and bird life went up, and emissions of carbon dropped. However, six months into the pandemic we seem to be back to where we were in early 2020. This panel will address what we have learnt from this episode, and whether it provides lessons for a longer term transition to improved environmental and human health protection, including: the relationship between emerging infectious diseases, wildlife trade and deforestation, and the importance of actions to prevent future pandemics; how the covid 19 reveals the many frailties of our food system; and the future implications of CoVID for air quality and climate change.

September 10, 2020: IRES Awards Session with Kai Chan (First Seminar in Term 1)

Posted on: August 17, 2020

Want to write an application that you’ll be proud of for an NSERC or SSHRC master’s or doctoral award? Nervous about crafting a research proposal that will make your application stand out? Join this Awards Info Session and kick-start the writing process with some great tips and direction for creating a successful application.