About the conference

While climate action already made its way to the electoral platform of the 2019 Canadian Federal Elections, one question is frequently raised: is it possible to expand climate policy in Canada whilst ensuring its economic prosperity? Canada is currently not on track to meet its Paris Agreement commitments and the opposition certain forms of climate action is mounting as its implications are often painted as detrimental to the economy. How will taxpayers, workers in carbon-intensive industries and companies in these sectors be affected if Canada scales-up climate action? What institutional measures could ensure a just transition towards a green economy? What will be the economic fall-out of implementing a Pan-Canadian price on carbon? What are the economic benefits of being ahead of the curve in the green economy transition?

The McGill Climate Conference « Building the Canadian Green Economy: A Just Transition » aims to answer these questions and help construct a lasting consensus for the expansion of climate action, as well as for the creation and maintenance of sustainable employment. This interdisciplinary conference will bring together political scientists, policy analysts, philosophers, economists, climate scientists and prominent former politicians to discuss chief strategies to reduce GHG emissions while ensuring Canada’s economic prosperity. Specifically, this conference aims to:

  • Build a platform that directly connects research and policy proposals, in order to enrich public discourse so as to inform the Canadian population and cast light on electoral issues;
  • Demonstrate that it is economically beneficial, even in the short run, to transit towards a green economy and make the country a global leader in climate action;
  • Show that the creation of sustainable jobs in a new green economy is key to building public support for increased climate action in Canada.

 

The conference is structured around four axes

  • The scaling up of climate action, notably through a wider and more robust use of carbon pricing and capping mechanisms across the country.
  • The ethical, political and economic implications of phasing out of oil sands, including a discussion of market forces in energy markets.
  • Fostering cross party collaborations for a faster transition towards a green economy.
  • Exploring the economic benefits to transit towards a green economy and make Canada a global leader in climate action.

 

Register here

 

A dynamic and interactive online platform will be created. The audience will be composed of academic and non-academic researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, former politicians, representatives from the private sector, undergraduate and graduate students, and general members of the public. Invited journalists will provide the event essential media coverage.

 

Follow the conference live

 

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Who’s Speaking

Tzeporah BermanInternational Program Director, Stand.earth

Tzeporah Berman, BA, MES, LLD (honoris causa) has a long record of creating, leading, and winning major environmental campaigns and negotiating significant government and corporate policy victories. Tzeporah was the coordinator of one of the largest civil disobedience protests in Canada’s history in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia and one of the creators and lead negotiators of the Great Bear Rainforest agreement where her work helped protect 6 million hectares of old growth forests. She co-founded Stand.earth (previously known as ForestEthics) where she has led many corporate campaigns and was the co-director Greenpeace International’s Global Climate and Energy program where she led the creation of the Arctic campaign and a successful “Unfriend Coal” campaign to get Facebook, Apple and others to switch from coal to renewable energy for their data centers and to become an advocate for clean energy in the technology sector. She is also an Adjunct Professor of the York University Faculty of Environmental Studies, and was appointed to the BC Government Climate Leadership Team, and Co-chaired Alberta’s Oilsands Advisory Working Group. Her book, This Crazy Time: Living Our Environmental Challenge, was published by Knopf Canada in 2011. This year Tzeporah received the Climate Breakthrough Project Award and in 2013 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of British Columbia..

She is the mother of two boys and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Tzeporah BermanInternational Program Director, Stand.earth

Tzeporah Berman, BA, MES, LLD (honoris causa) has a long record of creating, leading, and winning major environmental campaigns and negotiating significant government and corporate policy victories. Tzeporah was the coordinator of one of the largest civil disobedience protests in Canada’s history in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia and one of the creators and lead negotiators of the Great Bear Rainforest agreement where her work helped protect 6 million hectares of old growth forests. She co-founded Stand.earth (previously known as ForestEthics) where she has led many corporate campaigns and was the co-director Greenpeace International’s Global Climate and Energy program where she led the creation of the Arctic campaign and a successful “Unfriend Coal” campaign to get Facebook, Apple and others to switch from coal to renewable energy for their data centers and to become an advocate for clean energy in the technology sector. She is also an Adjunct Professor of the York University Faculty of Environmental Studies, and was appointed to the BC Government Climate Leadership Team, and Co-chaired Alberta’s Oilsands Advisory Working Group. Her book, This Crazy Time: Living Our Environmental Challenge, was published by Knopf Canada in 2011. This year Tzeporah received the Climate Breakthrough Project Award and in 2013 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of British Columbia..

She is the mother of two boys and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Karen Clarke WhistlerBoard of Directors, Enerplus Corporation

Trained as an environmental scientist, Karen was Chief Environment Officer at TD Bank Group for the past decade. Her professional focus is on developing business strategies that facilitate transformation to a low carbon economy while minimizing economic disruption. She’s a strong proponent of advancing Canada’s potential as a global leader in this realm through innovation. She recently joined the board of Enerplus Corporation, a Calgary-based oil and gas company and is a Principal at ESG Global Advisors. Karen has twice been awarded the Clean 16 for her leadership in clean capitalism in the financial sector.

Karen Clarke WhistlerBoard of Directors, Enerplus Corporation

Trained as an environmental scientist, Karen was Chief Environment Officer at TD Bank Group for the past decade. Her professional focus is on developing business strategies that facilitate transformation to a low carbon economy while minimizing economic disruption. She’s a strong proponent of advancing Canada’s potential as a global leader in this realm through innovation. She recently joined the board of Enerplus Corporation, a Calgary-based oil and gas company and is a Principal at ESG Global Advisors. Karen has twice been awarded the Clean 16 for her leadership in clean capitalism in the financial sector.

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Alexandre Gajevic SayeghProject Director, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Université Laval

Alex Gajevic is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Université Laval. For 2018-2019 he was a SSHRC Postdoctoral
Fellow at the Department of Political Science at McGill University. He was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies and a Lecturer at the Department of Political Science at Yale University (2016-2018). He
is particularly interested in political theory and its relation to markets and climate change. His current research focuses on the expansion of feasibility curves for the acceleration of climate action. He obtained his Ph.D. in Philosophy at University College
London in 2017. His book – titled Justice in a Non-Ideal World (London: Rowman and Littlefield International, 2019) is now available. His recent research was supported by the SSHRC, the FRQSC, UCL and Yale University.

Alexandre Gajevic SayeghProject Director, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Université Laval

Alex Gajevic is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Université Laval. For 2018-2019 he was a SSHRC Postdoctoral
Fellow at the Department of Political Science at McGill University. He was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies and a Lecturer at the Department of Political Science at Yale University (2016-2018). He
is particularly interested in political theory and its relation to markets and climate change. His current research focuses on the expansion of feasibility curves for the acceleration of climate action. He obtained his Ph.D. in Philosophy at University College
London in 2017. His book – titled Justice in a Non-Ideal World (London: Rowman and Littlefield International, 2019) is now available. His recent research was supported by the SSHRC, the FRQSC, UCL and Yale University.

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Joshua GalperinAssociate Professor, School of Law, University of Pittsburg

Josh is a law professor in the United States studying administrative law, environmental law, and food law and policy. His research explores the way in which legal structures invite public participation and how advocacy organizations and activists develop strategies to take advantage of legal participation.

Joshua GalperinAssociate Professor, School of Law, University of Pittsburg

Josh is a law professor in the United States studying administrative law, environmental law, and food law and policy. His research explores the way in which legal structures invite public participation and how advocacy organizations and activists develop strategies to take advantage of legal participation.

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Erick LachapelleAssociate Professor, Department of Political Science, Université de Montréal

Erick Lachapelle is an Associate Professor of Political Science at l’Université de Montréal. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and is the principal investigator for the Canadian Surveys on Energy and Environment (CSEE) and Research Partner with EcoAnalytics. Through a range of mixed-methods research including experiments, the focus of his research is on public attitudes toward risk and environmental issues, political communication, and the interaction of media, public opinion, and public policy.

Erick LachapelleAssociate Professor, Department of Political Science, Université de Montréal

Erick Lachapelle is an Associate Professor of Political Science at l’Université de Montréal. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and is the principal investigator for the Canadian Surveys on Energy and Environment (CSEE) and Research Partner with EcoAnalytics. Through a range of mixed-methods research including experiments, the focus of his research is on public attitudes toward risk and environmental issues, political communication, and the interaction of media, public opinion, and public policy.

