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Mark Jaccard

Climate Change Expert

Mark Jaccard is professor of sustainable energy in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Pipelines, Politics and Perjury
Political leaders and corporate heads tell us they care about climate change and are acting on this global threat. But how can we tell if they are being honest? And what can we do if they are not? Mark will discuss these questions and more as he delves into the climate issues facing governments today.

How do we get effective climate policy?
Getting our politicians to implement effective climate policy is inherently difficult. In this talk, Mark Jaccard combines anecdotal and research evidence to develop strategic advice for those seeking effective climate policies. He will cover a range of relevant topics including democratic reforms, institutional design, policy design, policy evaluation, public perceptions, and climate activism.

Global Warming – Global Justice
The United Nations has attempted to achieve a global climate treaty since 1992 without success and humanity is now certain to pass a 2 C increase and most likely a 6 C increase by 2100. The latter will have catastrophic impacts for life on earth; the former may also if we are already on a runaway warming path. Why have we not achieved a global treaty? Is there any hope of achieving a global treaty? If so, how would it happen and what would it look like? What are the implications for global justice of global warming and the effort to prevent it?

  • Mark Jaccard skillfully makes the case that those who leave modifying the way we use fossil fuels out of any plan to achieve "sustainability" in our energy systems surely confuse means with ends. If our objectives are to improve energy security and protect the environment at reasonable cost, he makes clear that, with a little bit of ingenuity and resolve, our extensive fossil fuel resources could well be our best friend rather than our worst enemy.

    - Professor, Stanford University
  • Jaccard is... "the voice of the economist tempered by extensive practical experience in the field and an evident concern for the future of our environment.

    - Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Summary Profile

Mark Jaccard is an internally respected expert on climate change.  He is professor of sustainable energy in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. His soon to be published book focuses on how to overcome human psychological traits that hinder our ability to act effectively on the global warming threat.

Originally from Vancouver, Jaccard did his doctorate at the Institute for Energy Economics and Policy at the University of Grenoble. Offered a position at SFU upon graduation, he leapt at the chance to return to his beloved home town with its beautiful setting of ocean and mountains. He has been at SFU ever since, except for taking a leave from 1992 to 1997 to serve as Chairman and CEO of the British Columbia Utilities Commission.

Internationally, he contributed to assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.  He was also convening lead author for the chapter on sustainable energy policy in the monumental 2012 Global Energy Assessment – a five year international collaboration of leading energy experts.

His scholarly work and engagement with the public and policy makers has been recognized numerous times. One notable award was to be named the British Columbian Academic of the Year by the association of British Columbian faculty members in 2008. Jaccard’s co-authored 2002 book, The Cost of Climate Policy, won the Policy Research Institute award for best policy book in Canada and was shortlisted for the Donner Prize. His 2005 book, Sustainable Fossil Fuels, won the Donner Prize for best policy book in Canada. In 2007, he co-authored Hot Air with Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson.