Prof. Cynthia A. Williams
Osler Chair in Business Law, Osgoode Hall Law School
View speaker bio here
Companies signing on to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement have only committed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by less than 1%. Thus, the task of changing corporate behavior is urgent.
In this talk, I will discuss a project I help lead in Canada and the U.S., the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative, begun at Oxford University and with additional projects in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, and the U.K. The project emphasizes the existing corporate and securities obligations of company directors to incorporate climate change into their companies' strategies and securities disclosures. I will discuss the project's work in the context of an explosion of climate-related litigation globally: 1,550 cases to date, 1,200 of them in the U.S.–including a case brought by the State of Rhode Island against the major oil corporations.
I will put these cases in broader, global perspective by focusing on the potential of these legal strategies to motivate directors to make changes in their companies' actions in order to address climate change.
The World Affairs Council Of Rhode Island is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
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