What are Leading Companies in Canada Doing to Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy?

– Good afternoon, everybody. I’m surprised that in the last panel the room is still reasonably populated. Thank you all very much. My name is Dirk Matten. I am a colleague of
Cindy’s at York University. I’m in the Business School, and have a chair in Corporate
Social Responsibility. My panelists are first off, Patricia Koval, to my right. She will lead off our discussion. We kick off with statements
by all three panelists. She’s a retired partner at Torys. Second then we will have Laura Zizzo from Zizzo Strategy,
obviously, your own company, and third then will be Paul Boothe, Commissioner Canada’s
Ecofiscal Commission. You’ll find more details on
the CV’s of the panelists, so we don’t need to
waste our time with that, but I encourage the panelists
to refer to your own background and experience inasmuch as it puts weight on what you’re
intending to share with us. Now for me it’s a very big privilege to be
at a conference of lawyers. I am just from the shallow
end of science, management, and the nice thing I’ve been
working in these issues now for nearly 30 years is that once the lawyers become involved something is about to be taken seriously, and that is certainly the case if you look at a lot of the classic CSR, corporate social responsibility issues. I often get the question
especially in the media do you believe in CSR as a chair in CSR? I find that always an odd
question because would you ask a professor of forensic psychiatry who studies serial killers whether he believes in his subject. I don’t know if you get that. CSI is an interesting phenomemon, but we have to be very
honest that with regard to what we are talking about today these voluntary
initiatives by corporations haven’t really added that much. We haven’t really made the inroads. The reason is that corporate
social responsibility is only allowed to happen in companies, and that’s practice but also
mainstream management doctrine in four situations, in four cases. Either you can make more money with it, hybrid cars, electric cars,
organic food that kind of stuff. Second, you can reduce costs that’s what the Walmart’s are doing. I mean, if you reduce
your energy consumption, contribute to climate
change, fine, you can do it. Third, you can manage risks. Now that’s an area we have been talking about quite a bit today, and third and fourth
this more broader thing about license to operate, but these are all business
case related scenarios more or less short-term. Of course, the nature of the beast shows very clearly that unless markets translate these
long-term incentives into those short-term incentives markets can process a
simply voluntary approach as CSR represents it doesn’t do it, so in that sense thinking about more mandatory ways, and even mandatory ways in the sense that Sarah Barker outlined
them that voluntary initiatives by dint of market power
can become mandatory, and all the soft law and
hybrid forms of regulations that’s where lawyers come in, and that’s often also
historically with regard to other issues of business responsibility we have seen progress
and we have seen change. In that sense I’m very
excited about today’s panel, and I pass it over to you
Patricia to lead us off. – Sure, well, when I spoke with Cynthia about the panel today we
thought it would be interesting to share a little bit of
perspective on, again, just to open this up on
the question of whether climate change really is on
the business agenda today, and I shared with Cynthia a little bit of my experience over the last 10 years because like a couple of
other folks in the audience I’m also one of those, well, I don’t want to
use the word dinosaurs, but we’ve been around for a
long time in the climate space, and we were present when it really exploded into the
public realm in 2005-2006. We were active for many, many years, and here we are in my
case over 10 years later. What I’m really gonna say
is looking back over time I actually think climate change
is on the business agenda. In 2007 I got particularly involved in the question of climate change the legal issue around
climate risk in 2007 when the National Roundtable
on Environment and Economy commissioned my then law firm Torys to do a comprehensive legal
analysis on climate risk, or more specifically the
question we were asked to look at was whether legal liability might result for a variety of different players, if you will, from the failure
to take climate change, and climate risk into account. Some of you just backing up
for a second will remember the National Roundtable on
Environment and Economy. It was chaired last by Bob Page, and helmed by David McLaughlin as the CEO. From 1987 to 2013 when its funding was cut by the Conservative government it really was one of Canada’s
leading advisory groups on the issue of integrating
economic prosperity, and environmental conservation, and in the last years of its focus it was almost singularly
on climate change, and options available to governments, and other stakeholders
to adapt or mitigate, so our report on legal liability was actually published in late 2008 as a companion to one
of the NRTEE reports. That specific one was on the effects of climate change on the North, infrastructure and industry in the North. Our report was indeed a comprehensive one. We looked at the gamut of legal liability, potential sources I should
say of legal liability ranging from, of course, statutory sources right through common law,
negligence, nuisance, strict liability and we concluded then, and, of course, it’s no surprise, and certainly continues
to be the conclusion that others have reached that there certainly is
potential legal liability for those in a position of responsibility who fail to take climate change, or climate risk into account, and the corollary to that is that the potential for legal
liability should be regarded as a significant driver of
