Climate Change Technology Conference 2013

Engineering for Global Sustainability

The very success of our species has led to a situation in which this planet's finite resources must be considered in all future planning. This conference is dedicated to the study and exposition of the status and prospects of engineering in support of a bright future for humanity in the midst of a rapidly changing and uncertain environment, both physical and sociological due to climate change.


Mona E. Brøther, Norwegian Ambassador
Professor Marius Paraschivoiu, CCTC2013 Chair

 


EIC Awards

 


EIC president Jean Zu (in blue) and award recipients

 

CONFERENCE TOPIC CATEGORIES

Scalable Engineering for Mitigation
According to the IPCC, to prevent irreversible damage to this planet, greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced by 50 per cent by 2050. Further, the IPCC states that global emissions need to peak by 2015 and decline thereafter. To make a difference at this late hour, Canadian engineers can lead Canada to a war footing on Climate Change mitigation and remember the words that Churchill put on memos, “Action this Day”.
The Mitigation track seeks papers on measures that will urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Measures can include developing less emission-intensive goods and services, boosting efficiency of power generation, transportation, water-use and industry and dwellings while rapidly accelerating the use of low-carbon fuels and technologies. Another way to mitigate the impacts of climate change is by enhancing “sinks” – both artificial and natural-- reservoirs that absorb CO2.
Prospective authors are invited to include in their proposals an estimate of the dollar cost to reduce a tonne of CO2e and the time scale over which the idea presented might be implemented. Authors are invited to examine, for example, the methodology of technology ranking worked out in a climate change transportation model used for the 2010 winter Olympics at www.ghgenius.ca
Engineering for Adaptation
Programs and measures to reduce GHG emissions will simply slow the rate of climate change (Mitigation). It is thus evident that equal attention needs to be given to increase our capacity to Adapt to climate change.
This topic covers projects, programs and recommendations for engineering design, planning, processes and tools which will increase and improve our capability to cope with Climate Change.
Education program & Strategy
To address climate change, both developed and developing countries may need to work together to conserve energy and resources, develop renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, facilitate transfer of technical expertise and education, equalize living standards on a global scale, moderate population growth, and in general adopt sustainable practices. The scientific community also needs to be well prepared.
For the Third Climate Change Technology Conference papers are being sought from any discipline that can promote success working within the climate change scenario. Aspects of this track will include:

1) Innovation for sustainability and changing engineer designs, entailing, for example, higher costs for infrastructure
2) Guidance into curriculum decisions for schools, colleges and universities
3) Communication of information at all levels in the educational system, to the general public, policy makers, decision makers, fellow engineering practitioners, climate scientists and other professionals, governments and non-governmental organizations.
4) Establishment of collaborative and synergistic relationships between journalists and engineering and scientific climate change experts to optimize the use of the media (including the social media) and improve the climate change message so as to garner broad support for mitigation and adaptation initiatives.

Risk Management
Risk assessment and risk management have a variety of meanings over a range of disciplines and problems. In most cases, risk is defined as the product of the probability of an event taking place and the consequences of such an event. Risks associated with climate change have always been present, but have only risen to the fore in recent decades, with more focus on global sustainability aspects of the engineering profession. This track will focus on climate-related risks that will require a change in our thinking about risk management, as it relates to the infrastructure development in general. Selected topics may include:

  • Hazard assessment and risk management in developing natural resources (water resources, mining, forestry)
  • Impact of climate change on standards and design criteria for critical infrastructure projects;
  • Climate change and design life for man-made structures
  • Long term vulnerability of current infrastructure (dams, highways, flood protection structures, power grids, bridges, etc)
  • Risk-based decision analysis and ALARP principles – how do they change (or do they)?
Engineering Codes, Standards, and Safety
Codes and standards developed by regulatory agencies, engineering societies and the private sector play an extremely important and often essential role in the everyday life of engineers. They are used for many reasons, the main ones being to ensure:
protection of health and safety of the public;
protection of the environment;
efficiencies of practices, reliability of equipment, materials and processes;
and adherence to acceptable engineering practices.

