Climate change is a global issue, as shown by the scientific consensus on human-caused warning, elevated impacts of acute weather events and the development of new government policies addressing climate change, from carbon pricing to major project approvals. These trends suggest there will be major transitions in the energy sector, transportation, infrastructure, and cities – anything and everything that affects Canadian business. But, what should boards and pension funds be doing to manage climate risk? How can boards proactively identify opportunities given the changing legal and regulatory landscape to mitigate and adapt to climate change?
Jennifer King, a Partner in the Gowling WLG Environmental Law Group and Environmental Law Group associate, Liane Langstaff explored these and other questions at Women Get on Board's event, "ESG & the Role of the Board" on February 26, 2020 in Toronto. Joined by business law partner, Stephen Pike, who discussed how the board can tackle modern slavery, they spoke to a group of more than 100 corporate directors, executives and governance professionals about the major environmental, social and governance trends shaping boardroom discussions today.
Both Jennifer and Liane are Climate Governance Experts with the Canada Climate Law Initiative; a program that offers free sessions on effective corporate governance to address climate-related financial risks and opportunities to corporate boards of directors and Canadian pension fund boards. Incorporating some of the key learnings from this program, Jennifer and Liane shared how the current state of climate science relates to boards, and the duties of directors, officers and pension fiduciaries in Canada. They also spoke to the practical questions boards can ask themselves in order to adopt best practices around climate change. For more details, see Women Get on Board's blog post by Ellen Perkins, summarizing the February 26 event.
Following the success of the sold-out Toronto event, Jennifer, Liane and Stephen will be presenting their topics with a webinar on May 26, 2020.
The May 26, 2020 webinar will build on the Toronto event, with new insights that are relevant for boards weathering the current COVID-19 crisis, including:
- How has the COVID-19 crisis affected the imperative to address climate change?
- What key learnings from the COVID-19 crisis may assist boards in overcoming climate risk in the future?
- How can the board make the most of low carbon opportunities in the post-COVID recovery?
Register for this webinar here.
Canada Climate Law Initiative
Jennifer King and Liane Langstaff are Canadian Climate Governance Experts with the Canada Climate Law Initiative, an initiative directed by Dr. Janis Sarra (University of British Columbia Law) and Professor Cynthia Williams (Osgoode Hall Law). To learn more about the Climate Change Law Initiative, please contact Liane or Jennifer, or program manager Joanne Forbes firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women Get on Board
Women Get On Board is a leading member-based company that connects, promotes and empowers women to corporate boards. They do this through an engaged community of women and men in Canada committed to advancing gender diversity in the boardroom. Gowling WLG LLP is Women Get on Board's National Strategic Partner.