On November 5, 2018, the French Ameri-Can Climate Talks – Oceans (FACT-O) will be traveling to Edmonton to hold a conference highlighting the impact of the climate change on the Arctic Ocean from the perspectives of France and Canada. Held at the University of Alberta, in partnership with the Embassy of France in Canada, the conference will welcome a variety of panelists from France and Canada to discuss the issue in detail.

FACT-O Edmonton will be held one month prior to COP 24 held in Katowice, Poland.

Register here

PROGRAM

4:30 pm – Registration

5:00 pm – Welcoming remaks

5:15 pm – Short introduction by each panelist

5:30 pm Roundtable

6:45 pm – Discussion with the public (Q&A)

7:15 pm Closing remarks

7:30 pm – Cocktail reception

8:30 pm – Event end

FACT-O initiative

For scientists and the general public, FACT-O is a series of targeted events in emblematic places of research or dissemination of science to the public. These workshops bring together scientists, representatives of NGOs and institutions in charge of ocean protection and aim to disseminate knowledge, share experiences and foster Franco-Canadian partnerships.

Continue the momentum: FACTS and COP21

The FACTS (French-Ameri-Can Climate TalkS) program was launched at the end of 2014 by French embassies in the United States and Canada to mobilize civil society for COP21. In order to continue the mobilization post COP21, the FACTS program continued in 2016 and is now focusing on Ocean, a priority theme for France and Canada.
The integration of the ocean in the Paris Agreement demonstrates the recognition of its integrity as part of the climate balance. The ocean, long forgotten by climate negotiations, was mentioned for the first time in the preamble to the Paris agreement (“noting the importance of ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems, including oceans …”).

Protecting the Oceans

The oceans today constitute a crucial subject of scientific study in the field of the environment. Oceans study involves a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines from marine geology, to physical and chemical oceanography, including marine biology and social sciences. Knowledge on oceans, however, is not commensurate with their vital importance: the oceans, which cover 71% of the earth’s surface, play a decisive role in the history of life and they are a reservoir of resources, they provide essential ecosystem services necessary for life on earth. In particular, the oceans play a major role in the functioning of the climate system and in return they suffer the effects of climate change: sea level rise, acidification … To these effects are added the degradations driven by human activities, overfishing, pollution by oil extraction… All these elements call for enhanced international action on oceans.

The Arctic Ocean, in particular, raises major issues for both France and Canada. Temperature rise is a lot higher in the Arctic than in the rest of the world, leading to an environmental disaster symbolized by the melting of the ice caps. Biodiversity is at risk, as are the local populations’ ways of life. These profound transformations imply new economic and geopolitical concerns.