CICC-NZAB event: Securing prosperity in a net-zero world demands ‘urgency’

CICC-NZAB event: Securing prosperity in a net-zero world demands ‘urgency’

Oct 25, 2021
5 min read
CICC-NZAB event: Securing prosperity in a net-zero world demands ‘urgency’

A changing climate and global economic trends are already having major impacts across Canada. To thrive in this new world, along with honouring Canada’s commitment to reaching net-zero by 2050, the country must find ways to transition to a net-zero society while securing economic prosperity.

The Net-Zero Advisory Body (NZAB) and Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC) co-hosted an event, Canada’s Net-Zero Economy: Securing Prosperity in a Net-Zero World, on October 25, 2021, aimed at doing just that.

By spotlighting 15 speakers with diverse backgrounds in business, environment, and governance, the discussions highlighted key considerations and practical ideas for pathways that Canada can take to tackle the toughest policy question of the decade. The theme of ‘urgency’ was prominent throughout the 4-hour event. The live panel discussions, individual interviews, video messages, and real-time questions posed by Canadians from around the country provided a platform for frank exchanges and knowledge building.

This important event has set the stage and expectations for Canada’s participation at COP26 in Glasgow and for Canada’s own net-zero plans. It marks an important start to a long-term discussion.


  • The Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s new Minister of Natural Resources (previously Minister of Environment and Climate Change), stressed the importance of being proactive in our mission against climate change: “[the] situation is urgent; our runaway is short… being competitive means being at the forefront”.
  • Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the UK’s Climate Change Committee shared lessons learned from the UK, which has reduced carbon emissions by nearly 50 percent since 1990. “We’re beyond ‘sexy’ new targets: implementing targets and delivery is the new mantra”.
  • NZAB co-chairs Marie-Pierre Ippersiel and Dan Wicklum highlighted the 10 values and principles that will guide the NZAB’s work in developing advice on net-zero pathways, and took questions from the virtual audience.
  • Officials from the CICC presented their recent report, Sink or Swim, which assesses the implications of the global low-carbon transition for Canada’s economy, and the strategies that can be used to manage risks, seize opportunities, and drive clean, strong, and inclusive growth.
  • Session 4: The Business of Net-Zero, led by leaders from the energy, transportation, and buildings sectors, looked at ways to ensure Canada remains industrially competitive. There was consensus that a positive transition puts job security and economic prosperity at the centre of decision-making, with the private sector helping to lead the charge.
  • Regional Chief Kluane Adamek, a member of the NZAB and Regional Chief for Yukon, Assembly of First Nations, spoke of the necessity to respect Indigenous rights, climate leadership, and knowledge in charting pathways to net-zero.


“Net-zero is not just an environmental policy. It is about the entire economy and requires reimagining society’s structure and systems. And we have no time to wait. The science tells us what must be done and we have an obligation to act.”

Dan Wicklum, Co-Chair of the Net-Zero Advisory Body

“Our mission is clear: to provide the federal Minister of Environment with independent advice on achieving net-zero by 2050. We also have the mandate to engage Canadians across the country about our work.”

Marie-Pierre Ippersiel, Co-Chair of the Net-Zero Advisory Body

“The pressing urgency of climate change is real, and it’s not going away—it’s only going to get stronger. The question isn’t whether the world is going to net-zero. The question is whether Canada will lead or be left behind. So we need to ensure, as Canadians, that our future is positioned for success in this new net-zero economy.”

Rick Smith, President of the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices


Share this post

Related posts

5 min read

Apply now to join the Net-Zero Advisory Body

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change is inviting interested Canadians to apply to join the Net-Zero Advisory Body (NZAB).

The NZAB  plays an important role under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act by providing independent advice to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change on how Canada can achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, including advice on interim climate targets and plans.

As a member of the NZAB, you would participate in briefings, meetings, and engagement activities to inform the development of advice for the Minister. You would actively contribute your own knowledge and perspectives while working collaboratively with other members.

NZAB members are appointed for 1 to 3 years on a part-time basis of approximately 3 to 5 days per month and are compensated for their time at rates set by the Governor in Council.

