Climate experts offer insight to boards, pensions

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Climate change tie © Diana-Andreea Bahrin /123RF Stock Photos Amid growing concern about the financial risks of climate change, a pair of Canadian law professors is launching an effort to help corporate directors and pension trustees better understand the issue.

The academics — Dr. Janis Sarra from the University of British Columbia  and professor Cynthia Williams from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University — are heading the Canadian Climate Governance Experts program, which will draw on a group of 45 volunteer climate experts (including lawyers, economists and capital markets experts) to provide corporate directors, pension trustees and their fiduciaries with free presentations on corporate governance to address climate-related financial risks.

“At each session our experts will engage in an exchange of ideas on the most effective governance strategies to address climate change and related financial risks and opportunities,” noted the Canada Climate Law Initiative in announcing the new program.

“They are committed to giving boards the most helpful facts regarding how the current state of climate science relates to their sector, and to the duties of directors, officers and pension fiduciaries in Canada,” it added.

The effort comes amid growing recognition about the financial risks posed by climate change.

Recently, the Canadian Securities Administrators issued guidance identifying climate-related financial risks as a “mainstream” business risk, and highlighting the need for companies to improve their disclosure to investors about these risks.

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