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Justin Leroux Associate Professor, Department of Applied Economics, HEC Montréal

Justin Leroux is Associate Professor at HEC Montréal’s Department of Applied Economics. He is a Fellow at the Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations (CIRANO), at the Centre de Recherche en Éthique (CRÉ), and is a member of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission.
His research focuses on fair division and cost sharing, specifically of public services and in environmental issues like the burden sharing of climate change. Justin is also involved in consulting for private firms and governments on a regular basis, for which he made contributions regarding the rate-setting of call center services, road networks and water services.

Justin Leroux Associate Professor, Department of Applied Economics, HEC Montréal

Justin Leroux is Associate Professor at HEC Montréal’s Department of Applied Economics. He is a Fellow at the Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations (CIRANO), at the Centre de Recherche en Éthique (CRÉ), and is a member of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission.
His research focuses on fair division and cost sharing, specifically of public services and in environmental issues like the burden sharing of climate change. Justin is also involved in consulting for private firms and governments on a regular basis, for which he made contributions regarding the rate-setting of call center services, road networks and water services.

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François MelocheHead of Corporate Engagement, Aequo

François is the Director of Corporate Engagement and a founding partner at Æquo. He is in charge of the shareholder engagement process and priorities. Before joining Æquo, he was Extra-financial Risks Manager at Bâtirente for nearly 10 years. François also worked several years in firms specializing in social and environmental rating of companies, including Sustainalytics, the Groupe Investissement Responsable and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). During his career, he has participated in several filed visits in Africa, South America, Asia and Europe to analyse how extractive companies approach social and environmental impacts.

As a co-founder of different organisations and initiatives, François is a pioneer in the area of sustainable development in Québec and a regular speaker at conferences and events in responsible investment.

François MelocheHead of Corporate Engagement, Aequo

François is the Director of Corporate Engagement and a founding partner at Æquo. He is in charge of the shareholder engagement process and priorities. Before joining Æquo, he was Extra-financial Risks Manager at Bâtirente for nearly 10 years. François also worked several years in firms specializing in social and environmental rating of companies, including Sustainalytics, the Groupe Investissement Responsable and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). During his career, he has participated in several filed visits in Africa, South America, Asia and Europe to analyse how extractive companies approach social and environmental impacts.

As a co-founder of different organisations and initiatives, François is a pioneer in the area of sustainable development in Québec and a regular speaker at conferences and events in responsible investment.

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Greg MikkelsonAssociate Professor, McGill School of Environment

Greg Mikkelson studies the intrinsic and instrumental value of diversity and equality in nature and society.

Greg MikkelsonAssociate Professor, McGill School of Environment

Greg Mikkelson studies the intrinsic and instrumental value of diversity and equality in nature and society.

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Dr. Normand Mousseau Professor of physics, Université de Montréal and Academic director of the Trottier Energy Institute, Polytechnique Montréal.

Dr. Normand Mousseau is professor of physics at Université de Montréal and Academic director of the Trottier Energy Institute at Polytechnique Montréal. His research includes the study of complex materials, as well as energy and natural resources. Very involved in energy and climate policy, he was co-chair of the Quebec Commission on Energy Issues in 2013 and has authored numerous books on the topic. In 2018, he co-author the "Canadian Energy Outlook - Horizon 2050" and is a founding member of The Transition Accelerator, a not-for-organization that convenes researchers, industry experts, and civil society leaders to envision, chart, and pilot game-changing pathways that will help Canadians thrive into the 21st century and beyond.

Dr. Normand Mousseau Professor of physics, Université de Montréal and Academic director of the Trottier Energy Institute, Polytechnique Montréal.

Dr. Normand Mousseau is professor of physics at Université de Montréal and Academic director of the Trottier Energy Institute at Polytechnique Montréal. His research includes the study of complex materials, as well as energy and natural resources. Very involved in energy and climate policy, he was co-chair of the Quebec Commission on Energy Issues in 2013 and has authored numerous books on the topic. In 2018, he co-author the "Canadian Energy Outlook - Horizon 2050" and is a founding member of The Transition Accelerator, a not-for-organization that convenes researchers, industry experts, and civil society leaders to envision, chart, and pilot game-changing pathways that will help Canadians thrive into the 21st century and beyond.

