Session Information

Super Emissions: Radical Ideas to Close the Climate Gap

Date: Thursday, March 3

Time: 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Format: Panel Discussion

To effectively tackle Climate Change will require disruptive global thinking.  Capping temperature rise to no more than 2 degrees calls out for innovative and powerfully creative new technologies.  This interactive session explores the fusing together of diverse disciplines to generate radical new ideas, and catalyze action to mitigate “super emissions”.  These are the combined total of uncontrollable emissions from natural feedback loops (especially permafrost thaw), and the anticipated Gap between most likely outcome of COP21 and the desirable Carbon Budget.  The focus is to ‘break down the silos’ between behavioral and technological carbon solutions, and instead make change more impactful by integrating technology quantum leaps, with change theory, societal behavior analysis, new policy paradigms and business leadership.
The session is based on the Clean Energy Research Centre Climate Opportunity project, or CERCCO.

Topic Speakers

Robert’s research interests are at the interface of environmental, social, and personality psychology. He tries to combine all three areas in studies of resource management, social judgment and cognition, nonverbal behaviour, and the perception of architecture. Robert also develops tools to measure personality, environmental, and social constructs. His goal is to combine these interests into studies that simultaneously advance theory and improve built and natural environments.

Robert’s lab, the Environmental, Social and Personality Psychology Lab, mainly focuses on environmental, social, and personality psychology, but is firmly committed to the idea that understanding and solving scientific and societal problems also requires knowledge and expertise from other social sciences, natural sciences, applied sciences, and policy experts.

For more information, see the Expertise Database profile.


  • Environmental
  • Social
  • Personality


Gifford, R. (2014). Environmental psychology matters. Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 541-580.

Gifford, R., & Nilsson, A. (in press). Personal and social factors in environmental concern and behavior. International Journal of Psychology.

Gifford, R., & Comeau, L. (2011). Message framing influences perceived climate change competence, engagement, and behavioral intentions. Global Environmental Change, 21, 1301-1307.

Gifford, R. (2011). The dragons of inaction: Psychological barriers that limit climate change mitigation and adaptation. American Psychologist, 66, 290-302.

Gifford, R. (2008). Toward a comprehensive model of social dilemmas. In A. Biel, D. Eek, T. Gärling, & M. Gustafsson (Eds.). New issues and paradigms in research on social dilemmas. Springer.

Gifford, R. (2007). Environmental psychology: Principles and practice (4th edition). Colville, WA: Optimal Books. (5th edition due out Spring 2014)


Distinguished climate scientist, analyst and modeller.  Currently, Manager of the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis on the campus of UVic.   Responsible for Environment and Climate Change Canada's global and regional earth system models, and their application to historical climate simulation, seasonal to interannual climate prediction, and long-term climate projection.  

Dr. Gillett’s primary research interests are in detection and attribution of climate change, and the influence of stratospheric ozone depletion on climate. He was a lead author of the IPCC Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports.   PhD in atmospheric physics, Oxford