LAURA ZIZZO

Founder & CEO

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.

Media

Selected Presentations

  • 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

Publications

  • 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.