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The Honourable Thomas MulcairVisiting Professor, Department of Political Science, Université de Montréal

The Honourable Thomas Mulcair is visiting Professor in the political science Department at l’Université de Montréal. A lawyer, he holds degrees in French Civil Law (B.C.L.) and in Common Law (LL.B.) from McGill University. Mr. Mulcair began his legal career at the Québec Justice Department and served as President of the Québec Professions Board. Elected three times to Quebec National Assembly, he is the author of Québec’s landmark Sustainable Development Act when he was Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks. Elected four times to the House of Commons, he was Party Leader and Leader of the Official Opposition.

The Honourable Thomas MulcairVisiting Professor, Department of Political Science, Université de Montréal

The Honourable Thomas Mulcair is visiting Professor in the political science Department at l’Université de Montréal. A lawyer, he holds degrees in French Civil Law (B.C.L.) and in Common Law (LL.B.) from McGill University. Mr. Mulcair began his legal career at the Québec Justice Department and served as President of the Québec Professions Board. Elected three times to Quebec National Assembly, he is the author of Québec’s landmark Sustainable Development Act when he was Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks. Elected four times to the House of Commons, he was Party Leader and Leader of the Official Opposition.

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Stephan OukanineManaging Partner, Inerjys Ventures

Stephan Ouaknine is a global entrepreneur and investor who successfully built and exited three high-tech ventures in telecom and IT. Ouaknine then founded Montreal-based investment firm Inerjys with a portfolio focused on disruptive technologies, where he developed a first-of-its-kind hybrid VC model to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy on a global scale. Ouaknine serves on six boards, two as chair, is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and was a speaker at Davos and COP21.

Ouaknine is a dynamic, charismatic and contagious speaker who has spoken on several important global stages discussing financial models for driving profitability in the sustainability for scale including:

Stephan OukanineManaging Partner, Inerjys Ventures

Stephan Ouaknine is a global entrepreneur and investor who successfully built and exited three high-tech ventures in telecom and IT. Ouaknine then founded Montreal-based investment firm Inerjys with a portfolio focused on disruptive technologies, where he developed a first-of-its-kind hybrid VC model to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy on a global scale. Ouaknine serves on six boards, two as chair, is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and was a speaker at Davos and COP21.

Ouaknine is a dynamic, charismatic and contagious speaker who has spoken on several important global stages discussing financial models for driving profitability in the sustainability for scale including:

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Pierre-Oliver PineauProfessor, Department of Decision Sciences and Holder of the Chair in Energy Sector Management, HEC Montréal

Pierre-Oliver Pineau (PhD, HEC Montréal, 2000) is a professor at the Department of Decision Sciences of HEC Montréal and holds the Chair in Energy Sector Management since December 2013. He is an energy policy and management specialist, with a focus on electricity reforms. He has published many papers on the energy sector, most of them exploring the links between energy and some aspects of sustainable development. He participates regularly in the public debate on energy and has authored many reports for the government and other public organizations.
He is a CIRANO Fellow, member of the CAEE, CIRODD and institute EDDEC. Before joining HEC Montreal, he was an associate professor at the School of Public Administration, University of Victoria (2001-2006).

Pierre-Oliver PineauProfessor, Department of Decision Sciences and Holder of the Chair in Energy Sector Management, HEC Montréal

Pierre-Oliver Pineau (PhD, HEC Montréal, 2000) is a professor at the Department of Decision Sciences of HEC Montréal and holds the Chair in Energy Sector Management since December 2013. He is an energy policy and management specialist, with a focus on electricity reforms. He has published many papers on the energy sector, most of them exploring the links between energy and some aspects of sustainable development. He participates regularly in the public debate on energy and has authored many reports for the government and other public organizations.
He is a CIRANO Fellow, member of the CAEE, CIRODD and institute EDDEC. Before joining HEC Montreal, he was an associate professor at the School of Public Administration, University of Victoria (2001-2006).