climate change adaptation. So what happened after that? From 2007 really right through to today I and others in my firm who
participated in the report have basically advised businesses, and lectured extensively to various groups of stakeholders on this subject. I was looking back last night at I have on my computer
some of the presentations. It was really a very, very
broad list of businesses, governments, and those who
advice business and government, so countless municipalities in
Ontario, municipal planners, and the Canadian Federation
of Municipalities. Professional associations
including especially engineers, and the auditing profession. Stormwater management specialists, disaster management specialists, the Canadian Electricity Association, various provincial government consortiums, specialists on climate change. I’m looking at Dave, many,
many presentations with Dave. Toronto Region Action Group
on Extreme Weather Resilience, the Sandford Fleming Forum
on Critical Infrastructure. Lots of developers and people
in the construction industry, property and casualty insurers, and, of course, the
standards that are CSO. CSO was actually part of the initial. They were also doing a part of the report at the same time that we were
doing our part for NRTEE. So what have I seen as a
result of 10 years later, and the process of 10 years? Is climate change and in particular is adaptation or the
need to take into account climate risk and adaptation
are those business agenda? My own observations
after all of these talks, and all of this consultation is that while not everyone that
I spoke to over the years particularly liked what I
had to say all of the time most have appeared to
basically embrace it, and to act on it. Now it’s not always
transparent when you look at a business decision
made by a municipality with respect to a long-lived asset that they took climate risk into account, but by and large what
I’ve seen is businesses treating climate risk as one of basically the risk aspects they need to take into account
in their business analysis. It becomes part of their
cost benefit analysis. Just to go through what I’ve
seen professional engineers. Of course, these are the people who are certifying
infrastructure projects, and certifying, if you will, maintenance, and repair schedules for
critical infrastructure. The engineers actually were
very proactive in this area. They asked for more and more information. They set up professional
training programs. They included it in their CPD, basically, for their engineers going
forward, good result. Municipal planners, disasters
management specialists, and owners of critical infrastructure, again, what I’ve seen over and over again is them taking climate risk into account when they are making decisions
about ownership, operation, maintenance of critical infrastructure, and particularly long-lived assets. It’s part of their risk calculus. Obviously, it’s a risk calculus. They make business decisions including all various elements of
risk and they put a price, or at least a notional
price on the risk elements, and they make their decisions accordingly, but by and large that’s
what I’ve seen happening at least over the last 10 years. Businesses with physical assets,
particularly, in the North I’m talking about mining companies
that have tailing stamps, or rail assets or
pipelines, roads, et cetera where they’re going to be
particularly susceptible to, if you will, problems as a result of the melting of the permafrost, and more frequent severe weather effects. I began to regularly
see them including that, basically, in their operating, and capital expenditure
calculus for their assets. Other examples, the property
and casualty insurers we all know that they’ve been all over this issue many of them. The insurers themselves
and their reinsurers they’ve been incorporating
climate change risk into their pricing and business models, and some have gone even further. Again, we’ve seen examples
of it effectively funding think tanks and other institutes that are studying climate risk. Funding organizations
that have been championing the design of commercial
and residential buildings that are going to be better equipped to deal with climate extremes, basically, adding to the body
of thinking on climate change, and the evolving pressures on governments to take these issues into account, and to modify building codes. Of course, building
codes the CSO were there at the table back in 2007. We have seen attention to
building codes since then. The National Research Council put out their announcement
earlier this year that they’re going to be amending building codes across the country, so this is a process that’s taken time, but it’s happening, so building codes are being amended, and with that the developers, and the folks in the construction industry the initial response I used
to get from the developers was didn’t like to hear the warning that they might be
potentially unable to shelter behind the defense of
saying we built code, or we bid based on code when they were relying on codes that are known to be, or which frankly ought to
be known to be outdated in view of the increasing
amount of climate data. It’s not something that they’ll
shout from the rooftops, but it’s definitely something that most developers
will quietly tell you, yes, they are factoring climate risk, and risk dealing with outdated codes into their bidding processes. It may not be the most significant factor, and it may not change the
decision of what to bid because ultimately developers are in bidding processes to win bids, and they might be prepared to take greater risk in order to win, but they’re factoring climate change, and legal liability
risk into that calculus. Municipalities I’m happy to say are taking much tougher
stances on, for example, granting new building approvals in areas where the floodplain is
extent or some broader swath of land is effected
by potential flooding. The databases of the
conservation authorities who are working with municipalities, and often instrumental in
