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Laura Zizzo is a lawyer and strategic advisor with over a decade of experience leading organizations towards a low-carbon and climate adapted future through the application of law and policy. Laura started her legal career with a prominent Bay Street law firm before founding the first law firm in Canada focused on climate change in 2009. In 2015 she founded a strategic consultancy to advise clients on identification, management and disclosure of climate risks and opportunities.
She is a frequent writer and speaker on the move to the low-carbon economy and has become a leading voice on the legal imperative to adapt to climate change. Laura has contributed to numerous research and policy papers on legal liability related to climate change adaptation, the use of existing legal mechanisms to address climate change, and the role of markets and flexibility mechanisms in driving emissions reductions.
Laura has worked in the strategic research division of the Ontario Ministry of Finance and as co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Law and International Relations. She is co-founder of the Climate Change Lawyers Network, a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) committee on Environmental Law, a member of the University of Toronto’s Environmental Finance Advisory Committee and sits on the board of the Clean Air Partnership. She has a degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and a law degree from the University of Toronto. Laura is called to the Bar of Ontario.
- Globe and Mail. “Canada must prioritize climate-risk disclosure“. July 2019.
- The Globe and Mail. “Executive compensation must be recalibrated to include climate-related governance”. February 11, 2019.
- Benefits Canada. “How behind are investors on climate change?”. February 1, 2019.
- LawTimes.com. “Change in provincial government impacts clients”. November 2018.
- CBC – On the Money. “Ontario’s Carbon Credits”. June 2018.
- The Globe and Mail. “Dismantling of Ontario’s cap-and-trade program could render more the $2-billion in emissions allowances worthless”. June 2018.
- CBC – “1 year after flood, crisis continues for Eganville couple”. May 2018.
- The Works Design Communications. “Ask an Expert: Laura Zizzo on Climate Change Risks and Opportunities”. December 2017.
- Law Times. “Uneven carbon pricing means guidance needed”. November 2017.
- University of Waterloo. Entrepreneurship at Environment: Success Stories. “Having founded Canada’s first climate change focused law firm, SERS grad Laura Zizzo is moving on to something even bigger”. September 2017.
- University of Waterloo. Alumni and Friends: Awards. “Laura Zizzo, a 2016 Alumni Achievement Award nominee”. 2016.
- “Innovation in Action,” Futures: Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada published by the Canadian Bar Association, August 18, 2014.
- Boothby, Kathryn. “Environmental lawyers are part of the solution,” The Calgary Herald, April 20, 2013.
- Zizzo, Laura. “Beyond the Accord: Reflections from the Copenhagen Conference,” Briefly Speaking, October 2010.
- Furlong, Jordan. “Leading the Way,” Canadian Bar Association’s National Magazine, September 2010.
- Zizzo, Laura. “World waits on Washington’s Climate Bill,” Reuters Environment Forum, April 30, 2010.
- Zizzo, Laura. “Going Green: Preparing Your SME for the Carbon Constrained Economy,” Enterprise Magazine, Spring 2010.
- Waltshire, Elain. “Committed to climate change,” The Lawyers Weekly, December 11, 2009.
- Zizzo, Laura. “A Primer for Copenhagen: Canada Lags in Climate Change Commitment,” Canadian Property Management, November 2009.
- Kryhul, Angela. “Ready, Set, Thrive: How to successfully work alone,” The Globe and Mail, October 20, 2009.
- Zizzo, Laura. “Carbon Laws and Markets: What’s happening in Canada?” HazMat Management, September 1, 2009.
- RI Americas 2018. “The great climate change divest/invest debate. The macro picture.” (New York). December 2018.
