McGill Climate Conference

Building the Canadian Green Economy: A Just Transition

September 12 – Thursday

9:00-9:30 Registration and coffee

Panel 1 – Welcome, Keynote 1 and Climate Action 9:30-12:20

9:30-10:00 – Welcome Address

Alexandre Gajevic Sayegh (Political Science, Université Laval) –  A Just Green Economy Transition: The Green Robin Hood

10:00-11:00 Keynote Address 1: Cross-Party Collaborations

Can political parties in Canada do anything together to address the climate crisis? What would post-partisan cooperation look like? How can this message be conveyed to the population? Can climate policy generate support that will cut across party lines in Canada?

Thomas Mulcair (Political Science, Université de Montréal) – Political Priorities and Climate: Partisanship or Posterity?

11:00-12:20 Climate Action: Climate Action Two speakers (30 minutes + 20 minutes Q and A)

Is Canada a ‘thuggish petro state’? How can the social and political opposition to hydrocarbons best be channeled? How can the rigidity of demand for oil be tackled?

Pierre-Olivier Pineau (Chair in Energy Sector Management, HEC)– Is Oil Project Opposition an Effective Climate Action?

Greg Mikkelson (School of Environment, McGill University)A Leisurely Transition to Life without Fossil Fuel

12:20-13:40 Lunch and coffee

Panel 2 – Phasing Out Oil and Gas 13:40-15:00

Is there a role for the oil and gas sector in a low-carbon economy? How are oil and gas companies envisaging the transition towards a low-carbon future? Can sustainable finance contribute to diminishing Canada’s reliance upon fossil fuels?

13:40-15:00 Two speakers (30 minutes each + 20 minutes Q and A)

Karen Clarke-Whistler (Board of Directors, Enerplus Corporation) – Is there a Role for the Oil and Gas Industry in the Low Carbon Economy?

François Meloche (Head of Corporate Engagement – Aequo Canada) – How are companies preparing or adapting to shifts in energy paradigms?

15:00-15:20 Coffee

Panel 3 – A Just Transition, Keynote 2 and reception : 15:30-19:30

How can we help communities create 21st century jobs? What are the economic implications a green economy transition? Can we de-couple economic growth from GHG emissions such as to open new economic possibilities for Canadians across the country? How can legal participation catalyze the movement towards a green economy? How does administrative law wield the coercive power of the state to guide transitions according to the collective will? What legal structure might help advance a sincerely just transition?

15:20-16:40 A Just Transition – Two Speakers (30 minutes each + 20 minutes Q and A)

Heidi Binko (Executive Director, Just Transition Fund)

Josh Galperin (School of Law, University of Pittsburg) – Just Transition, Democratic Practice, and Lessons from U.S. Administrative Law

16:40-17:30 Keynote Address 2: The Necessary Balances

Brian Topp (Partner at KTG Public Affairs) The necessary balances; the real debate

(40 minutes + 10 minutes Q and A)

17:30-19:30 Reception McGill Faculty Club Ballroom

September 13 – Friday

Panel 4 – Carbon Pricing and Beyond

How can we increase support for carbon pricing in Canada? Should different strategies be applied by different provinces? What measures should accompany carbon pricing? How can we tie the objective of reducing GHG emissions with improvements in the quality of life of Canadian citizens and other issues that resonate in the population? What are the optimal ways for provinces to recycle revenues from carbon pricing in order to increase its political acceptability, fairness and impact on GHG reductions?

10:30-12:00 Two speakers (30 minutes each + 30 minutes Q and A)

Erik Lachapelle (Political Science, Université de Montréal) – Do rebates increase support for carbon taxes? Evidence from a panel study of Canadians in 2019


Normand Mousseau (Physics, Université de Montréal) – Beyond carbon pricing: the need for a real climate strategy


12:00-13:30 Lunch and coffee

Panel 5 – Distributing the Benefits and Burdens of a Green Economy Transition

Is it possible to expand Canada’s climate policy and ensure the nation’s economic prosperity? What are the economic benefits of being ahead of the curve in the green economy transition, in terms of technology innovation, investments and reaping the low-hanging fruits (e.g. technical expertise, job creation and health co-benefits) of a new energy-industrial revolution? How can the benefits and burdens of a green economy transition be distributed between Canadian provinces?

13:30-15:30 Three speakers (30 minutes each + 30 minutes Q and A)

Catherine Potvin (Biology, McGill University) – Awareness, economy, know-how: Who can afford the Green Economy Transition?

Justin Leroux (Applied Economics, HEC) – Fairness, efficiency and autonomy: Three reasons to finance climate-disaster relief in proportion to provincial emissions of GHGs

Johanne Whitmore (Chair in Energy Sector Management) –

15:30-16:00 Coffee

Panel 6 – Keynote and Roundtable

16:00-17:00 Keynote Address Christopher Ragan (Director, Max Bell School of Public Policy, McGill University) – Mainstreaming Carbon Pricing in Canada: No Simple Task


(45 minutes + Q and A)

17:00 -18:00 Interactive Roundtable: The Findings (40 minutes + Final Q and A)

Chair: Alexandre Gajevic Sayegh (Political Science, Université Laval)

Participants: Chris Ragan, Brian Topp

Conference Dinner (TBC)