Publications

Legal research papers on Canadian fiduciary duties and disclosure obligations in the climate change context
April 2018 | Janis Sarra, Cynthia Williams | Reports

The Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative (CCLI) has published two legal research papers on Canadian fiduciary duties and disclosure obligations in the climate change context. In Obligations in Business and Investment: Implications of Climate Change, legal analysis by Dr Janis Sarra, Presidential Distinguished Professor and Professor of Law University of British Columbia, shows that directors, officers and pension fund trustees must identify and address climate-related financial risk or they may be personally liable for breach of their fiduciary obligation or duty of care. In Disclosure of Information Concerning Climate Change: Liability Risks and Opportunities, Cynthia A. Williams, Osler Chair in Business Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, considers the Canadian legal framework for corporate disclosures and reporting of climate risk, current disclosure practices of companies and expectations of investors, and the liability risks to companies for misleading disclosures relating to climate change. These papers formed the basis of Directors' Liability and Climate Risk: Canada - Country Paper, published in April 2018 as part of the series of national reports which were the first comprehensive legal assessments of the discharge of directors’ duties in the climate context.

Directors’ Liability and Climate Risk: National Legal Papers for Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
17th April 2018 | Sarah Barker, Alice Garton, Christine Reddell, Janis Sarra, Alexia Staker, Cynthia Williams | Reports

The Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative (CCLI) is examining the legal basis for directors and trustees to take account of physical climate change risk and societal responses to climate change, under prevailing statutory and common (judge-made) laws. These are the first comprehensive legal assessments of the discharge of directors’ duties in the climate context for four Commonwealth common law countries: Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. These have been complemented by conferences in Australia (August 2016), Canada (October 2017), South Africa (January 2018) and the UK (June 2016).

The national legal papers follow a uniform structure and can be downloaded here: Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Concerns misplaced: will compliance with the TCFD recommendations really expose companies and directors to liability risk? 
25 September 2017 | Alexia Staker, Alice Garton, Sarah Barker | Briefing Paper

In this briefing from the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative (CCLI), experts refute misplaced fears in industry about the legal risks of climate disclosure. New analysis confirms that saying nothing at all about climate issues in corporate reporting puts directors at far greater risk of being sued than disclosure would. Complying with the new reporting recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) will actually protect companies from the kind of liability claims they fear. It is highly likely that there will be additional regulation requiring disclosure of climate risk, or, at the very least, existing laws will be interpreted as requiring robust climate risk analysis. For all these reasons, astute directors should embrace the TCFD recommendations and recognise that climate-risk disclosure is a key component of financial reporting.

Climate Change Risk and Corporate Governance Directors' Duties and Liability Exposures in a post-Paris World
29-30 August 2016 | University of Melbourne

Please find the symposium highlights here.

International Symposium on Directors' Liability for Climate Change Damages Summary
8 June 2016 | Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford

As business steels itself to deal with seismic changes in the world’s climate, what is legally expected of directors is becoming more stringent. The Paris talks in December confirmed what we already knew – that more serious action is required from the corporate world in future. Business leaders must understand how to respond to this cultural and economic shift – which means legal and financial experts must collaborate to elucidate the law and give the right information to business leaders. The inaugural CCLI conference, the International Symposium on Directors’ Liability for Climate Risk, was the first of an intended series designed to do just that. International experts on finance and climate change met to clarify how the business world must respond to a changing climate.

Please find additional under the following link: https://www.clientearth.org/pictures-university-oxford-hosts-inaugural-ccli-conference/

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