Building Momentum Toward Net Zero

Canada’s preeminent annual climate change conference.

On November 9, 2023, the Canadian Climate Institute and the Net-Zero Advisory Body held their third annual pan-Canadian climate conference: Building Momentum Toward Net Zero.

Date: Thursday, November 9, 2023, full-day conference

Last year’s conference was a huge success with more than 1,500 participants. This year’s conference was just as dynamic with our great line-up of national and international speakers including:

  • Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources
  • Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
  • Corinne Le Quéré, Chair, The High Council for Climate, France
  • Geoffrey R. Pyatt, Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources, U.S. Department of State
  • Sean Speer, Editor-at-large, The Hub
  • Catherine Cobden, President & CEO, Canadian Steel Producers Association
  • James Jenkins, Executive Director, Indigenous Clean Energy

You can find the complete agenda, recordings of the day and our full list of speakers below.


8:30 am

Welcome and Land Acknowledgement

Tosh Southwick, Climate Institute

Sarah Houde, NZAB

Elder Verna McGregor

8:45 am

Latest results of NZAB and the Climate Institute’s advice and analysis

Dan Wicklum, CEO, The Transition Accelerator

Rick Smith, President, Canadian Climate Institute

8:55 am

Opening remarks

Mairead Lavery, President & CEO, Export Development Canada 

Bea Bruske, President, Canadian Labour Congress

9:05 am

Panel 1: Regulating Zero Emission Vehicles

Moderator: Simon Donner, NZAB
Speakers: Brian Kingston, Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers

Joanna Kyriazis, Clean Energy Canada

Katya Rhodes, University of Victoria

Increasing the uptake of zero-emissions vehicles is key to reducing pollution from the transportation sector. This panel explores the federal government’s work to ensure 60 per cent of new light-duty vehicles are zero-emissions by 2030, en route to 100 per cent of new light-duty vehicles by 2035.

9:55 am


The Honourable Gavin Newsom, Governor of California (video)

10:10 am

Keynote: Geoffrey R. Pyatt, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources

Introduction by Peter Nicholson, Chair, Canadian Climate Institute

Geoffrey R. Pyatt, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources

10:25 am

Geoffrey R. Pyatt in conversation with Sean Speer, Editor-at-large, The Hub

Geoffrey R. Pyatt, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources

Interviewed by Sean Speer, Editor at Large, The Hub

10:40 am

Ministers’ discussion

Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada

Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources

moderated by Catherine Abreu, NZAB

11:30 am

Panel 2: Greening Canada’s Buildings

Remarks from Philippe Adam, President and CEO, Pomerleau

Moderator: Kate Harland, Climate Institute
Speakers: Raegan Bond, Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors

Monica Gattinger, Institute for Science, Society and Policy

James Jenkins, Indigenous Clean Energy

Climate pollution from the building sector is increasing, putting Canada at risk of missing its 2030 emissions reduction target. This panel discusses the use of policies such as the Green Building Strategy to address these rising emissions while also making new and renovated buildings more resilient to extreme weather events. 

1:05 pm

Video Greetings

Crispian Olver, Executive Director, Presidential Climate Commission, South Africa

Premier of B.C. David Eby

1:10 pm

Keynote: Corinne Le Quéré, Chair, France High Council on Climate

Introduction by Frank Marchetti, Minister-Counsellor, Embassy of France to Canada

Corinne Le Quéré in conversation with Éric-Pierre Champagne, La Presse

1:45 pm

Panel 3: Policies for a Bigger, Cleaner, Smarter Electricity System 

Introduction by Jonathan Price, CEO, Teck (video)

Moderator: Sachi Gibson, Climate Institute
Speakers: Mark Jaccard, BC Utilities Commission

Francis Bradley, Electricity Canada

Laura Arnold, VP, External Affairs, Sustainability and Market Policy, TransAlta

Moe Kabbara, Transition Accelerator

The “big switch” from fossil fuels to clean electricity is the backbone of Canada’s clean energy transition, and will require coordinated actions from all orders of government. This panel looks at how policies and regulations can decarbonize, expand, and modernize the grid to provide clean, affordable, and reliable electricity to all Canadians.  

2:35 pm

Panel 4: Improving Output-Based Pricing Systems in Canada

Remarks from Catherine Cobden, President & CEO, CSPA

Moderator: Dale Beugin, Canadian Climate Institute
Speakers: Sarah Petrevan, Cement Association

Caroline Brouillette, CAN-Rac

Michael Bernstein, Clean Prosperity

Output-Based Pricing Systems (OBPS) create incentives for industrial emitters to reduce emissions while protecting their international competitiveness. Several provinces have their own systems; the federal backstop applies in others. This panel will discuss changes that could be made to improve the OBPS’s impact and drive emissions reductions in sectors like electricity,  steel, and cement.

