Micro-Certificate Program

Climate Risk & ESG for Corporate Governance and Decision-making

What is the Micro-Certificate Program: Climate Risk & ESG for Corporate Governance and Decision-making?

The Canada Climate Law Initiative has partnered with the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia to bring you a flexible 8-week online educational program. The micro-certificate will provide directors, officers, in-house and external legal counsel, and governance professionals with the in-depth legal literacy and knowledge of best governance practices for managing climate-related financial risks and key regulatory requirements in corporate, securities, pension, and environmental law, with a particular focus on Canada.

Why choose this program?

Governments and regulators are increasingly demanding more climate disclosures and climate-related information. This has resulted in a surge in demand for professionals who have the skills and knowledge to advance climate and ESG initiatives within their organizations, and the capacity to make informed decisions towards a net-zero economy.

This course offers practical and hands-on training for professionals, including those currently working and those seeking to gain additional skills to better their employment opportunities. It provides a unique perspective that comes from collaboration and knowledge exchange between academics, policymakers, and business professionals.

Students who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate from the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the Canada Climate Law Initiative

What will you learn?

  • Key climate considerations companies and pension funds face when making business and investment decisions
  • Complex legal and regulatory instruments and requirements that directly impact businesses and organizations’ operations in Canada and internationally
  • Strategies to enhance your oversight and management of climate risks and opportunities

Who should apply?

  • Directors
  • Officers
  • Trustees
  • In-house and external legal counsel
  • Governance professionals
  • Investors and asset managers

When is the program?

The next cohort will begin in September 2024. Register today!

The program includes two online courses composed of four modules each. Each course is separated by one week pause. Students will have extra time to complete a final case study.

  • Course 1: September 23 – October 20, 2024
  • Course 2: October 28 – November 24, 2024

To be the first to hear when registration opens for future cohorts subscribe to our mailing list.

What is the cost?


The course is all online using an e-learning platform and can be completed from anywhere in the world

What is the class format and time commitment?

Internet connection required to use UBC’s interactive e-learning platform “Canvas” which includes video lessons, readings, online discussion, case studies, and recorded guest interviews.

There will be 5 live sessions over Zoom:

  • October 3 from 12 to 2 pm PT
  • October 17 from 12 to 2 pm PT
  • October 31 from 12 to 1:30 pm PT
  • November 7 from 12 to 1:30 pm PT
  • November 21 from 12 to 2 pm PT

Expect to spend between 5-7 hours per week for a total of approximately 50 hours. Students can learn at their own pace, when it’s most convenient for their schedule.

Agenda | Course 1 | Climate risk and ESG: Navigating business impacts and board responsibilities

  • Module 1 | Setting the stage – Climate change overview and its impact on businesses

    In this module, students will learn about the science of climate change and how climate is now viewed as a financial and systemic risk. They will learn how to differentiate the two categories of climate risks; physical and transition, and how they might impact their organizations. We will also address key concepts such as materiality and urgency.

  • Module 2 | The role of governments, regulators, and investors in addressing climate change

    In this module, students will learn how different stakeholders, including regulators, governments, and the investment community, are addressing climate risks and opportunities. Students will learn about the evolution of climate policies internationally and in Canada, and how these policies are affecting corporate regulations related to climate and ESG. We will go through the evolution of climate reporting frameworks and their role and deep dive into climate and ESG reporting and disclosures in module 7. Students will also learn about the role of the investment community and responsible investment, its different approaches, and how does responsible investment impact businesses and organizations.

  • Module 3 | Climate change and the board of directors

    In this module, students will learn why corporate directors need to address climate change. We will address their legal duties with respect to climate risk as corporate directors and the evolving climate litigation landscape. We will also discuss best governance practices in managing climate risks and opportunities, including the board structure, incentivization, and compensation.

  • Module 4 | The role of the board in overseeing climate-related risks and opportunities

    In this module, we will examine the role of the board in overseeing and managing climate-related risks and opportunities, in particular in creating a climate strategy, engaging with stakeholders, in reporting and disclosure, and setting targets and metrics.

Agenda | Course 2 | Climate transition strategies and ESG reporting: Driving corporate decision-making and action

  • Module 1 | Implementing a climate transition strategy

    In this module, students will learn about implementing a climate transition strategy and where to start. We will also address strategies for risk identification, mitigation, adaptation, and resilience, and opportunities for organizations to take advantage of market dynamics and decarbonize their activities and invest in solutions aligned with a net-zero emissions economy.

