Media Releases

U of T launches innovative workshops in environmental finance

October 20, 2009

TORONTO, ON — A new glob­al econ­o­my is emerg­ing to address the chal­lenges of cli­mate change. Every­one from tour­ing rock and roll bands to the gas and oil indus­try are pur­chas­ing car­bon off­sets in a bid to reduce their car­bon foot­print.

U of T’s Cen­tre for Envi­ron­ment is help­ing busi­ness­es and investors adapt and adopt inno­v­a­tive ideas in envi­ron­men­tal risk man­age­ment through a series of Envi­ron­men­tal Finance Work­shops.

The lat­est offer­ing in the series is on car­bon finance and explores the grow­ing sig­nif­i­cance of car­bon fac­tors in spe­cif­ic areas of car­bon mar­kets, project finance and risk with a Cana­di­an and inter­na­tion­al out­look. “Although the field of car­bon finance has evolved very slow­ly in Cana­da, it has already tak­en root in the Euro­pean Union and also in many devel­op­ing coun­tries which devel­op ‘car­bon off­set’ projects for sale into the EU,” says Rod­ney White, aca­d­e­m­ic advi­sor for the Cen­tre for Envi­ron­men­t’s pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment pro­grams.

In the ear­ly 1990s, the Cen­tre for Envi­ron­ment estab­lished a part­ner­ship with Envi­ron­ment Cana­da and the Cana­di­an insur­ance indus­try to study the impacts of the extreme weath­er events which were expect­ed to become more fre­quent under cli­mate change. From this begin­ning, the Cen­tre’s inter­ests expand­ed to include the impli­ca­tions of cli­mate change for bank­ing and oth­er branch­es of the finan­cial ser­vices sec­tor. The Cen­tre now offers a grad­u­ate course in Envi­ron­men­tal Finance and a Dis­tance Edu­ca­tion Cer­tifi­cate in Car­bon Finance.
Under Kyoto, the tar­get to reduce green­house gas emis­sions is dif­fer­ent for each coun­try. For the Euro­pean Union as a group, the tar­get is eight per cent from 1990 lev­els; for Japan, sev­en per cent; and for Cana­da, six per cent. As of 2006, Canada’s emis­sions are 22 per cent above 1990 lev­els.

Kyoto offi­cial­ly entered into force on Feb­ru­ary 16, 2005. The sec­ond phase of the Kyoto Pro­to­col is now being nego­ti­at­ed and must be agreed by Decem­ber 2009 at a meet­ing in Copen­hagen.
The car­bon finance work­shop, run­ning from Octo­ber 28 — 30 and taught by the Cen­tre for Envi­ron­ment and its part­ners in the busi­ness and NGO com­mu­ni­ties, will help cor­po­ra­tions, such as gas and oil and forestry, to meet Canada’s glob­al oblig­a­tions by explor­ing the mech­a­nisms and risks of the car­bon mar­kets, togeth­er with­the lat­est sta­tus in nation­al and inter­na­tion­al ini­tia­tives.
John Ger­ret­sen, Min­is­ter of the Envi­ron­ment for Ontario, will launch the work­shop. Details are avail­able at


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Pro­fes­sor Rod­ney White
Cen­tre for Envi­ron­ment

Don­na Work­man
Cen­tre for Envi­ron­ment