3:45 pm

Panel 5: Implementing the National Adaptation Strategy

Remarks from Mandy Gull-Masty, Grand Chief, Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee

Moderator: Sarah Miller, Canadian Climate Institute
Speakers: Jason Clark, Insurance Bureau of Canada

Erin Myers, Métis National Council

Caroline Larrivée, Ouranos

The summer of 2023 was marked not just by unprecedented wildfires, floods, droughts, and other extreme weather events all across Canada, but also by the publication of Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy. Senior governments have historically undervalued and underinvested in climate change adaptation but with the National Adaptation Strategy the federal government has now spotlighted adaptation as a critical national priority on which it must play a leadership role. This panel discusses what needs to happen now to ensure the strategy delivers on protecting Canadians from the increasingly severe impacts of climate change. 

4:35 pm


Honourable Pierre Fitzgibbon, Québec Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy

4:40 pm

Panel 6: Capping Oil and Gas Emissions

Moderator: Dan Wicklum, The Transition Accelerator
Speakers: Mark Cameron, Pathways Alliance

Chris Severson-Baker, Pembina

Sara Hastings-Simon, University of Calgary (remote and live)

Scientists are clear that to avoid the worst consequences of climate change we need to attain net zero emissions by 2050 and follow a steady emissions reduction trajectory between now and 2050. This is a key reason countries must set interim reduction targets like Canada’s 2030 target. This session explores the emissions performance of the domestic oil and gas sector as it relates to global peers, in the context of meeting Canada’s 2030 target, the upcoming regulatory cap on oil and gas emissions, and future Canadian competitiveness.

5:25 pm

Closing Remarks

Elder Verna McGregor


Corinne Le Quéré


France High Council on Climate

Geoffrey R. Pyatt

Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources

U.S. Department of State

Catherine Abreu

Executive Director, Destination Zero and

Member, NZAB

Laura Arnold

Vice-President, External Affairs, Sustainability and Market Policy


Michael Bernstein

Executive Director, Clean Prosperity and

Member, NZAB

Dale Beugin

Executive Vice President

Canadian Climate Institute

Raegan Bond


Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors

Francis Bradley

Electricity Canada

President and Chief Executive Officer

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Caroline Brouillette

Executive Director

Climate Action Network Canada

Bea Bruske


Canadian Labour Congress

Mark Cameron

Vice President, External Relations

Pathways Alliance

Éric-Pierre Champagne


La Presse

Jason Clark

National director, climate change advocacy

Insurance Bureau of Canada

Catherine Cobden

President and CEO

Canadian Steel Production Association

Simon Donner

Professor, UBC and

Member, NZAB

David Eby

Premier of British Columbia

Monica Gattinger


Institute for Science, Society and Policy

Sachi Gibson

Director, Mitigation

Canadian Climate Institute

Steven Guilbeault

Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Government of Canada

Mandy Gull-Masty

Grand Chief

Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee

Kate Harland

Research Lead, Mitigation

Canadian Climate Institute

Sara Hastings-Simon

Assistant Professor

University of Calgary

Sarah Houde



Mark Jaccard

Chair and CEO

British Columbia Utilities Commission

James Jenkins

Executive Director

Indigenous Clean Energy

Moe Kabbara


Transition Accelerator

Brian Kingston

President and Chief Executive Officer

Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association

Joanna Kyriazis

Director of Public Affairs

Clean Energy Canada

Caroline Larrivée

Director of Scientific Programming


Mairead Lavery

President and CEO

Export Development Canada

Frank Marchetti

Deputy Head of Mission

Embassy of France to Canada

Verna McGregor

Native Women’s Association of Canada

Sarah Miller

Research Lead, Adaptation

Canadian Climate Institute

Erin Myers

Director of Environment, Climate Change and Emergency Management

Métis National Council

Crispian Olver

Executive Director

Presidential Climate Commission, South Africa

Sarah Petrevan

Vice-President of sustainability

Cement Association of Canada

Jonathan Price



Katya Rhodes

Assistant Professor

University of Victoria

Chris Severson-Baker

Executive Director

Pembina Institute

Rick Smith


Canadian Climate Institute

Sean Speer

Editor at large

The Hub

Tosh Southwick

Tosh Southwick


IRP Counsulting

Dan Wicklum


The Transition Accelerator

Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

Government of Canada