The effect of climatic change has the potential to require major changes in engineering practices and procedures and related codes and standards.
Abstracts are invited for paper presentations on the many subjects related to codes and standards.

Modeling, Analysis & Design
Engineering for global sustainability requires the use of models to develop and test designs, ensuring that systems and structures are optimized for safety, functionality, and reliability. Climate change is imposing structural and performance requirements on engineered systems outside the realm of previous experience, due to changing operating and environmental conditions and the possibility of more frequent extreme events.

In response to these new and evolving conditions, models are of increasing utility in the design of safe and reliable systems. Although physical models and prototypes continue to be indispensable in many areas of application, computational modeling and simulation are now essential tools in most design projects.

Cost Benefits and Affordability
There are many important themes in the Conference. Many of the categories that will be elaborated upon during these three days involve cost benefits but we must be able also to evaluate their affordability. When we think about Engineering for Adaptation, Risk Management, Engineering Codes and Standards that could and/or should be modified, about present and future Technological & Research Advances, about what should be put into place in order to evaluate and counter Extreme Events and Disaster Management, each of these components must lend itself, before its deployment, to an estimation of the related cost benefits and its affordability.
Other Technology Options
An opportunity for papers to be presented outlining:

• How some technical solutions have not been successful and why
• Technical solutions might be applicable in one area depending upon local conditions and not another
• Technical solutions that require another complimentary technology
• Poor understanding of technology dooms some good solutions
• Poor understanding of total cost leads to waste
• There are no silver bullets
• Political ideas may not be sustainable.
Technological & Research Advances
This technical track will cover the technological and research advancements that have been achieved in tackling the problem related to climate change. Papers are solicited in the area of energy and environmental science, engineering and technologies, including, but not limited to:
  • green energy systems
  • green energy sources and energy carriers
  • efficient energy conversion and management
  • emission reduction, control and abatement
  • environmental monitoring and cleaning up
Lessons Learned
A great deal of good work has been undertaken, completed and continues on the diverse subject of climate change. And we have learned many valuable lessons on what works, what has promise, and what areas require a change in strategy.

The CCTC2013 “Lessons Learned From Operating Experience” track invites those with valuable lessons learned to share their experience and hard earned lessons with their peers in the science.
The world does not have the time and or resources to have each of us learn all the lessons first hand; we must learn from others.

Extreme Events/Disaster Management
One of the consequences of increasing global temperatures and climate change is an increasing frequency and severityof extreme weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, etc.

Proposals and recommendations to increase and improve our capability to predict the location, timing and severity of such events, to provide advance warnings and to enhance our capability to respond to and cope with the disastrous consequences of such events will have real value to the communities at risk. This includes but is not limited to:
  • Practices in providing advanced warning.
  • Planning for handling disasters.
  • Recent experience in handling disasters.
  • Impact of the environment on existing infrastructure.
Net-zero Energy Buildings and Communities
Net-zero energy buildings and communities are usually described as those that produce from on-site renewable energy sources as much energy as they consume in an average year. This session will focus on optimal concepts and designs for net-zero energy buildings, as well as enabling technologies such as solar systems, thermal storage and heat pumps.
http://www.solarbuildings.ca/index.php/en/
The Canadian Arctic
This session considers issues that recognize the vastness of Canada’s arctic region, the fact that it is not connected to any grid, and with few roads and no rail capability. The session will recognize the various types of communities in the Arctic, remote small communities, industrial sites, and military installations. Topics may include, but are not limited to: energy, renewable energy, resources, housing, transport, water, sewage, pollution response, and health.
Miscellaneous Topics of Interest
Any other topic that is concerned with “Climate Change Technology” and is not covered by one of the other technical session tracks / topics.