- The Canadian Water Resource Association. “Flood Risk Assessment Workshop”. (Vaughan, ON) March 8, 2018
- UN Environment. “The Economics of Pollution: Opportunities and Challenges”. (Toronto, ON) October 26, 2017
- Climate Change: Directors at Risk. “What are Leading Companies in Canada Doing to Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy?”. (Toronto, ON) October 20, 2017
- YMCA Facility Design Symposium 2017. “YMCA Design Principles + What We Have Learned”. (King, ON) August 29, 2017
- Engineers Canada. “Understanding the Changing Legal Climate: Canadian Climate Law for Engineers and other Professionals”. (Vancouver, BC) June 6-7, 2017
- Auditing Association of Canada Annual Conference. “Recent Policy Developments and the Rise of Climate-Related Securities Disclosure”. (Toronto, ON) May 8, 2017
- Land & Development Conference. “Recent Policy Developments and the Rise of Climate-Related Securities Disclosure”. (Toronto, ON) May 3, 2017
- Ontario Climate Consortium – Climate Data Training Sessions for Engineers, Planners and Decision Makers.“Climate Change and Liability”. (Toronto, ON) April 26, 2017
- The Canadian Bar Association. “OBA Environmental Law Program, Chair”. (Toronto, ON) January 18, 2017
- Niagara Sustainability Initiative. “Climate Risk: A Legal and Insurance Perspective”. (online webinar) January 17, 2017
- Ontario Association for Impact Assessment. “Integrating Climate Change into EA”. (Toronto, ON) October 26, 2016
- Livable Cities Forum. “Legal Liabilities: Cases for Climate Change Adaptation”. (Halifax, NS) September 13, 2016
- Corporate Due Diligence Training on Climate Risk. “De-Risking Business in a Changing Climate”. (Toronto, ON) June 17, 2016
- Grey to Green Conference. “Legal and Business Drivers for Climate Change Adaptation”. (Toronto, ON) June 3, 2016
- Engineers Canada & NWT Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists. “PIEVC Training Workshop”. (Yellowknife, NWT) May 11, 2016
- EUCI’s Canada’s Carbon Market Future. “Legal Drivers to Adapt to Climate Change in Electricity Sector”. (Toronto, ON) November 9, 2015
- APEGS-Engineers Canada Workshop. Integrating Climate Risk into Infrastructure Development (Saskatoon, SK) November 5, 2015
- Ontario Climate Change Lab. Moderator and Panelist on Business and Industry Session. (Toronto, ON) July 6, 2015
- York Region Climate Change Adaptation Committee and Clean Air Partnership. “Climate Change Adaptation Lunch and Learns Session 1: Municipalities and the Legal Risk Associated with Climate Change” November 28, 2012
- Women’s Law Association of Ontario, CPD Series: Practice Management. April 16, 2012. Hanging Out Your Shingle
- Solar Canada 2011. December 6, 2011. New Developments in Commercial Rooftop Leasing
- Climate Finance: Legal and Regulatory Issues, International Capacity-Building Course – December 13, University of Copenhagen Law Faculty – Mechanisms to Finance Mitigation and Adaptation
- 2nd Annual Emissions Trading Conference – April 21-22, 2009 – Update on Ontario Climate Change Initiatives
- “Companies Can No Longer Hide their Climate Risk“. Globe and Mail. Report on Business. June 13, 2017.
- “State of Play: Study of Climate-Related Disclosures by Canadian Public Companies”. CPA Canada. June, 2017
- “Climate Change Considerations Have Become Business Imperatives: Selected Discussion of International Law, Policy and Market Drivers to Consider Climate”. Zizzo, Laura and Joanna Kyriazis. Ontario Bar Association Institute 2016 – Environmental Law: Hot Topics in Climate Change. February 2016
- “Climate Risk Assessment for Adaptation Planning and Implementation Workshop,” APWA (American Public Works Association) International Congress and Exposition. Toronto, ON., August 20, 2014.
- Moderator, Panel: “Examining the Policy and Innovations Surrounding Climate Adaptation Design and Engineering to Increase Gird System Resilience,” Storm Restoration Conference 2014. Toronto, O.N., June 11, 2014.
- “Legal Implications of Climate Change in Emergency Management,” Hamilton CAER (Community Awareness and Emergency Response) Group. Hamilton, O.N., May 8, 2014.
- “Responsibilities and Risk Management in a Changing Climate,” North American Consortium on Legal Education (NACLE) Workshop. Vancouver, B.C., March 19, 2014.
- “A Changing Legal Climate: Risk Mitigation, Insurance, and Reducing Liability Exposure,” Insight’s 4th Planning and Development Forum. Toronto, O.N., November 25, 2013.
- “Year of the Flood: Building Resiliency Through Legal Risk Management,” 2013 A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium. Alliston, O.N., November 20, 2013.
- “Surviving the Perfect Storm – Managing Your Stormwater Risk in Light of Climate Change,” Credit Valley Conservation Conference. Mississauga, O.N., November 4, 2013.
- “The Legal Climate: Transition to the Low-Carbon Economy – Mechanisms to Reduce GHGs and Adapt to Climate Change,” University of Toronto Faculty of Engineering. Toronto, O.N., September 18, 2013.
- “Legal Considerations – Offsets and Market Based Mechanisms,” Conservation Ontario/CA Watershed Stewardship/Forestry and Restoration Meeting. Newmarket, O.N., February 27, 2013.
- “Hanging Out Your Shingle,” Women’s Law Association of Ontario, CPD Series: Practice Management. Toronto, O.N., April 16, 2012.
- “New Developments in Commercial Rooftop Leasing,” Solar Canada 2011. Toronto, O.N., December 6, 2011.
- “Mechanisms to Finance Mitigation and Adaptation,” Climate Finance: Legal and Regulatory Issues, International Capacity-Building Course at the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law (side event to UNFCCC COP 15). Copenhagen, Denmark, December 13, 2009.