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Catherine PotvinProfessor, Department of Biology. McGill University

I obtained by Ph.D. from Duke University, North Carolina, and since then I have always worked on issues related to global climate change. I am Professor in the Department of Biology at McGill University in Montreal where I hold the Canada Research Chair on Climate Change Mitigation and Tropical Forest (Tier 1). I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. I have also been working with the Embera people of Panama since 1994 which helped me in developing participatory approaches to integrate the human dimension in biological analysis. My currently research in Panama spans a broad range of issues from remote sensing to capacity building and conflict resolution the unifying theme being forest conservation and climate change. During my carrier I have edited two books and published >130 scientific journal articles or book chapters. I served as Panama’s negotiator of REDD in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (2005-2009). I am currently leading the Sustainable Canada Dialogues, an initiative that mobilizes scholars from across Canada to propose a blue print for Canada’s transition to a low carbon economy

Catherine PotvinProfessor, Department of Biology. McGill University

I obtained by Ph.D. from Duke University, North Carolina, and since then I have always worked on issues related to global climate change. I am Professor in the Department of Biology at McGill University in Montreal where I hold the Canada Research Chair on Climate Change Mitigation and Tropical Forest (Tier 1). I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. I have also been working with the Embera people of Panama since 1994 which helped me in developing participatory approaches to integrate the human dimension in biological analysis. My currently research in Panama spans a broad range of issues from remote sensing to capacity building and conflict resolution the unifying theme being forest conservation and climate change. During my carrier I have edited two books and published >130 scientific journal articles or book chapters. I served as Panama’s negotiator of REDD in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (2005-2009). I am currently leading the Sustainable Canada Dialogues, an initiative that mobilizes scholars from across Canada to propose a blue print for Canada’s transition to a low carbon economy

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Christopher RaganDirector, Max Bell School of Public Policy

Christopher Ragan is a Canadian academic and economist. He is best known for his research on monetary policy, and for his popular introductory textbook, Economics, now in its fourteenth edition and co-authored by Richard Lipsey. He is chair of Canada's Ecofiscal Commission, a group of Canadian economists seeking to broaden the discussion of environmental pricing reform beyond the academic sphere and into the realm of practical policy application.

He is an Associate Professor at McGill University, where he has been on the faculty since 1989. Throughout his tenure, he has taught a wide range of economics courses, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In 2007, he became the first in the Faculty of Economics to receive the H. Noel Fieldhouse teaching award for excellence in teaching.

Christopher RaganDirector, Max Bell School of Public Policy

Christopher Ragan is a Canadian academic and economist. He is best known for his research on monetary policy, and for his popular introductory textbook, Economics, now in its fourteenth edition and co-authored by Richard Lipsey. He is chair of Canada's Ecofiscal Commission, a group of Canadian economists seeking to broaden the discussion of environmental pricing reform beyond the academic sphere and into the realm of practical policy application.

He is an Associate Professor at McGill University, where he has been on the faculty since 1989. Throughout his tenure, he has taught a wide range of economics courses, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In 2007, he became the first in the Faculty of Economics to receive the H. Noel Fieldhouse teaching award for excellence in teaching.

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Brian ToppPartner at KTG Public Affairs

Brian Topp is a partner at KTG Public Affairs; a fellow at the Public Policy Forum; and a director at the Broadbent Institute. He served in government as chief of staff to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, and as deputy chief of staff to Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow. He was born in Montreal and is a graduate of McGill University. He lives on Air Canada and his stuff is in Toronto.

Brian ToppPartner at KTG Public Affairs

Brian Topp is a partner at KTG Public Affairs; a fellow at the Public Policy Forum; and a director at the Broadbent Institute. He served in government as chief of staff to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, and as deputy chief of staff to Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow. He was born in Montreal and is a graduate of McGill University. He lives on Air Canada and his stuff is in Toronto.

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Sponsors

This conference is supported by The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, The McGill Dean of Arts Development Fund, The Max Bell School of Public Policy, The Institute for Health and Social Policy, The Research Group on Constitutional Studies, Le Centre de Recherche en Éthique, the McGill Departments of Political Science and Philosophy.

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