Join leading experts for an impactful day discussing issues and solutions around climate change. Each panel will include a Q&A segment for attendees to add their voice to the conversation.

7:30 a.m. – Registration and Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – Welcome Remarks

8:45 a.m. – Opening Keynote

Headshot for James Meadowcroft James Meadowcroft, Academic Director of Efficiency Canada and Professor, Carleton University

Accelerating the net zero transition

Meadowcroft’s opening address will introduce the themes of the conference and focus on the challenge of moving Canada onto a net zero development pathway.

Addressing climate change will require a transformation of our large-scale systems of social provisioning: how we produce energy, move people and goods, build cities, practice agriculture and operate industry. Adopting a net zero goal requires us to move from an understanding of climate mitigation as a pollution control effort that prioritizes least-cost short-term emissions reductions to one focused on accelerating change across multiple societal systems to build a clean, fair and competitive economy for the 21st century.

When contemplating this effort, much can be learned from the experience of other large-scale transitions, such as the shift from horse-drawn transport to the automobile, societal electrification and the digital revolution. Approaching climate mitigation as a series of distinct (but interrelated) transitions across key sectors and regions makes the problem more tractable. It points to the importance of developing specific transformational pathways that take account of the different conditions and phases of transition in each sector and region.

Establishing priorities and acting strategically are critical. In contrast to the situation of even a decade ago, actions which government, industry and households can take to accelerate change are now aligned. Negotiating political headwinds is essential, but ups and downs are typical for this kind of multi-decadal transformation.

9:10 a.m. – Panel Discussion: Climate Change and the Economy

Climate change is costing Canada billions and with each year the price tag is expected to grow even more staggering. Acting now will reduce short, medium and long-terms costs, protect businesses and households, and open the door for a more prosperous and sustainable future.

This panel will kick the day off by exploring:

  • The connections between the environment and the economy
  • The economic risks and opportunities presented by climate change
  • The biggest barriers to improvement


Headshot for Graeme AuldGraeme Auld, Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University
Headshot of Maya PapineauMaya Papineau, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Carleton University
Headshot of Dave SawyerDave Sawyer, Principal Economist, Canadian Climate Institute
Headshot for Laura ZizzoLaura Zizzo, Co-Founder and CEO, Manifest Climate

10:15 a.m. – Networking Break

10:45 a.m. – Panel Discussion: Resilience and Adaptation

Canada must prepare for the economic and human costs of increasingly severe weather. Major changes and investments are needed to improve and protect the health and well-being of Canadians, and to ensure infrastructure – like buildings, houses and roads – will stand up to new risks.

This panel will explore:

  • Net-zero and business transformations
  • Building resiliency in vulnerable communities
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Innovative and sustainable infrastructure
  • Carbon capture and storage technologies


Headshot for Cynthia CruickshankCynthia Cruickshank, Director and Principal Investigator, Centre for Advanced Building Envelope Research, Carleton University
Headshot of Vivian NguyenVivian Nguyen, Assistant Professor, Institute of Environmental and Interdisciplinary Science, Carleton University
Professional headshot of Graeme ReedGraeme Reed, Strategic Advisor, Assembly of First Nations
Headshot of Carla SmithCarla Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief People, Strategy and Climate Officer, Intact

12:00 p.m. – Networking Lunch

12:45 p.m. – Afternoon Keynote

Headshot of Liz BeardsleyElizabeth Beardsley, Senior Policy Counsel, U.S. Green Building Council

Leadership in the Face of Climate Change

Elizabeth Beardsley will share her ideas about how we can each rise to lead in the face of climate change, bringing in examples from her work in the United States and in global climate action alliances.

We are now living and experiencing the impacts of global warming in real time – yet there are real challenges to modernizing our energy, transportation and buildings systems, and just the idea of this change feels threatening to some people. This contradiction is where leadership steps up. As leaders at this moment in time, our task is to grow momentum. Whatever our particular industry or role, leadership now means making change easier. We can normalize decarbonization, so that it is more natural to do things that reduce emissions than to cling to the status quo.

We are seeing this leadership every day and momentum is building. When the United States Congress passes the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest climate investment our country has ever made, with billions for clean energy, incentives for private sector and programs for low-income housing… those funds shift the focus to a positive future vision and add to the momentum. When global organizations come together to harmonize their standards, responding to corporate concerns and making it easier for the private sector to implement emissions reductions…that’s creating positive energy. And when some of the largest banks are not only making pledges for net zero, but disclosing their progress, even when it shows poorly…that has a domino effect. The throughline in today’s leadership is enabling and easing change to build momentum towards a sustainable future.

1:30 p.m. – Panel Discussion: National Priorities: Where Should Canada Go Next?

This final forum of the day will explore the opportunities and challenges to bringing about meaningful and sustainable change in Canada, as well as how clean growth can be achieved.

Using examples from around the world, panelists will discuss:

  • Priorities for urban planning and implementation
  • How to meet climate objectives with transformative tech
  • High impact options for policy, mobilization and infrastructure
  • Overcoming jurisdictional barriers
  • Green building and renewables to reduce carbon emissions
  • What we can learn from a warming North


Headshot of professor Chris BurnChris Burn, Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University
Professional headshot for Mark HutchinsonMark Hutchinson, Vice President, Green Building Programs and Innovation, Canada Green Building Council
Headshot of Tracey KutneyTracey Kutney, Deputy Director (Homes and Communities Division, Office of Energy Efficiency), Natural Resources Canada
Professional headshot of Julius LindsayJulius Lindsay, Director of Sustainable Communities, David Suzuki Foundation

2:40 p.m. – Networking Reception

3:30 p.m. – Conference Ends

Please be aware that due to unforeseen circumstances, the schedule and speakers may be subject to change.