York U experts available for comment on UN climate change conference


TORONTO, December 7, 2009 -- York University experts are available to comment on issues arising out of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which begins today in Copenhagen.

For the first time, York University has been accredited with official observer status at the conference; York delegates will observe proceedings and participate in UN-sanctioned side-events.

The following professors will be available for interviews in Toronto:

Dawn Bazely, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Director of York’s
Institute for Research & Innovation in Sustainability (IRIS)

Professor Bazely can speak on both scientific and societal aspects of climate change, including climate change denial and the current smear campaign against peer-reviewed science, the gap between science and public policy, implications of the four-degree and six-degree scenario, human security and climate change, vulnerability and adaptation, and the ecology of carbon flows in forests.

Office: (416)736-2100 x20109. E-mail: dbazely@yorku.ca

Mark Winfield, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Professor Winfield can comment on Canadian federal and provincial climate change and energy policy, the impact of international negotiations and commitments on domestic policy making, and the role of subnational initiatives like the Western Climate Initiative. He has done studies on energy efficiency, renewable energy, “clean” coal and nuclear energy, and is considered an expert on electricity policy in Ontario. He is also well-versed in issues around oil sands development in Alberta.

Office: (416)736-2100 x21078. E-mail: marksw@yorku.ca

Stuart Schoenfeld, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, Glendon College

Prof. Schoenfeld’s recent research includes examining Canadian foreign policy from a climate change perspective. He can discuss public awareness of climate change, what’s at issue in the draft treaty at Copenhagen, the positions of various countries (including the Middle East), the dilemma of national action in addressing the global issue of climate change, and civil society and climate change negotiations.

Office: (416)487-6741 x88383.
E-mail: schoenfe@yorku.ca 

Stepan Wood, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

Professor Wood can comment on legal aspects of international climate change negotiations, as well as Canadian climate change law and policy. He is an executive board member of York’s Institute for Research & Innovation in Sustainability.


Office: (416)736-5036. Email: swood@osgoode.yorku.ca


Peter Victor, Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies


Professor Victor, considered one of the founders of the emerging discipline of ecological economics, can comment on economic issues relating to climate change. His current research includes an inquiry into managing without growth, utilizing a model of the Canadian economy for exploring the interplay of growth, employment, poverty and the environment.

Office: (416)736-2100x22614. E-mail: pvictor@yorku.ca

Please note: Prof. Victor is not available Dec. 10-15 and Dec. 17


Rod MacRae, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies


Professor MacRae researches federal food and agriculture policy and strategies to localize the food and agriculture system. He can comment on the food system's contribution to green house gas emissions, food miles, and green house gas mitigation and adaptation strategies. He has served as a food policy consultant to government, business and NGOs.


Office: (416)736-2100 x22116. E-mail: rmacrae@yorku.ca


Justin Podur, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Professor Podur can comment on climate change and its relationship to forest fires and forest events, as well as simple climate science. His scientific research has focused on forest fires in Ontario, specifically increases in their numbers and area burned.


Office: (416)736-2100 x20742. E-mail: jpodur@yorku.ca


York University is the leading interdisciplinary research and teaching university in Canada. York offers a modern, academic experience at the undergraduate and graduate level in Toronto, Canada’s most international city. The third largest university in the country, York is host to a dynamic academic community of 50,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, as well as 200,000 alumni worldwide. York’s 10 Faculties and 28 research centres conduct ambitious, groundbreaking research that is interdisciplinary, cutting across traditional academic boundaries. This distinctive and collaborative approach is preparing students for the future and bringing fresh insights and solutions to real-world challenges. York University is an autonomous, not-for-profit corporation.


Media Contact:


Melissa Hughes, Media Relations, York University, 416 736 2100 x 22097, mehughes@yorku.ca