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26 Canadian Climate Champions Announced Ahead of COP26 in UK and Canada Live Event

To mark 6 months until COP26, the British High Commission in Canada and the Canada Climate Law Initiative are celebrating 26 Canadian Climate Champions helping to build a net-zero future.


London: Today the British High Commission and the Canada Climate Law Initiative announced 26 ‘Canadian Climate Champions’. They have been identified as exceptional individuals actively working to move Canada to net-zero emissions.

Among those chosen are current Canadian Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and former Environment Minister, The Honorable Catherine McKenna as well as renowned environmentalist David Suzuki, Co-Founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Canadian Climate Champion, Minister McKenna, alongside British High Commissioner, Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque, delivered the event’s keynote address. Minister McKenna was chosen for her work in expanding parks and protected areas across Canada. In her former role as Canada’s Environment Minister, she helped negotiate the Paris Climate Agreement, negotiated Canada’s first comprehensive climate plan with a national price on pollution, and reduced plastics in our oceans. She has also been an ardent promoter of innovation and investments in the clean tech sector.

The event also featured an address from two Climate Champions on the critical need to act urgently on climate change, including David Suzuki. Dr. David Suzuki has been a lifelong environmental activist and is well known for his television series ‘The Nature of Things’ on CBC which has educated millions of Canadians on the importance of the natural world and conservation. He has written and co-authored 54 books (18 for children) and has received numerous awards, including a UNESCO prize for science and the Companion of the Order of Canada. David Suzuki was followed by Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Founder of Sacred Earth Solar and Just Transition Director of Indigenous Climate Action, who has been working on social, environmental and climate justice issues for the past 20 years.

Today’s event is an opportunity to celebrate those leading efforts towards net-zero carbon emissions. It also highlights Canada and the UK’s shared commitment and dedication to addressing climate change and holding global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees.

The UK and Canada are proud to celebrate the many exceptional individuals that work tirelessly towards achieving net-zero. Today’s event recognises the critical work of these 26 Climate Champions as we all turn our attention to COP26 and the next steps in our global efforts to tackle climate change.

David Suzuki, Co-Founder, David Suzuki Foundation, and Host of CBC’s The Nature of Things
Meeting the challenge of anthropogenic climate change must transcend political partisanship and economic barriers and we have very little time.

Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque, British High Commissioner to Canada:
We are at a turning point for our planet and urgent change is needed now to address the existential threat of climate change. Ahead of COP26, the UK is leading by example through ambitious climate action. We are also working with partners around the world, including in our collaboration with Canada, to drive climate action forward. Because climate change won’t be addressed by one country alone, but through the collective work of many. It is in this spirit that we recognise these 26 Canadian Climate Champions, who are helping to move Canada to net-zero emissions and actively working to build a clean energy future for all.

Dr. Janis Sarra, Principal Co-Investigator at the Canada Climate Law Initiative and Professor of law at the Peter A. Allard School of Law:
Canadian courts have now recognized that climate change poses an existential threat to humanity, and globally, we are now facing tipping-points that will have irreversible effects. Canada must begin to lead by example in an ambitious shift toward net-zero emissions, a circular economy, sustainable finance, and protection of biodiversity. The Canada Climate Law Initiative celebrates the Champions that are working towards meeting those goals in a fair and equitable manner, in full partnership with Indigenous Peoples, businesses, and communities across the country.

List of Canadian Climate Champions
Climate Champion and Keynote Address
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and former Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Government of Canada
Climate Champions
David Isaac, President and CEO, W Dusk Energy
Andrée-Lise Méthot, Founder and Managing Partner, Cycle Capital Management
Bruce Lourie, President, Ivey Foundation
Martha Hall Findlay, Chief Sustainability Officer, Suncor
Scott Skinner, President and CEO, Transition Accelerator
Sara Hastings-Simon, Scientist and Senior Research Associate, Payne Institute, Colorado School of Mines, and School of Public Policy, University of Calgary
Denis Leclerc, President and CEO, Écotech Québec
Barbara Zvan, Inaugural President and CEO, University Pension Plan Ontario (UPP)
Marcia Smith, Senior Vice President, Sustainability and External Affairs, Teck Resources Limited
Bryan Buggey, Director, Vancouver Economic Commission
Kim Thomassin, Executive Vice-President and Head of Investments in Québec and Stewardship Investing, Caisse de dépôt et de placement du Québec
Natan Obed, President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
Valerie Chort, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability, RBC
Inder Bedi, Founder, MATT and NAT, and 457 ANEW
Marina Melanidis, Founder and Co-Managing Director, Youth4Nature
Robert Niven, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, CarbonCure Technologies
David Suzuki, Co-Founder, David Suzuki Foundation, and Host of CBC’s The Nature of Things
Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Founder, Sacred Earth Solar, and Just Transition Director, Indigenous Climate Action
Éric St-Pierre, Executive Director, Trottier Family Foundation
Linda Coady, Executive Director, Pembina Institute
Darcy Wood, CEO, Aki Energy
Anna-Kay Russell, Director of Strategy and Governance, Leading Change Canada
David Arsenault, CEO and Co-Founder, Effenco
Susan McGeachie, Global Director, Strategy and Policy, Climate Change and Sustainability, Hatch
Scott Skinner, President and CEO, Clean Foundation
Jennifer McNeill, Vice President, Sales and Marketing (Public Sector), NFI Group
See attached word document for more information about the Climate Champions, including a short biography and their vision for COP26 and how Canada can reach net zero.


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