working with the developers in the construction industry they’re just so much deeper now. The collection of data has continued on an unrelenting basis. The data is much better
and the availability of the climate data is much better, so I’ve seen much broader
audiences for climate data. I would say in short I think climate change, and certainly the
evaluation of climate risk as a business risk is
something I’m happy to say is on the agenda or certainly
appears to be on the agenda. – Thank you, Patricia, and now to you. – Thank you, don’t be
fooled by the slide’s title, but I saw all the great
slides earlier today, so I thought I’ll put some
together, so here we go. I’m Laura Zizzo, I have
another 10-year anniversary, the NRT Report came out
that was also the year I graduated from law school. I no longer practice law full-time. I’ve realized that it’s actually more about the opportunities
around climate change that we can focus on not just the risks, and not just the regulatory
compliance issues, and how do we get people jazzed about thinking about the future not just thinking about
how bad it’s gonna be, but how we can work
towards the transition, so what Cynthia asked me to talk about as one of the only other
“millennials” on the panel is how do we think about what leading companies have been doing, and what are some of
the works that I’m doing with the companies that we work with? I’m trying to walk the walk of what professional service providers need to be doing in
light of climate change, so on our team we have lawyers, engineers, accountants and business professionals, and we’re trying to
provide strategic advice to clients both in the
private and public sector on what they need to be thinking about in light of climate change
answering the question what does climate change mean to me? So when Sarah put up her slide on the World Economic
Forum earlier today I said, that’s the side I use when
I start talking to CEO’s, C-Suites, boards of
directors on climate risk. It helps to kind of focus the mind. Yes, it’s still a risk decision, but it’s talking about
how does your company fit into the response of this risk? That is often a discussion
around opportunities. When we talk about what are the companies that are leading and what are they doing? Insurance companies and
long-term investors. A lot of our clients are
in the real estate space because they’re talking about assets that are in the decades, or insurance companies
who are thinking about how are we going to insure
and have money available when people need it in 40, 50, 60 years, so they’re starting to get this. When you put up a slide like this, and you say the top right hand corner of this World Economic Forum slide on the worst economic risks that have the highest
likelihood and impact are all climate related the top five are all climate related it kind of focuses the mind on what the opportunities could be. This is also a side
that’s been alluded to. This is the insured
losses in Canada over time related to catastrophic events. This is normalized for 2016 data. This is not inflation. This is we have more
catastrophic events in Canada, and the insurance industry
is seeing as Sarah said over $1 billion a year on the regular, and extreme events are
causing extreme payouts. We know that insured losses
only account for about one-third of the actual losses felt in the economy, so how are we going to do this? Talking about this to
some of Canada’s largest insurance companies as our clients they see the opportunity. Although, we can say we may
have an uninsurable market they also say we are the
risk managers of this market, so how can we be part of the transition? One of the things I wanted to mention about what leading companies
are doing is the fact that we are getting invited
to more board meetings. Luckily, there are more board meetings with joint committees, with
the sustainability committee, and the risk committee. The problem that has come up
I think in discussions today is who owns this issue
within an organization? Challenging for me
trying to grow a business in an area that doesn’t exist, right? Who do I talk to? Who is my client? In every single company
it’s a different person, so we have done some work with
property management company, one of the largest property
management companies in Canada. The client there internally was the business continuity
specialist the risk function, and the discussions
that have come up today is when do we need to
be worried about this? So they wanted us to overlay what the best science on
climate change has meant for where their properties are, where their critical assets
are within the organization. We did this really cool
map using technology showing this is the regions, and these are the climate
impacts and here’s where your company has exposure, and I thought it was such a great report, you know, like really proud of it, and then she says, “But what do I tell my
board about next year?” I said, “Well, I’m not
a weather forecaster.” Then I’m trying how do I deal with this? I’m sending the difference
between climate and weather, NASA can explain this to you, and then I looked at the list of impacts that I said they need to be worried about over the next seven to 15 years, and I said, jeez, in our
interviews with your managers every single one of these
impacts has come up. You need to think about it now. You needed to think about it yesterday. We need to stop thinking
about climate change as something that is long-term, and we need to speak the language of the risk managers about today, and I’ve been on this slide
for a really long time, which means that I didn’t prepare. Okay, so what are, these slides, but I thought it was all I was gonna talk about. Pat talked a little bit about the Canadian Electricity Association, so this is an example of some of the work that we’ve done for them saying, what are the actual legal liabilities? How do we start engaging
with your C-Suite around disclosure, negligence, public safety, where are the regulatory developments, and start to think about
