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