An Interdisciplinary Conference

November 1 and 2, 2007
Hart House, University of Toronto,
7 Hart House Circle, Toronto, Ontario.

Canada has been an engaged participant in global climate change negotiations since the late 1980s. Until recently, Canadian policy seemed to be driven in large part by a desire to join in multilateral efforts to address climate change. By contrast, current policy is seeking a "made in Canada" approach to the issue. Recent government-sponsored analytic efforts as well as the government's own stated position and policies have been focused almost entirely on domestic regulation and incentives, domestic opportunities for technological responses, domestic costs, domestic carbon markets and the setting of a domestic carbon "price" at a level to send the appropriate marketplace signal to produce needed reductions.  Canada now needs an approach that effectively integrates domestic priorities and global policy imperatives.

Leading Canadian and international experts explored policy ideas and options from a range of discplinary perspectives, including science, law, political science, economics and sociology. Panelists considered the costs, opportunities, or imperatives to participate in international diplomatic initiatives and regimes, the opportunities and impacts of regional or global carbon markets, the proper mix of domestic policy tools, the parameters of Canadian energy policy, and the dynamics that propel or hinder the Canadian policy process.

Keynote Speaker

Scott Barrett, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University (brief biography - PDF)

Lunch Address

Thomas Homer-Dixon, Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Toronto (biography - web page)


This conference was jointly presented by the Faculty of Law, the Centre for International Studies, the School of Public Policy and Governance, the Department of Political Science, the Department of Economics, the Centre for Environment, Hart House, and the Roundtable for the Environment, University of Toronto.

The conference was be followed by a companion panel at Hart House on Nov. 3 that focuses on local issues, entitled "Climate Change: Global Problem, Local Action?".