including those types of risk analysis in the
strategy I’m planning. This has also been discussed. I wanted to show that although we think of what is material, so in Canada who are the leading companies that have been doing
stuff on climate change? I think they can really be put
into three main categories. Those that have heavy
resources and exposure. Those that have longer
term financial interests I’ve talked about that, but also those that have
a cultural ambition, so you’ll often hear about
MEC, Mountain Equipment Co-op. You’ll hear about Canadian Tire they’ve tried to figure out, and they’ve done some great work in trying to actually
set metrics and targets around the carbon content
of what they’re selling that sort of thing, but there’s a cultural reason
that they’re doing this, but we have probably 100% in
Canada of the capital markets impacted by material climate risks. There’s not a lot of
leadership across the board, but we are seeing rapidly
shifting expectations, and companies are starting to take note. You could put this sort of a slide up in front of investment managers, or those that are the investor relations within a large corporation they say, “I didn’t know about this,” so there’s a lack of education, but they also say and
this is true in Canada, “My investors are coming to me and saying “we’re spending too much
time on sustainability.” So those in the room here are kind of singing from
one side of the tune, but we’ve also heard our
potential clients say to us, “I get that that might be true, “but there is not general
education in the marketplace “that this is something we
should be thinking about, “and our investors think
that we’re actually “putting too much on sustainability.” So this is a real challenge
of education across the board. So working with CPA we’re
really happy that we actually were able to add to that education by this report of the
75 reporting issuers. Some of the main themes of the report were that the majority of companies in Canada are saying something about climate change, but most of them do not include financial metrics or targets. They did not provide significant contacts, and these are my words, and the lack of comparability over time, and across organizations. 79% of the companies we
looked at were making climate related disclosures
to varying degrees. 31% of companies made disclosures related to physical risk of climate change, but none of those disclosures
around physical risk had a financial aspect to it, but remember that slide a couple ago where we showed like the
insurance risks and catastrophic, so it’s just not being translated. So what are some leading companies doing? I wanted to talk about Aveva. International leader
from an insurance sector on addressing this issue and
responding to the task force, and been part of the task force, but what they’re doing is
not that what’s the word? I don’t want to disparage it. Complicated, it’s not that complicated. They’re actually just saying, okay, we know climate change change is an issue, so in our governance
disclosure we’re saying we have two committee oversights
managing climate risk. There’s a board risk committee, and there’s a board governance committee, and they have specific
oversights around climate risk. Pick the place where it’s
being governed and disclose it. Make sure it’s on the agenda. That’s what TCFD is asking to do. Climate change is highlighted
as an emerging risk in the 2016 annual report and accounts as it has been in previous years. Under strategy, so this
is governance strategy, you know, the four pillars, risk management, metrics and targets they’re saying we closely
monitor our exposure to the sectors particularly
exposed to transition risk, and we analyze it at a more granular level at the individual company level risk. We have been thinking about climate change in our strategy and our
investment strategy. Here’s how we do it, two paragraphs. Under risk management they’re saying, we are focused on the three risk factors, physical, transition and liability. We undertook focused
engagement with our companies to understand what they are thinking, especially, those in thermal coal, or coal power generation
on climate issues. We’ve met with 127 companies to discuss sustainability, governance
and climate change, and over that same period
we’ve supported 86.8% of climate related
shareholder resolutions. Metrics and targets, so they say, they are building the
possibility of extreme weather into planning to help understand impacts, and ensure pricing is adequate. They have catastrophic event modeling, and they’re supplemented by
in-house disaster scenarios to quantify cross-class accumulation. They have heat maps related to ESG, and proxy climate risk metrics, and they’re targeting 500 million pounds of annual investment and
low carbon infrastructure from 2015 to 2020. So there is some real
leadership shown here, but you can see how part of that can be emulated without having just how are you identifying
climate risk and opportunities, and tell us the process
that you’re doing that, and simply explain it, so not everyone needs to do these really high tech scenario analysis. Hopefully, that will happen more and more, but there’s some aspects of the leadership we’re seeing from companies like Aveva that every organization can implement, and I think that’s what Jane was trying to say earlier today as well. On the issue of climate competent boards. We were talking about this. Competency does not mean expert, but it’s the ability to ask questions, and having enough information
to know what questions to ask, so how do we get all the
boards up to that level, and then we have to educate
the management, right? Like we have to educate the management, so they can answer those questions, so the leadership in
the companies I’m seeing are trying to get senior management more up to speed on these things, and Sarah mentioned A4S the
Accounting for Sustainability, and the CFO’s, really interesting, because there’s some CFO’s
