Recent Developments in Ontario’s Climate Change Policy

Glen Murray, Ontario’s new Minister of Environment and Climate Change, recently received his mandate letter from Premier Kathleen Wynne which sets out the Minister’s priorities and goals.

The mandate letter calls on the Minister to develop a long term climate change strategy for the province, and directs the Minister to work with other elements of government to “ensure that climate change is taken into account in the government decision-making process”.

As documented in a recent report from the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), the province is in serious need of a strategy to combat climate change.  The report states that the province has “lost the leadership position it once had” on the climate change file and is in dire need of leadership to address this growing challenge.

We look forward to the Minister’s long term climate change strategy and hope it addresses the concerns raised in the ECO’s report.



International Bar Association Publishes Report Examining Climate Change’s Impact on Human Rights

The International Bar Assocation‘s Task Force on Climate Change Justice and Human Rights has recently published a report entitled Achieving Justice and Human Rights in an Era of Climate Disruption. The report explores how “the rights of the world’s most vulnerable will be severely threatened unless urgent action is taken to improve access to justice and legal frameworks for people affected by climate change.”

The report finds that climate change disproportionately affects those lacking sufficient resources to respond to its challenges and recommends reforms to improve climate change justice structures to aid in the protection of environmental and human rights.



The Climate Change Lawyers Network Annual Networking Event

Please join the Climate Change Lawyers Network on October 2, 2014 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. for an evening of networking and conversation with fellow professionals and students sharing an interest in climate change policy and law. Climate change talking points welcome but definitely not required, drinks and snacks provided.
The event will be held at the offices of the Zizzo Allan Professional Corporation – 41-A Avenue Road, Toronto, ON. To find the event, please come to 41 Avenue Rd. and you will see a small entrance to a courtyard with the sign “Il Posto”, please come down the courtyard and you’ll see the Zizzo Allan sign and door on the right.

If you plan to attend, please kindly RSVP at


Senator Grant Mitchell Calls for Stronger Federal Leadership on Climate Change Policy

Senator Grant Mitchell gave an inspiring talk about the need for greater federal leadership on the climate change file at an event hosted by the Climate Change Lawyers Network yesterday evening at Torys LLP.  IMG_4993

Senator Mitchell discussed various policiy alternatives for lowering Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and entered into a lively Q&A with attendees, discussing topics ranging from carbon taxes, the oil sands, transitioning to renewable energy, and the current state of the Canadian economy.IMG_4997


Join CCLN and Senator Grant Mitchell for a Discussion on Federal Climate Change Policy

Please join CCLN for a discussion titled The (D)evolution of Federal Climate Change Policy, with Senator Grant Mitchell

On Thursday, June 5th, 2014 from 6:00pm – 7:30 p.m. please join CCLN and host Torys LLP for an evening with Senator Grant Mitchell to discuss the direction of federal climate change policy in Canada.  Light refreshments will kindly be provided by our hosts Torys LLP.

A Liberal Senator from Alberta, Senator Mitchell has served for many years as Deputy Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources.  He will lead an intimate discussion with attendees on the past, present and future of Canadian climate policy, including relevant domestic and international drivers.

Location: Offices of Torys LLP – 33rd floor – 79 Wellington Street West, Toronto-Dominion Centre, Toronto, Ontario.

Please RSVP to


New article “Advance on the Arctic” considers risks and opportunities of development in the Arctic

Karen Gross’ article in the Spring/Summer edition of Nexus considers a number of the risks posed by increasing development in light of receding polar ice. CCLN co-chair Travis Allan is quoted explaining that, in many cases, the lives of Arctic peoples are already being disrupted by climate change.


Newfoundland’s Municipal Government Carbon Calculator

Canadian Environmental Regulation and Compliance News recently posted about this new initiative in Newfoundland and Labrador:

Newfoundland and Labrador launches municipal government carbon calculator –

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister responsible for the Office of Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Emissions Trading, Tom Hedderson, announced May 13, 2013, the launch of its Municipal Government Carbon Calculator – an interactive tool to help municipalities understand the carbon footprint of their operations.

According to the government, the calculator is easy to use and increases engagement of employees, councillors, and other community leaders in recycling to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills.

The calculator is available on NL’s Turn Back The Tide website – a one-stop-shop for climate change and energy efficiency resources.

Access the calculator
Also see the municipal government carbon footprint challenge: chance to win $5,000:


Ontario Proposes Legislation to Protect Great Lakes and Address the Effects of Climate Change

The provincial government has put forward the proposed Great Lakes Protection Act, 2013, an Act to protect and restore the ecological health of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin; and to create opportunities for individuals and communities to become involved in the protection and restoration of the ecological health of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin. Purposes of the Act also include “to advance science relating to existing and emerging stressors, such as climate change, that improves understanding and management of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin.”

The comment period for this proposed Act is now over, but the advancement of the Act may be of interest.

The proposal for the Act can be seen here.