Rowing and Climate Change 2023

Earth Week 2022  – What Canadian rowers are doing to help fight climate change

As Canadian rowers, we are starting to feel firsthand the impact of climate change, and the effects are only going to become more serious as the atmosphere continues to warm. 

Climate change will mean more storm events, increasing storm intensity, rising sea levels, storm surges, coastal erosion and flooding from a warming in global temperatures. (

Those changes will mean challenges for many in the rowing community, including coaches, club administrators and regatta organizers. Extreme heat, wildfires, flooding, drought (low water levels) and seasonal variation in water levels will all have impacts on Canadian rowing.

There is also increased threat to infrastructure, including boathouses, docks and equipment.  


This slide is from a presentation about rowing and climate change prepared by Brenda Taylor of Victoria. *YouTube link below

The UN’s Sports for Climate Action is a way that the sporting community around the world can learn about climate change and help to combat it.

Fighting climate change is also part of RCA’s Strategic Plan 2025

6.3 Action on Climate Implement the principles enshrined in the Sports for Climate Action Framework, and work collaboratively with our Members and partners, to enhance the climate action agenda in the sports sector. 

Rowing Canada Aviron is currently going through the process of signing up to the Sport for Climate Action pledge. 

“There are clubs and waterways that we operate on that are very much under threat because of the effect of rising water levels, and the changing weather patterns,” said RCA CEO, Terry Dillon. 

During Earth Week 2022, we are going to share stories of what some Canadian rowing clubs are doing to start reducing their carbon footprint, one action at a time.

Canada’s solar-powered rowing club 

Lakeland Rowing Club in Alberta has used solar power for more than 10 years. Before that, they would use strategically-positioned car headlights for dark fall morning practices. #greenerrowing #earthweek2022 #climatechange #rowingcanada

Canada’s solar-powered rowing club


Rowing PEI now has real time wind and weather conditions thanks to a weather station installed by the UPEI Climate Lab. The rowing club will now be able to track changing climate conditions at their home base in Charlottetown.  #greenerrowing #earthweek2022 #climatechange #rowingcanada

Monitoring the changing climate – Rowing PEI 

Rowing BC is working on a pilot project looking at the potential of rechargeable electric motors for safety and coach boats. One of the goals is to provide the “electric curious” with first-hand experience with them in a real world setting.  #greenerrowing #earthweek2022 #canadianrowing

Going electric on the water


Taking action in the fight against climate change – how your rowing club can get involved.Brenda Taylor from Victoria recently hosted a webinar for RCA called “Rowing and the Climate Crisis: Acting Now to Fight Climate Change”. She shared ideas of actions, big and small, that rowing clubs can take now. #greenerrowing

Taking action in the fight against climate change – how your rowing club can get involved

Here is how a Canadian-based rowing travel company is taking on the challenge of climate change:

Rowing The World Declares a Climate Emergency



There are also a couple of great webinars about rowing and climate change:

Rowing and the Climate Crisis: Acting Now to Fight Climate Change

Jim Walker


Rowing and the Climate Crisis: Acting Now to Fight Climate Change  

Brenda Taylor

Climate change is affecting rowing now, and we can expect impacts to increase in frequency and magnitude. As IOC President Thomas Back said, “Sport is about action”. What actions can the rowing community take to reduce our own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to influence government, industry, sport and individuals to act? 

This session will introduce the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Sport for Climate Action framework and how it can be used to drive and support effective, systematic and collaborative action. And then we get down to business, talking about what actions we can take in our clubs, with regattas, and collectively as a community, to ensure Canada meets the target of reducing GHG emissions by 45% by 2030 and hitting net zero by 2050. No more blah-blah-blah—let’s just do it.