saying this is my issue. So I was giving one of
these talks at Metrolinx. Everyone knows Metrolinx in this room. I was saying this is no longer, you know, what we’ve been hearing today. Just the ESG and the
communication sections problem. This is your CFO’s problem, and I was really feeling
fired up that day. The CFO was in the room who
is also a member of A4S, and I didn’t know him yet, and he came up, and was like, “So I’m the
CFO and I agree with you.” So it’s happening in some of the largest organizations across the country, but there’s a lot of room to go. You need to find that champion
within the organization, so going back to that part it is unclear, and maybe there’s some work
that we can all do on this. Who owns this issue within an organization because climate change is ubiquitous, and it encompasses everyone. It’s unclear who within an organization other than the CEO should be responsible. You could make an argument
that it’s a general counsel, or it’s the chief risk officer, it’s the chief financial officer, or it’s the chief operations officer because all of those people have to have a strong handle on climate change to really protect the business interests. How do we communicate
within companies to do this? This is really a big
challenge for all of us, and I think a lot of work
needs to go into that, and to empowering people
within the organizations to know that it is their issue. Then because this hasn’t
been mentioned yet I just wanted to say that there
is this roadmap for Canada that the UN put out about fiduciary duty, and what should be doing, so we’re directing
everyone’s attention to that, especially, the regulators in the room. There’s a lot of opportunity
for some more action within the Canadian context. I’m pushing on these issues, but, hopefully, I’ve given
some food for thought that business as usual is changing. Integrating climate risk into planning, operations and management is required, and we need to think
strategically about doing this, but the process is actually
the most important thing. Thanks. – Great, thank you, Laura. – Can I write on the? – Please. – So my name is Paul Boothe, and I’m on the Ecofiscal
Commission which is a group of economists that are interested in applying
economic instruments to try to tackle climate and
other environmental problems. We are funded by a group of private foundations. Funded by a group of private foundations led by the Ivey Foundation. Why am I on the Ecofiscal Commission? Well, probably because I took a turn as Deputy Minister of Environment Canada, so this was a big issue for me for several years. So what I want to do and the
reason that I want to stand up and write these numbers
down because very quickly I want to make you the
smartest people in the room on Canadian climate change in 99% of the meetings
that you’re in, right? I’m gonna write these numbers down so you can write them down, and then you’ll be the smartest. Also, I’ll talk about what
Cynthia asked me to do, and that is a little bit about how governments can work together to try to tackle this problem. I will tell you that I am optimistic about our chances on this. In fact, I think the biggest
climate change problem that we will face over the next 25 years will be adapting to the climate change that we’ve already caused, right? But in terms of mitigating
what’s going forward I like our chances on that, so let’s start in 2005, and I’m rounding these numbers off because, you know, to be
the smartest in the room you don’t have to know the decimal places. Canada had emissions
of about 750 megatons. The reason we say 2005 is
because that’s the base year that we use for climate
for climate agreements, so fast forward to 2014, which is the latest year for which we actually have an estimate, and now we’re down to about 723 megatons. So the first thing that we
should recognize here is that between 2005 and 2014 the economy in real
terms grew more than 20%, 20 plus percent, and yet
we’re down about 3% or 4%, so, you know, you could say that our emissions per person, and our emissions per GDP are already going in the right direction, but the tough number is 2030 because we’ve promised in 2030 that we’re gonna be down to about 525. If you want to be a per capita person you can be at about I don’t know 22 or 23 tons per person here, of
course, population is growing, and now we’re down to around 20, but where we have to go is to 14, right? Now if you’re a Quebecer you can say, aha, we’re already past 14. If you’re in Ontario you
can say we’re already at 14, but, of course, the distribution of emissions per capita
is gonna be different depending on where you are in the country. So now you’re already the smartest person in most meetings when it comes
to Canadian climate change because you know these
simple numbers, right? So now what I want to do is talk a bit about a very
important piece of research not done by the Ecofiscal Commission, but used by the Ecofiscal Commission by a couple of people called
Dave Sawyer and Chris Bataille. They wrote a paper called Taking Stock: Opportunities for Collaborative
Climate Action to 2030. A very geeky paper, so I mean, unless you really want to be expert in the 99th and 100th meeting, which is the one with the economists I’m not suggesting that
you need to memorize it, but basically what they say is to get to here we need a carbon price of about $150 per ton. Right now depending on where you are we’re at about between
$20 and $30 per ton. So $20 per ton pretty close. What was the latest
climate auction in Ontario? About 18 I think something like that, so this is kind of the neighborhood, okay, and before you go, Oh, my God, how are we ever gonna do it? You should know that to put
it in a thing that you can use think about the price of gasoline, right? Every $30 on the carbon price means seven cents on a liter of gas, so if we were at 30 we need gas prices to
go up by about 28 cents over the next 12 or 13 years, so kind of like two or three cents a year gas prices will have to rise. Now when you tell me two
