News and Events

Despite good intentions, 5G might widen the gap between farmers

Posted on: November 12, 2020

ZME Science highlighted a study led by Zia Mehrabi, a research associate at IRES/SPPGA. The study shows a widening gap between small-scale farmers and those who are more technologically advanced.

To save threatened plants and animals, restore habitat on farms, ranches and other working lands

Posted on: November 12, 2020

Claire Kremen, UBC IRES/Zoology prof, co-wrote about a study that found restoring native habitats to at least 20 per cent of the world’s land currently being used by humans for farming, ranching and forestry is necessary to protect biodiversity and slow species loss.

Ottawa’s climate-change policies fail to protect First Nations against food scarcity: study

Posted on: November 12, 2020

“No matter what we do by 2030,” said IRES’s Kai Chain, “it’s going to get a lot worse for those northern communities, just by virtue of the inertia already in the system.” He called on the federal government to immediately redouble its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Woodfibre LNG and climate played a role in swinging this B.C. riding Green

Posted on: November 12, 2020

Local issues can tip the balance when it comes to votes, whereas global concerns sometimes don’t, said Kai Chan, IRES prof.

Bank loans scrutinized for harm to wildlife as well as climate

Posted on: November 12, 2020

Kai Chan, IRES prof and lead author of the IPBES report, was quoted about sustainable economies and the role of banks in financing economic activities that impact biodiversity.

Why all human rights depend on a healthy environment

Posted on: October 27, 2020

David Boyd, IRES/SPPGA prof, wrote about the importance of placing human rights and nature at the heart of sustainable development to attain a just and sustainable future.

Science leads the way in initiative providing direct cash transfers to individuals experiencing homelessness

Posted on: October 26, 2020

There are major benefits to giving money directly to individuals experiencing homelessness, shows a study by the charity Foundations for Social Change and Jiaying Zhao, professor at IRES and UBC Psychology. Their findings counter many of the assumptions people have about homelessness and are being shared by prominent media outlets, politicians, and public figures, hopefully leading to […]

UBC researcher wins 2020 Volvo Environment Prize

Posted on: October 20, 2020

Claire Kremen, UBC IRES/Zoology professor & Biodiversity Research Centre faculty, was awarded the 2020 Volvo Environment Prize for her work on transformative food systems that protect biodiversity. A prestigious and well deserved recognition – congratulations Claire!

In Remembrance of Adrian Semmelink

Posted on: October 15, 2020

The IRES community is mourning the sudden passing of Adrian Semmelink, who did his Master’s with Kai Chan and Terre Satterfield from 2015-2018. Adrian was a warm, enthusiastic, empathetic person who seemed to set everyone at ease with his manner and his wonderful sense of humour. He brightened every room he walked in, and touched […]

Professor Navin Ramankutty Awarded the Wihuri International Prize

Posted on: October 9, 2020

UBC Professor Navin Ramankutty — of the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs — has been awarded the prestigious Wihuri International Prize in recognition of his long-standing work on sustainable global food systems.   As Canada Research Chair in Global Environmental Change and Food Security, Ramankutty is […]

Camera traps show effects of outdoor recreation on B.C. wildlife

Posted on: October 5, 2020

In southwestern B.C., all wildlife tend to avoid places that were recently visited by humans even if the recreational activity doesn’t involve motorized vehicles. This finding comes from a new study by IRES’s Robin Naidoo and Cole Burton in UBC Forestry, which was featured in UBC Science News, News 1130, CTV, CTV Vancouver and Radio […]

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).

December 1, 2020: Diversity in Engineering – Synergies with Decarbonization & Building Science

Posted on: September 3, 2020

Join Brittany Coughlin for her presentation highlighting synergistic strategies for advancing energy efficient, low carbon building designs, alongside ideas for advancing diversity in the workplace.

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

November 19, 2020: IRES Faculty Seminar with Felix Pretis

Posted on: September 3, 2020

Using machine learning and econometric model selection, we construct an empirically-derived climate damage function allowing for the potential impact of climate extremes and accounting for possible adaptation pathways. The damage function can be disaggregated to a country level as a function of global mean surface temperature and is independent of any specific emission scenario

November 17, 2020: Infrastructure Resilience Under Climate Uncertainty

Posted on: September 3, 2020

Join Dr. Costa Samaras in a discussion about how infrastructure managers, engineers, researchers, and policymakers can manage uncertainty and ensure climate-safe infrastructure systems for the 21st century and beyond.

November 12, 2020: IRES Student Seminar with Scott McKenzie and Nima Jamshidi

Posted on: September 3, 2020

November 12, 2020: IRES Student Seminar with Scott McKenzie and Nima Jamshidi