Environment, climate and energy

A boat with a buoy about to be deployed into the Pacific ocean

Wave energy could one day eliminate dependency on diesel for power in remote communities. Brad Buckham’s West Coast Wave Initiative, in partnership with the Barkley Project Group, Hesquiaht First Nation and public and private sector collaborators, is discovering how wave energy technologies can integrate within a hydro-diesel energy system to cut emissions and foster community growth.

Ethnobotanist Nancy Turner in a grassy field near UVic

Melina Laboucan, a member of the Lubicon Cree First Nation, came to UVic with a clear purpose: to develop a solar energy project plan that would tackle Indigenous and environmental issues in her home town of Little Buffalo, Alberta.

UVic chemist Natia Frank

UVic chemist Natia Frank developed a breakthrough material—that uses light rather than electricity—that will make computers and smartphones faster, more durable and more energy-efficient.

Mechanical engineer Zuomin Dong collecting data from a hybrid electric ferry

Mechanical engineer Zuomin Dong, seen here collecting data from a hybrid electric ferry, is a member of UVic’s Institute for Integrated Energy Systems—a world leader in the development of clean energy technologies.

Fostering clean growth

Warmer global temperatures, extreme weather events, melting Arctic sea ice and ecosystems in trouble—these are just some of the ways that climate change is altering the planet. At the same time, our expanding human footprint is threatening sensitive ecosystems and biodiversity around the globe.

The University of Victoria leads research on climate modelling, climate change mitigation and adaptation, the development of sustainable energy systems and the human dimensions of climate change.

Our researchers are working with governments, industry and community groups to foster clean growth—developing sustainable solutions and low carbon economic development to address the challenges posed by climate change. 

UVic's edge in clean growth, climate and energy research

Institute for Integrated Energy Systems

Powering the future

Energy is a crucial element of society—it's essential for communities to work, play and grow. But our reliance on fossil fuels has a limited future. Canada and the world need a road map to a different energy future.

What energy sources are available? How can they best be used? How will use of these energy sources affect the environment and the economy? To make the right decisions, policy-makers, industry and investors need answers—now.

UVic's Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic) is an international leader in research on sustainable energy solutions, including fuel cells; energy efficiency; alternative energy sources; and large-scale, long-term analysis of how policy and technology can work together.

IESVic research partners include utilities, car manufacturers, transportation planners, renewable energy device developers, First Nations communities, governments, and university researchers in more than 15 countries.

More about IESVic

Research buoy in the Pacific ocean

Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions

Knowledge. Insight. Action.

The international agreement on climate change action reached in Paris in December 2015 is a promising step forward for the planet.

How can Canada reach its emissions reduction targets? What are the right policy and technology decisions to get us to a low-emissions, sustainable future? How do we adapt to climate change? And how do we take advantage of new economic opportunities?

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), hosted and led by UVic, is a multi-university initiative that brings together experts from academia, government, industry and wider society to develop policy solutions for BC and beyond.

PICS activities span research, education and outreach. Research projects currently include carbon management in forests; electrical grid integration options for Canada; energy efficiency in buildings; reducing transportation emissions; and maximizing the social value to BC of natural gas extraction while limiting emissions.

More about PICS

Close up of a fallen tree in the forest

The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium

Bridging the knowledge gap

As Earth's climate continues to change, stakeholders from government, industry and the public need accessible, high-quality climate information to support planning and decision-making, and help us all find ways to adapt.

The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC), hosted by UVic, is a regional climate service centre that provides data, analysis and interpretation to stakeholders in the Pacific and Yukon region of Canada, and beyond.

Building on strong partnerships with more than 40 public and private sector agencies and organizations, PCIC organizes its activities around three themes: regional climate impacts, hydrologic impacts, and climate analysis and monitoring.

"We're working hard with our partners to develop even better services, including enhanced climate analysis tools, better ways of projecting changes in extremes, and more detailed streamflow modelling that includes the effects of glacier changes," says PCIC director Francis Zwiers.

More about PCIC

Clouds among the mountains of BC

Federal research labs

A host to Canadian innovation

UVic is uniquely positioned for its in work in clean growth technology, with a network of internationally recognized climate, oceans and community-engaged researchers on our campus.

UVic hosts Environment Canada's Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis (CCCma), a flagship, internationally recognized climate-modelling laboratory. The centre develops and applies computer models of the climate system to simulate global and Canadian climate, and to predict changes on seasonal to centennial timescales. Analysis of these simulations, together with observations, informs climate change adaption and mitigation in Canada and internationally.

Founded on the principal of enhancing collaboration between university researchers and Environment Canada, Environment Canada's Water and Climate Impacts Research Centre (W-CIRC) also makes its home at UVic. W-CIRC specializes in hydro-climatology and hydrologic and ecological impacts of atmospheric change and variability, particularly in the Canadian Arctic.

Water flowing over rocks

Our stories

See more videos from the Clean growth playlist on YouTube.

Partner with us

Contact us to get started or explore partnering opportunities with Research Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization.