Category Archives: Adaptation

U.S. Establishes New Federal Flood Risk Management Standard to Account for Climate Risks

House flood

On Friday (January 30, 2015), President Obama issued an executive order requiring all federally-funded construction projects to adopt more stringent siting and building standards to account for increased flooding risks linked to climate change.[1] The policy is aimed to “improve the resilience of communities and [protect] Federal assets against the impacts of flooding.”[2] Most agencies currently rely on historical flood data ... Read More »

Understanding Canadian Electricity Generation and Transmission Sectors’ Action and Awareness on Climate Change and the Need to Adapt


The electricity generation and transmission sectors are among the most at risk of being disrupted by climate change. Our recent study, “Understanding Canada Electricity Generation and Transmission Sectors’ Action and Awareness”, reports on the current state of awareness and action on climate change adaptation in these sectors and is based on the results of interviews with companies representing 50% and 71% of ... Read More »

New York State Lawmakers to Consider Impacts of Climate Change in Decision Making

Battery Tunnel being flooded as Superstorm Sandy hit New York City via Reuters

Government agencies in New York state have been provided further direction to assess and plan for climate risks. In conjunction with the UN Climate Summit, on September 22, 2014, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law The Community Risk and Resiliency Act (SB 6617-B) (the “Act”). The Act amends the New York Environmental Conservation Law, Public Health Law ... Read More »

Climate Change Mitigation: Significant Efforts Required in the Next 15 Years

House flood

In early April of this year, the Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”)[1] approved and released the contribution of Working Group III (the “Report”), the third report to make up the Fifth Assessment Report, which presents a comprehensive, objective and policy-neutral discussion of climate change mitigation. The Report discusses international stocks and flows of greenhouse gases (“GHGs”) and ... Read More »

Investors Seeking Standards for Corporate Sustainability Reporting


On March 26, 2014, Ceres released and opened for comments its “Investor Listing Standards Proposal: Recommendations for Stock Exchange Requirements on Corporate Sustainability Reporting” (the “Proposal”), a proposal by institutional investors to stock exchanges to establish key elements of a minimum global standard for corporate sustainability reporting. The Proposal listed three items that investors would like issuing companies to disclose: ... Read More »

New IPCC Report Calls for Climate Change Adaptation


On March 30, 2014, the contribution of Working Group II (the “Report”) on impacts of climate change, the second report to make up the Fifth Assessment Report of the Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”)[1], was publicly released. The Report began by explaining current observed impacts of climate change along with vulnerability and exposure to climate change ... Read More »

Ontario Promotes Climate Changes Strategies through Provincial Policy Statement, 2014


The Provincial Policy Statement (“PPS”) recently released by the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing puts new emphasis on mitigating and adapting to climate change when making planning decisions. It will become effective on April 30, 2014, and replaces the Provincial Policy Statement from 2005.[1] The core issues that impact communities are the focus of the province-wide statement, which ... Read More »

President Obama Issues Executive Order to Prepare for Climate Impacts

President Barack Obama removed his jacket as the temperature reached 32ºC during an address on climate change at Georgetown University on June 25, 2013.
Photo: Georgetown University

  Written by Jessica Vaianisi, Student-at-Law Deliberate preparation, close cooperation and coordinated planning were the stated objectives within the executive order issued by President Obama on November 1st.[1] The order directs all levels of government to prepare for the impacts of climate change through both enhancing ongoing programs and creating new strategies.[2] Executive orders are the official process through which ... Read More »

Upcoming Speaking Engagements on Climate Liability


We are pleased to have an active fall line-up of speaking engagements on climate liability. Laura will be discussing climate change and municipal liability at the Drinking Water Leadership Summit Conference, being held from October 16-17,  in Toronto, Ontario. The conference speakers will discuss and examine current issues concerning Ontario’s drinking water with a focus on the management and administration ... Read More »