or three cents a year on a liter of gas when gas is fluctuating 10 cents between Friday and Sunday this starts to come into perspective. This is why I think our chances are quite good getting to the price that we need to meet our target, right? The promise that we made in Paris. I’m pretty optimistic about this, and I don’t think that
the two or three cents per liter per year is
going to cause the economy to completely go into the ditch, right? But we know that this works because we’ve got experience
from British Columbia whose had a carbon tax
for a number of years, and that’s where we get the estimate of seven cents a liter per $30 of carbon price. We’ve also seen the decline in emissions in B.C. In fact, it was a little
bit more that we expected because people don’t
just care about money. Once they kind of wake
up to climate change like these directors
that Laura is talking to, and Pat is talking to they
actually want to do a bit more. So now, I mean, where I want to close is what governments can do together. This 150 is based on the assumption that Ontario and Quebec
continue to trade carbon with California, Western
Climate Initiative, right? If we said, can’t do that. Everything has to be done
all by ourselves in Canada then the estimate here goes up to about $220 a ton to meet our target. The reason is simple. California has lower cost reductions, and remember our goal
should be to meet our target as efficiently as we can to save as much money as
we can hitting our target. How does this affect Canadian governments? Well, there is an opportunity here for Canadian governments to work together, but it’s not gonna be easy. If we allowed trading between provinces so instead of paying my carbon tax in B.C. I could also get by the
lowest cost reduction available in Canada including trading with Ontario and Quebec Sawyer and Bataille say
the price could go down to $100 a ton in 2030, so that’s big. In fact, if you turn
that into dollars of GDP it’s north of $20 billion. $20 billion per year. Now to a group of lawyers $20 billion it’s not much, right? It’s neither here nor
there, and to be honest, remember, GDP right now
is about 1.2 trillion, so 20 billion is not a big number compared to 1.2 trillion, and it’s not a big number
compared to our ability to estimate this with a lot of confidence, so I don’t want you to go and say, I’ve got 20 plus billion to save, and I’ll tell you how to do
it with a lot of confidence because we don’t we have
to be humble about this, but this is how governments
can work together. What’s the catch? The catch is if you’re
a carbon tax province you’re expecting to
collect all this revenue, and use it to do good things, and if you allow this
trading some of that revenue is gonna leak out of your jurisdiction, so doing this might be good for a company in a carbon tax jurisdiction, but bad for the government, right? To the extent that this
trading cause prices to rise in other lower cost jurisdictions it may make companies
in those jurisdictions worse off, who knows, right? But this is why this is not a slam dunk because while it might good for companies in some jurisdictions
it’s almost certainly not gonna be good for governments, and that’s it. You’re the smartest in the room. – We have a few minutes
left for discussion. Let me just make a few
comments before I kick it open either to the panel and the audience. I think today’s discussion
was I think very useful in the sense to think, and push our thinking with
regard to what can be done to get corporations more
engaged with climate change through the role and exposure of boards and directors on
boards through the topic. I think we have heard a lot of good ideas how that can be achieved further, and what innovations we might think especially in the legal sense to do that. The problem and I just reflect on the topic of our panel here how does Canada compare, and what more should
governments do is, of course, that if you look at
environmental sociology they would argue that climate change, and reaching a low carbon economy, and the risks of climate change we want to address with
that are lifestyle risks, so they are risks that no
individual actor in a society single-handedly can influence, so even if you get all the
directors fired up about it we are still not in a position to really address climate change because it’s a lifestyle risk. We need to change the way we commute. We need to change the way we
organize our food supplies, and so forth and so forth. Hence, the subtitle of the title, and I think Paul has already
opened that discussion we need collective action. Now it’s clear that
government has to play a role, and let’s not forget as Canadians that until two years
ago our prime minister was a climate change denier, right? That legacy still sticks. We haven’t talked at all about
the oil sense, for instance, which used to be a huge
driver of the economy. We haven’t talked about the huge impact of Canadian agriculture as a key industry on climate change. We haven’t even talked
about the mining industry, and the implication that has
on global climate change. I think the tasks ahead even if we follow these mapped out trajectories
by Paul in a minute the hurdles for Canada are massive. My question to you is where do you see potential for collective action because as we see very clearly in many other policy areas it can’t just only be government. It has to be business. It has to be forms of collection action. If you do a comparative
look at how other countries, and other contacts and
regions have addressed it you can think of the European
context, also about Japan, these are very different
corporatist settings where all these decisions are, and the institution of
infrastructure exists to collectively come to
consensual agreements, and arrangements around these social, and environmental issues. I do not see that
infrastructure in Canada. In terms of performance
