Will Canadian insurers be on the hook for major climate polluters?


The appetite for suing the biggest climate polluters is growing and, as a result, so too is the risk to Canadian insurers. At a York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies, lecture Monday, respected environmental lawyer, Dianne Saxe, will discuss how the rising concern over climate is changing the game.

Saxe will discuss how the evolving climate crisis is creating new opportunities for judges to hold major climate polluters accountable and how that will affect Canadian insurers going forward. Despite Canada’s small population, the risk is large as this country is one of the top 10 most climate-polluting on the planet.

In February, Canada’s Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) warned Canadian insurers that climate liability must be “top of mind.” Not long after, a little-known Quebec Court of Appeal decision against Canada’s tobacco companies provided a powerful precedent for holding climate polluters liable.

This is at a time when climate leaders are calling for a wave of lawsuits against the biggest carbon emitters. Even unsuccessful cases could increase the legal and financial risk of continuing business as usual. Saxe explores what we can learn from the tobacco cases, and

WHAT: Lecture – Climate Liability in Canada

WHO: Dianne Saxe, one of Canada’s most respected environmental lawyers

WHEN: Monday, Nov. 25, at 6:30 pm

WHERE: Osgoode Professional Development Centre, 1 Dundas Street West, 26th Floor, Toronto. See Map.

York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni. York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media Contact: Sandra McLean,

York University Media Relations, 416-736-2100 ext. 22097, sandramc@yorku.ca