sust canada dialogue

About Sustainable Canada Dialogues

Sustainable Canada Dialogues (SCD) is a voluntary network that mobilizes over 80 researchers from every province in Canada, including 20 research chairs, 16 directors and seven members of the Royal Society of Canada. 


Our network of scholars represents disciplines across engineering, sciences and social sciences, sustainability being at the heart of our research programs. We share the concern that if governments in Canada don’t steer the course of economic and social development towards sustainability, the next generation of citizens will face dire consequences of extreme climate warming.

Sustainable Canada Dialogues is an initiative of the UNESCO-McGill Chair for Dialogues on Sustainability and counts on the generous support of McGill’s Faculty of Science and Dr. Catherine Potvin's Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Climate Change Mitigation & Tropical Forests. The initiative benefitted previously from the support of the Trottier Institute for Science and Public Policy.


Our Objective

Since 2014, SCD has engaged in synthesis research to support evidence-based decision-making in an empowering, solution-oriented tone, recognizing that the prevalent, alarmist climate change discourse can make people feel helpless and overwhelmed and thus disengaged. SCD has identified key policy orientations to guide achievable action and empower decision-makers and citizens alike.

In preparation for the 2015 federal election, followed by the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, we launched our climate action plan Acting on Climate Change: Solutions from Canadian Scholars at the Americana conference in Montreal on March 18th, 2015. On March 27th at the Green Living Show in Toronto, we launched an issue of Alternatives Journal magazine dedicated to sustainability, in which SCD scholars presented in more detail options towards a sustainable Canada. In October 2015, we launched Acting on Climate Change: Extending the Dialogue Among Canadians, a collection of texts written by 27 members of civil society, from First Nations to business to private citizens, to broaden the discussion on climate solutions. Our latest report, launched in May 2017, Re-Energizing Canada: Pathways to a Low-Carbon Future, is an independent report commissioned by Natural Resources Canada to examine how Canada can transition to a low-carbon energy economy while remaining globally competitive.      


SCD has developed its own processes of collective decision-making and consensus-building—scholars layer comments over each other and comments are incorporated in multiple drafts by SCD Coordinator, Dr. Potvin, and the scientific committee in numerous cycles. Feedback from external stakeholders is sought and incorporated to bolster relevance and legitimacy.


Quick Links:

SCD Team

SCD Reports

SCD Concept Note