on a comparative scale I don’t think that Canada really is already in a position to be that optimistic. Now I put it here out
and Cindy asked me to take that take a little bit to also move the discussion to a little perspective, and Laura you can’t wait to say something. – I can’t wait, let’s talk about mining. If we haven’t moved to the
electric vehicle situation that we need to be in the
mining sector wins in Canada, and we have to talk about
how do we get more carbon, I mean, sorry, more copper,
not carbon, less carbon, but when you talk to the mining
sector about climate change they’re still talking
about emissions reduction. Emissions reduction is
important, of course, but that is not I don’t
think the most important climate related implication
for the mining sector, so we need to better educate
on the whole suite of things, and I think it’s a little
bit less about the cultural needing to kind of take one for their team for climate action, and it’s changing the conversation to how do we think about the future, and all the good things about the future, and how to survive in that future. That’s why we talked about resiliency, and it’s the ability to
respond to shocks quickly, and get back to functional, so I am of the view that if we talk about being more opportunistic, and thinking about the
transition in that way we’ll get further along than thinking about we have to suffer to
deal with climate change. We’ve been talking about
that for my whole life, and we’ve gotten nowhere, so let’s start talking about something that people can get excited about, and try to move towards the transition that we need to see so
that there is a future for my six-year-old twin daughters, and we’re not thinking about how bad their life is gonna be and
how to make it less bad. Let’s think about where the opportunities
are for the future. Of course, there’s gonna
be a risk analysis, but we have done a really poor job about engaging innovation culture, and engaging sort of what
the future looks like. – So I’m gonna play a little
bit of devil’s advocate, and actually coming back to your point about vehicles for collective action. Over the years I think we’ve seen a lot of good work done by industry associations that have embraced the
issues around climate change, and have tried to look forward. – [Dirk] Substantially or rhetorically? – I think substantially, again,
just from my own experience looking, for example,
at trade associations for not necessarily the mining industry, but the electricity industry. Certainly the trade associations
around the municipalities. – [Dirk] But they have
fought tooth and nail the Ontario Green Energy Act, I mean, that’s just not what I see. – I’m focused more on the
climate change adaptation piece as opposed to green energy. – [Dirk] Isn’t that
part of the discussion? – Maybe yes, maybe no. Certainly if you look at adaptation from the perspective
that they’re looking at these are industry associations. They’re looking at in
particular the businesses they’re focused on their
particular businesses, their particular risk profiles, and where the risks and opportunities are. I think to Laura’s point, actually, I think in some of the
industry associations the trade associations and
also voluntary associations that have sprung up there’s a whole host of associations that have sprung up around resiliency, and dealing with extreme weather events. I actually take some solace, frankly, from the fact that there
are like-minded individuals within various industry
groups who have been frankly very interested in this issue, very interested in
understanding it and engineers, actually, APEG, which is the
trade association for engineers probably one of the best examples of a very forward-thinking
professional association looking not only at the risks
and protecting their members, but looking at what it means to the profession going forward
where the opportunities are, so I’m a little bit more sanguine if you look at these sorts
of groups have sprung up, and these sorts of existing groups I’m more sanguine that
there are those mechanisms, that people are looking at this from a forward-thinking perspective as opposed to simply a reactionary. – I guess I would draw your attention to the fact that Ontario
closed its coal plant, fired electricity plants
and now Alberta is, and the only way Saskatchewan can continue is if they have carbon
capture and storage. This is a huge impact on our numbers. That’s why our numbers are
going in the right direction. I mean, the other thing is, and Environment Canada, of
course, during my tenure was involved in those coal regulations. I mean, the other ones that we worked on when I was there were the fuel efficiency standards. I mean, the fact that you
can get into a vehicle that gives you 50 miles a gallon. The fact that my Camry Hybrid is competitive with internal
combustion vehicles all that is because of
regulations on fuel efficiency that we put into case, and the transportation
choices that people make. One of the things that struck me about the B.C. carbon tax experience was this, and I mentioned it
to you the fact that actually emissions declined by even
more than people expected than economists expected, right? For whom it’s all about dollars and cents. You know, the explanation that seems to be most persuasive is that the carbon tax in B.C. raised the “salience” of the climate change issue
and people started to do more like maybe I should plan my trips when I’m getting into my car. Maybe I should be thinking about it’s just a short distance I
could walk or ride my bike. All these things when the whole population starts to do them adds up
to some significant results. I think that we are moving
in the right direction, and if we can maintain the
support for carbon pricing, for example, and all the
other things we’re doing, and that’s not a given
then we can get there, but I think that what we also need to do, especially, in the corporate world is tell governments there’s no going back. We’ve got to stay the
