Issue 3, 2021-06-24


Next-Gen Batteries: for vehicles and buildings!

Accelerating Offshore Carbon Capture & Storage

The Language of Climate Change

Our Expanding Horizons

The PICS climate solutions community of researchers and solution seekers is looking to new opportunities and innovation as the world opens up during this pandemic recovery.

In this Summer 2021 Newsletter explore PICS’ latest advances and opportunities. From new-tech that can capture and use waste-heat to operate buildings through to a guide on tackling embodied emissions, our research program has continued to deliver new knowledge that has been developed in collaboration with end-users.

Discover our advances in oceans-based negative emissions technology, and promising early results on a new type of energy-intensive battery for electric vehicles. Learn about exciting new projects on climate finance, industrial deep decarbonisation, and our new $1M sea-level rise adaptation partnership. And secure your chance for research support, with our Opportunity Projects call now accepting proposals, and a Theme Partnership call pending later this year.

In the leadup to the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, in November, PICS will sharpen the focus on the key issues at stake with a series of partnered public events relevant to the negotiations. Visit the PICS website for updates: our forward momentum is accelerating.

Sybil Seitzinger 

PICS Executive Director

Research Highlights


Next-Gen Batteries for EV's

Incorporating an industrial by-product, Tellurium, into lithium-sulphur batteries may increase electric vehicle (EV) driving range and make batteries safer and cheaper.

That is the vision behind a new PICS project, Tellurium Boosted Li-S Batteries for Zero-Emission Vehicles, led by the University of British Columbia Okanagan in partnership with industry, and funded by the Province of British Columbia’s CleanBC Go Electric program.

Researchers aim to develop a high-energy-density rechargeable Li-TeSx battery with doubled energy capacity of conventional lithium ion batteries. Their initial study published in the journal Energy Storage Materials shows promising results.

The global market for zero-emissions vehicle batteries is expected to grow exponentially over the next few decades. This project aims to be part of that market by creating a sustainable battery production and recycling industry in BC, which will help accelerate the electrification of the transportation sector. Read the news release and FAQs for more information.

Making Embodied Carbon Mainstream

Embodied carbon—which is the emissions from extracting, manufacturing and transporting building materials—is grabbing attention as an untapped climate action opportunity. But it can be a daunting task to tackle.

A PICS guide released in May 2021 proposes that embodied carbon can be addressed without adopting a whole new suite of technical tools. Instead, governments have opportunities to build on pathways within their existing waste, equity and preservation policies.

Accelerating Offshore Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

Two reports that help advance the goal of permanently and safely sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide as a climate change mitigation solution have been released this year by partners in the PICS Solid Carbon project. A Sabin Center white paper examines the legal issues associated with deploying the Solid Carbon system in the Canadian portion of the Cascadia Basin. And a report identifying key opportunities and challenges in offshore CCS was released by Columbia World Projects.

PICS Annual Report 2020

We invite you to explore PICS’ achievements and stories in our 2020 Annual Report published this spring. Our project teams and staff have ensured that vital research and collaboration on climate change solutions has continued, despite the immense challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Discover how our research is now being implemented, and learn more about our partnership-based programs and opportunities.


Did you know nearly half the energy we consume is lost as waste heat? What if we could capture that waste energy in a mobile thermal battery and use it power district energy networks which heat and cool buildings? Read our new PICS Snapshot on the Mobile Thermal Energy Project. 
Visit our website

News and Announcements

News & Announcements


PICS launches new research projects

PICS is now supporting more than 16 major research projects, with the addition of four since last December.

Coastal Adaptation: Living with Water is a four-year, $1 Million multi-stakeholder Theme Partnership to prepare for climate change and sea level rise on BC’s South Coast. There are three new $180,000 Opportunity Projects: Climate Finance is developing a framework and tools to integrate climate change mitigation and adaptation considerations into investment decisions; Innovation Policy meets Climate Policy is evaluating strategies for transitioning emissions-intensive and trade-exposed industries to net-zero; and the Tellurium Boosted Li-S Batteries for Zero-Emission Vehicles project is investigating next-generation EV batteries.


Apply now for Opportunity Projects funding

Got a great climate solutions idea? Apply by August 04, 2021 to get your high-impact proposal funded by PICS. Successful projects are awarded up to $180,000, and three to five awards are made per call. Visit the PICS Opportunity Projects Program page for information. Also, explore what PICS has funded so far under OPPs.

Record internships in 2021

The PICS Internship Program annual call attracted a record 75 applications from employers this year, with 13 internships being awarded - three more than usual. Valued at upwards of $12,000, PICS internships support the hiring of university students at workplaces of governments, NGOs, industry and communities in BC that are pursuing climate change solutions. We recognize the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted employer budgets, as well as reduced student job opportunities, so PICS increased support this year to allow this important work to continue. Our next call for proposals is in late 2021.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

OCT 31 - NOV 12, 2021


Stay tuned for PICS partnered events in the leadup to the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, in November 2021. PICS will be hosting a series of public events relevant to the negotiations. Visit the PICS Events page for updates.

MARCH 27, 2021

The Language of Climate Change. Carly’s TEDx talk

In her inspiring talk at this year’s TEDx Bear Creek Park event, ecosystem scientist and Researcher-in-Residence on the PICS Wildfire and Carbon project, Dr. Carly Phillips, explores our climate vocabulary, and the future of wildfires and forests in a rapidly warming world. Watch the talk from this TEDx event.


MAY 19, 2021

Missed it the first time?

Find recordings of talks by inspirational climate action leaders and innovators, panel discussions and more, in our events archive. The latest addition is Researching for Climate Justice, a May 2021 event that explored applying the Justice, Equity, Diversity, Decolonization and Inclusion (JEDDI) lens to climate research, policy and solutions, the barriers to applying this lens, and what is needed to overcome those barriers.


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