Toronto Conference Materials

2017 Climate Change: Directors at Risk Conference

On October 20, 2017, Osgoode Hall Law School and the Hennick Centre for Business and Law hosted the conference which answered important questions, including:

  • What are the obligations of officers and directors in Canada in light of such developments?
  • What risks do companies face?
  • What information must informed investors have?
  • And what are leading Canadian companies doing to transition to a low-carbon economy?

CCLI Working Paper Series:

Fiduciary Obligations in Business and Investment: Implications of Climate ChangeDr. Janis SARRA, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia

Disclosure of Information Concerning Climate Change: Liability Risks and Opportunities — Prof. Cynthia WILLIAMS, Osler Chair in Business Law, Co-Director Hennick Centre for Business and Law, Osgoode Hall law School, Schulich School of Business, York University

Canada: Country Summary on Climate Change Financial Risk —  Dr. Janis SARRA & Prof. Cynthia WILLIAMS


Opening Session

Opening Remarks:  Prof. Cynthia WILLIAMS, Osler Chair in Business and Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University

Welcome Remarks:  Bruce LOURIE, President, Ivey Foundation [@min. 7]

Presentation:  Canada’s Unique Challenges and Responsibilities / Climate Risk and Stranded Assets: Implications for Canada 

Ben CALDECOTT, Director, Sustainable Finance Programme, Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford [@min. 12 / slides below]

Panel 1: What Liability Risks Exist for Directors Who Ignore Climate Risk? Is there a “duty to mitigate?”

Chair:  Sarah BARKER, Special Counsel, Minter Ellison, Melbourne, Australia


Kristin CASPER, Litigation Counsel, Global Climate Justice and Liability Project, based at Greenpeace Canada [@min. 8]

David ESTRIN, Senior Partner, Gowlings, and Academic Co-Director, Osgoode Hall Law School Environmental Justice and Sustainability Clinic [@min. 24]

Andrew MacDOUGALL, Partner, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt, LLP [@min. 35 / slides below]

Q&A / Discussion [@min. 49]

Keynote Address

Jane AMBACHTSHEER, Partner and Chair of Mercer’s Global Responsible Investment Business, Mercer (Paris Office), and Member, Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure

Panel 2: What Climate Disclosure Do Investors Expect? What Climate Disclosure Do Regulators Require? Will the Task Force on Climate Financial Disclosure Standards be Sufficient to Close the Gap?

Chair:  Prof. Cristie FORD, Peter Allard School of Law, University of British Colombia


Jo-Anne MATEAR, Manager, Corporate Finance Branch, Ontario Securities Commission [@min. 1]

Judy COTTE, Head of Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment, RBC Global Asset Management [@min. 16]

Sarah BARKER, Special Counsel, Minter Ellison, Melbourne, Australia [@min. 29]

Q&A / Discussion [@min. 44]

Panel 3: Best Practice Accounting and Corporate Governance for Identifying and Managing Climate Risk

Chair:  Julie DESJARDINS, President, Desjardins & Associates


Sarah KEYES, Principal, Research, Guidance and Support, Certified Professional Accountants (CPA) Canada [@min. 2]

Catherine JACKSON, Consultant and Chair, Remuneration Committee, International Corporate Governance Network [@min. 8]

Gigi DAWE, Director, Corporate Oversight and Governance, Certified Professional Accountants (CPA) Canada [@min. 19]

Q&A / Discussion [@min. 27]

Panel 4: What are leading companies in Canada doing to transition to a low-carbon economy?

Chair:  Prof. Dirk MATTEN, Hewlett Packard Chair of Responsible Business, Schulich School of Business, York University  


Patricia KOVALPartner (retired), Tory’s [@min. 5]

Laura ZIZZO, CEO of Zizzo Strategies [@min. 15]

Dr. Paul BOOTHE, Commissioner, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, and Fellow, the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity [@min 29]

Q&A / Discussion [@min. 41]

Conference Closing Remarks:  Prof. Cynthia WILLIAMS, Osler Chair in Business and Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University [@min. 57]