course and get this done. – [Cynthia] I just have an observation. It’s like being in a cultural
time warp here for me because I’ve worked in the Netherlands, and I’ve worked here
and culturally I think we’re seeing on this panel the very reason why Europe seems to be so
much further ahead of us. If you’re here from Germany is just like well why can’t we just? No, we’re not doing as
much as we could be doing, and in reality I think he’s right, and I think we need to think about that in terms of we’re so polite as a culture. I actually really loved
that in the Netherlands they were first to solve
a lot of big problems because they just rolled up their sleeves, and they brought opposites together. They did not get along and
they just hammered it out. I think we need to stop
being so nice to each other, and just get it all together, and start working on the solution. I see that culturally
there’s such differences, and we need to find a
made in Canada solution that’s gonna really go fast
and I know there’s some work, and Andrea has been working on it, Ivey. There’s other organizations
that are sort of looking at what’s been happening in Europe around the high level expert group. We need to find something and maybe that exact model isn’t gonna be it here, but we need to do something
and we need to do it fast, and maybe we’ve been doing some things, but we need to really escalate it, and we need to get on the same platform. I don’t want to repeat myself, but we’re doing some good things, but we need to do more and
we need to do it faster, and we need to all get into
the same huddle together. I think that’s part of what’s happened in Germany and Europe more probably. – That’s probably a good summary. I hope Cindy you have put in my gift pack something stronger than chocolate. We had a wonderful panel, but I’ve never been in a
situation where I disagreed virtually with everything
every single panelist said. That makes moderating, of
course, a little bit hard. I don’t want to appear as a smug European. I think Europe has similar problems, and what happens there
is also not all good, and I think Canada has a
certain structural advantage. It’s a small country population wise, but it’s a huge country space wise, I’m just coming
back from a trip out West to Vancouver, Calgary and
Edmonton in three days, and that just gave me, again, an impression how much unspoiled, uninhabited space there is compare that to other parts
of the world Japan or so. Anyhow, I think this was a
very useful conference we had. Also, very useful panel in the sense. – Even though he disagrees. – No, no, I mean, I’m
serious I’m not facetious in the sense to assess where we are, and where to go. I think that I agree with Paul and I agree
with the panel that Canada has made some interesting
steps I think most notably by electing a different
government two years ago that certainly helps, but I think in many ways I wish that Paul’s optimism
really gains momentum, and that we actually see the progress everybody is seeing at the horizon, so thank you very much. (applause) – Okay, well, I think I
can’t say it any better than the combination
of Catherine and Dirk. I think that you are the
co-chairs now of our committee so that this is all not
just good polite talk, but what are the next steps, and who do we need to reach? What are the leverage points? Let’s make this happen. I have been shameless in promoting a book to everyone. Andrea has now heard this
speech a couple of times. Keith Ambachtsheer
suggested it to Ed Waitzer who is my colleague at Osgoode as well as a partner at
Stikeman who suggested it to me. Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Kate Raworth, Senior Fellow at Oxford, Senior Fellow at Cambridge, Economist who worked for Oxfam for 10 years. She’s just, I think, got it right. It’s about redesigning the way we are living exactly as Dirk said, so I want to conclude by
reading one short paragraph about what one city did, and possibly Toronto is also
doing something like this. This is the city of Oberlin in Ohio who decided that in 2009 that they would become one of America’s first climate positive
cities by sequestering more carbon dioxide than it produces. The initiative aims to grow
70% of the cities food locally, conserve 20,000 acres
of urban green space, and revive local culture in a community creating enterprise and
jobs to make it possible, so that was their determination in 2009. By 2015 college and city run buildings were powered by 90% renewable energy, a growing proportion of food
for the city’s university, high schools, hospitals,
and government offices were sourced from local growers. Cultural life is reviving thanks to a new performing arts center in the city’s green arts district, and environmental education is now built into the public school curriculum that David Orr, Executive
Director of the Oberlin Project says our aim is to full
spectrum sustainability. We aim to recalibrate
prosperity with the way that ecosystems work and what
they can actually regenerate, so it’s designing economic systems using the principles of
environmental systems, and that I think is where we have to go if we’re going to be going
as fast as we need to go because the Paris Agreement is a fantastic market signal. It is a fantastic accomplishment, but it has us on a trek at least the countries commitments to it has us on a trek to 2.7 degrees increase, so we need to do more and
we need to do it faster. This is the beginning of a discussion. CCLI is thinking about legal tools, but there are other tools,
accounting, directors, moms on boards who ate
the chocolate I like that. I just invite everyone who is interested to continue to cooperate and communicate. We’ll be sending out
all of the PowerPoints. We’ll be sending out
participant lists with emails, and also the background papers. Just because you weren’t here
when I thanked you before Giji you’re gonna be thanked again. Giji and Julie and Andrea have been really key to
putting today together.

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