Sarah Burch is a CIGI senior fellow. She is contributing to research on financing sustainable development, focused on the exploration of innovative solutions to address challenges associated with climate change and sustainability. 

Sarah is a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Sustainability Governance and Innovation, and assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Canada. Through her research, writing and teaching, she explores transformative responses to climate change at the community scale, and innovative strategies for governing sustainability.

She is a coordinating lead author of the Earth System Governance Project’s New Directions Initiative, which is creating the Science and Implementation Plan that will inform the research of an international network of more than 3,000 environmental governance scholars over the next 10 years. She was a coordinating lead author of the Second Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network, Climate Change and Cities, and was a contributing author to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007). Sarah holds a Ph.D. in resource management and environmental studies from the University of British Columbia (2009), was a visiting research associate at the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute (2010–2013) and was awarded a Banting Fellowship for her work on sustainability innovation. Her most recent book is entitled Understanding Climate Change: Science, Policy and Practice (University of Toronto Press, 2014).


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