  • Module 2 | The importance of climate scenario analysis, metrics and targets, and a credible transition plan

    In this module, students will learn how scenario analysis is essential to build a resilient climate transition strategy, how to use the right metrics and targets, and key elements of a climate action plan.

  • Module 3 | Climate and ESG reporting & disclosure

    In this module, we will examine the rationale, the trends and the benefits of climate and ESG reporting and disclosure. We will dive into the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework and discuss the first steps of your climate reporting journey, including key guiding principles of climate disclosure.

  • Module 4 | Case study – Assess your skills and knowledge

    In this module, students will use their knowledge and skills gained throughout the program to work on a case study with their peers. The case study will allow students to analyze an organization’s work on climate, especially at the board level. Students will have the opportunity to share their insights and discuss their learnings with their instructors and peers during a session with their instructor.

Will I receive Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credit?

This program is approved for 50 CPD hours with the Law Society of British Columbia.

For Nova Scotia lawyers, consider including this course as a CPD learning activity in your mandatory annual Continuing Professional Development Plan as required by the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.

For Alberta lawyers, consider including this activity as a CPD learning activity in your annual Continuing Professional Development Plan.

Who are the experts?

Alison Schneider is the course instructor. The course content was developed by Alison Schneider and Gigi Dawe, in collaboration with UBC’s Extended Learning specialists and other experts at the Canada Climate Law Initiative. The course offers a unique perspective that comes from collaboration and knowledge exchange between academics, policymakers, and business professionals.

Subject matter experts include:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I pay for the program?

    We accept MasterCard and Visa. All fees and taxes if applicable are quoted in Canadian dollars and are due in a single payment. There is no fee differential for international students.

  • Are there grants available to cover the expense of the program?

    You may be eligible for grants if you live in Alberta, British Columbia, or Saskatchewan.

  • Do you offer financial assistance?

    We do not offer financial assistance at this time.

    You may be eligible for grants if you live in Alberta, British Columbia, or Saskatchewan.

  • Do you offer discounted rates?

    We offer group rates of 25% off per person for groups of 4-10 individuals, and 35% off per person for groups of 11-24 individuals. 

    Alumni of the Peter A. Allard School of Law receive 15% off.

    Indigenous Peoples receive 50% off.

    Please contact ccli-info@allard.ubc.ca to secure a discounted rate.

  • What is your cancellation and refund policy?

    If the Canada Climate Law Initiative cancels courses due to insufficient enrolment or other unforeseen circumstances, we will issue a refund minus a $50 transaction fee by the original payment method.

    We will authorize refunds for students up to three days before the course starts minus a $50 transaction fee. No refunds are issued for requests made within three days of the course start date.

  • What are the prerequisites for your program?

    There are no general prerequisites for this program.

  • I am on a waiting list, what does this mean?

    Once our program reaches capacity, a waitlist is created. This does not guarantee your registration in the program, but it places you on a priory contact list. If a place becomes available, we will notice you by email to confirm if you would like to proceed with the registration. You will have 24 hours to confirm your interest and register. If you do not confirm your interest within that timeframe, you will be removed from the waiting list and we will contact the next person.

  • Is this program offered at another time this year?

    At the moment, this program is only offered at this time of the year. We encourage you to subscribe to our email list here to receive updates on our current and future program offerings.

  • Can I download the program content?

    For seven days after the course ends, you will be able to export the program content into an ePub file and upload it int any eReader software for viewing, such as iBooks or Azardi. You can find the instructions here. Please note that discussion forums, assignment submissions, and grades won’t be included in the ePub file. Not all course content will format itself nicely in the ePub file.

  • I have problems with accessing the program content, what can I do?

    Please reach out to the Canada Climate Law Initiative here for support.

  • What are the technology requirements?

    A PC or Mac computer or tablet installed with a reliable internet connection and an up-to-date browser is required for all courses. For Live Online courses, it is beneficial to have a microphone and webcam, but you can participate using the chat feature if that’s all you have. You need to ensure your microphone and camera permissions are set to allow access to the online learning management platforms.

  • What are the certificate requirements?

    To receive your certificate, you must successfully complete the program within the timeframe determined. You must have completed the quizzes, assignments, and demonstrated competency in the program area by earning a minimum passing grade of 60% in each course or “Pass” on courses that are graded as “Pass/Fail”.

    An online certificate will be issued and your official transcript will be emailed.

  • I lost my original certificate, how do I get another copy?

    Please email ccli-info@allard.ubc.ca with the name and date of the program you completed. We will send your certificate by email.

Looking for more information?

Ready to learn more about our micro-certificate programs? We recommend all prospective students sign up below to receive our emails about upcoming deadlines, information sessions, and other helpful updates.