Who We Are
We are the Canada Climate Law Initiative. Our mission is to ensure Canadian directors and trustees understand their fiduciary obligations with respect to climate change, and have access to resources to help them govern with confidence in the area of climate-related financial risks and opportunities.
The Canada Climate Law Initiative is a inter-disciplinary research initiative, with principal investigators Dr. Janis Sarra and Dr. Carol Liao, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia and Professor Cynthia Williams, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. Professors Sarra and Williams are also the Canadian principal investigators for the global Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative (Oxford University, UK). We work with lawyers, economists, scholars, directors, pension trustees, asset managers and other institutional investors to move Canada towards a sustainable net-zero carbon economy by 2050.
The transition to a net-zero economy requires that businesses realign their business strategies to prepare for risks or take advantage of opportunities associated with climate change. Taking meaningful action also requires that a business sets measurable goals and targets related to carbon emissions and other environmental indicators. These types of changes to a business’ strategy and direction require the Board of Directors (or trustees) to provide oversight, engagement and leadership and to understand their evolving fiduciary obligations as they relate to climate change.
CCLI was founded with a profound desire to accelerate Canada’s transition to a net-zero economy. Since our inception in 2017, we have:
- Conducted rigorous legal analysis and delivered legal opinions that clarify the scope of fiduciary duty as it relates to climate change in Canada.
- Developed and distributed credible and timely board education resources and training materials drawing on our legal analysis and the professional insights of a growing network of Canadian Climate Governance Experts.
- Delivered pro bono, in camera presentations for Canadian boards, as well as public webinars that advance the understanding of climate-related financial risks and opportunities.
- Engaged with policymakers to offer our expertise to regulators and other institutions in order to create necessary structural changes.
We aim to elevate the voices of Canadian experts that also believe effective climate governance is key in achieving Canada’s objective of a net-zero carbon emissions economy by 2050.