Canadian boards legally obliged to address climate risk, new study reveals

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Jun 26, 2020

On June 26, 2020, a leading Canadian business magazine has published an article which advises that corporate directors have a legal obligation to address the risks and opportunities that climate change poses to the companies on whose board they serve.

This conclusion is based on a 25-page legal opinion released on June 25, 2020 by Carol Hansell, one of Canada’s leading experts on corporate governance. In her analysis, Hansell states unequivocally that corporate directors have a duty to assess the degree to which climate change will impact a company over the long-term, not just its short-term profits or business plans. They must also ensure that, where risks and opportunities are material to the firm’s business, management must come up with strategies to address them.

The legal opinion was prepared for the Canadian Climate Law Initiative, It is one of the first such in-depth legal analyses of directors’ duties in a corporate governance context with respect to climate change by a senior Canadian lawyer.

For further information, refer to the article and Hansell’s 25-page opinion.

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