National research institute launches to bring clarity to Canada’s climate choices

Dozens of academics and policy experts today launched the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, a new independent national research body.

January 21, 2020 | OTTAWA — Dozens of academics and policy experts today launched the Canadian Climate Institute, a new independent national research body. The Institute aims to bring clarity to the transformative challenges, opportunities and choices ahead for Canada as governments at all levels work to address climate change.

The Institute will undertake rigorous, evidence-based and integrated research, analysis and engagement to help decision-makers and Canadians understand and evaluate the policy choices that could put Canada on a path to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and build a clean, prosperous and resilient future that benefits all Canadians.

The Institute aims to provide an integrated, evidence-based and practical perspective to inform climate policy development and decision-making by governments at all levels by bringing together experts from a broad range of disciplines, including economics, climate change adaptation and mitigation, Indigenous knowledge, natural and social sciences, public policy, energy systems and engineering. Institute staff will also engage extensively with business leaders, policy makers, Indigenous governments, communities, thought leaders and a broad spectrum of Canadians to convene constructive discussions about policy choices, and showcase effective solutions and best practices from leading Canadian cities, regions and industries.  

Released today, the Institute’s initial report, Charting our Course, takes stock of the current climate policy landscape in Canada and makes the case for how better integration among areas of expertise and conventional policy silos can contribute to a more resilient and prosperous future. The report concludes with four recommendations for policy makers and governments seeking to design and implement more effective policy:

  • broaden objectives for climate policy
  • embrace Canada’s role in global outcomes
  • expand the scope, scale, and pace of climate policies; and
  • seek out integrated solutions that drive multiple benefits.

The Canadian Climate Institute was established following a competitive call for proposals led by Environment and Climate Change Canada. That process resulted in a mandate to create a pan-Canadian expert collaboration that would “provide independent and expert-driven analysis to help Canada move toward clean growth in all sectors and regions of the country.” While our work is supported through a five-year contribution agreement with Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Institute is a wholly independent entity and retains full control over its research, findings, and policy recommendations.


“Climate change is already affecting life in Canada, and impacts are expected to become more profound and far-reaching in the decades ahead. There are no easy paths to achieve the transformative results necessary to thrive in the face of climate change, but Canadians are resourceful, practical and innovative, and we are already making progress. By drawing on experience and expertise from across the country, we can get further, faster and help decision makers successfully steer the country toward a low-carbon, resilient and prosperous future.”

  • Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO, Canadian Climate Institute

“Canada can design climate policies that work better and cost less by considering the full range of cost and benefits. To do so, we need multiple perspectives. Well-designed climate change policy doesn’t just mean tackling climate change, it’s also about keeping life affordable, protecting Canadians’ health, and making our economy and communities better prepared for the changes ahead.”

  • Dale Beugin, VP Research and Analysis, Canadian Climate Institute

“Climate change has handed us a problem of immense complexity and scale, and there are no easy fixes. The choices governments across Canada make today—about which energy resources to develop, what type of infrastructure to invest in, where to build new homes and developments, and what types of risks we need to prepare for—will have long-lasting implications for Canada’s future prosperity, stability, and competitiveness. Making choices that are cost-effective, fair and position Canada to thrive in the future is an incredible challenge, as well as an opportunity.”

  • Peter Nicholson, Chair of the Board, Canadian Climate Institute


  • Who We Are | Learn more about the people who make up the Canadian Climate Institute
  • Report | Charting our Course: Bringing clarity to Canada’s climate policy choices on the journey to 2050
  • Blog | Read the latest posts by staff and experts with the Canadian Climate Institute
  • Follow Us | Stay up to date with the Institute by following us on Twitter @ClimateInstit or Facebook @CanadianClimateInstitute and subscribe to our news releases
  • Background | Read the Government of Canada call for proposals news release and backgrounder on the establishment of the Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration 


For interviews or other media inquiries, please contact:

Catharine Tunnacliffe
Director of Communications,
Canadian Climate Institute
416 527 1777