Category Archives: Climate Change

US Supreme Court upholds but limits EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions


On Monday June 23, the US Supreme Court[1] upheld their decision from Massachusetts v EPA, (November 2006) that greenhouse gases fall under the definition of “air pollutant” for the purposes of the Clean Air Act.[2] The majority of the court upheld their previous finding that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is able to regulate greenhouse gasses as air pollutants.[3] ... Read More »

Exxon Mobil Responds to Investor Concern – Discloses More on Climate Risks


On March 20, 2014, Exxon Mobil agreed to publish information on the effects that heightened emissions regulations could have on the value of its oil and gas holdings and on how the company is planning for a carbon-constrained future.[1]  The decision was prompted by a shareholder resolution submitted by Arjuna Capital, a U.S.-based sustainable wealth manager, and As You Sow, ... Read More »

Global Companies Push for Climate Action through Trillion Tonne communiqué


Corporations are starting to work together to press for climate action. A group of 70 leading global companies, including Shell, BT and Unilever recently released a communiqué calling on governments to increase climate change action in short order, as reported by The Guardian. Among other things, the communiqué calls on governments to: Set a timeline for achieving net zero emissions ... Read More »

World Bank Chief Outlines Need for Investor-Driven Change

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim

In a speech at the recent World Economic Forum the World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim. He speaks about the need to price carbon and come up with government policy to support action on climate change. Of particular interest is his emphasis on the capacity and need for investor-driven change:   Financial regulators need to lead, as well.  Sooner ... Read More »

Severe Weather Driving Insurance Industry to Raise Premiums

the 5th day

On January 20, 2014, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (“IBC”), the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, car and business insurers, declared that 2013 resulted in $3.2 billion of severe weather insured loss, the highest in Canadian history.  With the expected rise of severe weather in Canada in the future, insurance providers will need to adapt to climate change ... Read More »

Climate Action is Happening Provincially: Former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore and Premier Kathleen Wynne Mark Elimination of Coal

gore and wynne

On November 21, 2013, Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore joined Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to celebrate Ontario’s shut down of the major coal-fire electricity generation stations in Ontario by the end of the year. The Thunder Bay Generating Station will continue to burn coal at higher-demand times and will be converted to burn biomass over the next year. The Premier ... Read More »

The ECO Report: Restoration and Preservation are a Priority in Ontario but Budget Cuts are a Cause for Concern


Written By Alexandra Kocherga, Student-at-Law On October 10, 2013, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (the “ECO”) released the 2012/2013 Annual Report: Serving the Public (the “Report”).  The Report reviews and reports on environmentally important decisions of the Ontario government. The ECO noted a number of both positive and negative developments in the report. In sum, the Report: cited concerns over ... Read More »

IPCC Fifth Assessment Report: Call for action rather than a sigh of relief


On September 30, 2013, the Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”)[1] released the first of 4 reports that make up its Fifth Assessment Report (the “Report”). The IPCC also released the Summary for Policymakers (the “Summary”) just a few days before the full Report was made available. This Report further confirms, with 95% certainty, that humans are ... Read More »

Areas of Canada Potentially Uninsurable: The Need for New Flood Maps

House flood

  Canadian homeowners are often surprised to learn that their insurance policies do not cover water damage caused by overland flooding. In fact, Canada is the only G8 country where homeowner insurance for overland flood damage is non-existent. According to Kathy Bardswick, chief executive of Co-operators Group Limited, flooding is by far the most frequent type of natural hazard in Canada. ... Read More »

California and Quebec Cap and Trade Systems Set to Link


Written by Summer Law Student Jonathan McGillivray Combining forces to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fight climate change, California and Quebec will officially link their cap-and-trade programs on January 1, 2014.  “California and Quebec both recognize that putting a price on carbon and letting the market find cost-effective and innovative solutions is the wisest approach both environmentally and economically,” ... Read More »