Interested candidates can apply here. Interviews will be conducted on an ongoing basis starting in August. Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their applications at the earliest opportunity, and before September 18th. Members are selected through the Government of Canada’s open, transparent, and merit-based selection process, and are then appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. More details on Governor in Council appointments and the open, transparent, and merit-based selection process are available from the Privy Council Office.

We encourage you to consider applying and to share this message widely with your networks. The selection process for NZAB is committed to reflecting Canada’s diversity in all of its forms. First Nations, Métis, and Inuit persons with interest in and experience working on climate change are strongly encouraged to apply for appointments to the Net-Zero Advisory Body. We would also like to encourage people from Black and other racialized communities, persons with disabilities, 2SLGBTQI+ people, and youth aged 18 to 29 to apply to become members of the Net-Zero Advisory Body.


Please contact with any questions about this process.

5 min read

What We Heard Report 2022-2023

The Net-Zero Advisory Body is pleased to release our second What We Heard Report. This shares our engagement efforts from 2022 and 2023, and what we heard during our engagement activities during that time.

Ten overarching themes emerged from our 2022-2023 engagement:

Accountability: Culture and mechanisms for net-zero accountability need to be embedded in both public and private sectors to set and keep us on net-zero pathways.

Affordability: Net-zero policy development must consider the cost-of-living challenges facing many Canadians.

Competitiveness: Net-zero policy needs to both reduce emissions and position Canada to have a competitive and prosperous net-zero economy.

Equity: Climate policies and programs need to build stronger and more equitable communities, that respond to social, health and economic needs, while also driving emissions reductions.

Indigenous rights: Indigenous rights must be respected, including the full and meaningful implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, for all net-zero projects and pathways.

Implementation: Action is needed now to fully implement committed policies in a timely manner to achieve Canada’s ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals, and in many cases strengthen them to set us on pathways to net-zero.

People: Net-zero pathways must include greater focus on people, including Indigenous Peoples, local and racialized communities, the private sector (small-and-medium sized enterprises), workers and trade unions, as well as with youth, new Canadians, women and economically vulnerable populations.

Regional awareness: Regional differences and circumstances, including differing urban and rural needs, energy system designs, and infrastructure and workforce distribution, need to be considered during the design and implementation of net-zero policies and programs.

Transparency: Canada’s net-zero policy-making process, including the use of data and modeling, must be open and transparent.

Vision: Canada requires a clear vision on what the country’s net-zero future and energy transition looks like to drive demand and investment.

Engagement is part of NZAB’s mandate as per our Terms of Reference and the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act. We view engagement as critical to cultivating the collective commitment and shared leadership across all orders of government, Indigenous Peoples, the private sector, and civil society, and to inform and drive pathways to net-zero.

NZAB looks forward to strengthening relationships with stakeholders and partners and listening to new voices and perspectives to inform its advice on independent pathways to net-zero in the months and years ahead.  In particular, we recognize that Indigenous Peoples are at the forefront of both climate change impacts and climate change action. We are deeply grateful to the Indigenous partners with whom we engaged in 2022 and 2023. We acknowledge there is much more work for us to do to ensure that our advice more fully reflects Indigenous knowledge, representative perspectives, lived experiences, and leadership.

5 min read


Members from Canada’s Net-Zero Advisory Body (NZAB) will once again be attending the 28th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, known as COP, taking place this year from 30 November until 12 December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). NZAB is co-hosting an event at the Canada Pavilion on December 5, 2023, with the Canadian Climate Institute (CCI).

The Developing a Net-Zero Energy System Vision for all Canadians event will build on momentum from recent COP meetings where countries increasingly recognized the massive transformation required for energy systems to meet net-zero commitments.

Panels will explore the role visions can play in leading this transformation by describing credible pathways to drive collective action and discuss the opportunity for just transitions by creating visions through collaboration and principles to meet socio-political and economic objectives. Canadian and international panelists will also provide their perspectives on developing net-zero energy systems reflecting the diversity of nations’ populations.

Check out the event page for more information about this event including speakers from SevenGen Energy, the Métis Nation of Alberta, the Environment and Climate Change Youth Council, and Presidential Climate Commission of South Africa.

Don’t forget to check back here for a summary of NZAB attendance and reflections after COP28 concludes!


Compete and succeed in a net zero future

Concrete solutions that the Government of Canada should implement to ensure that Canada benefits from a carbon-neutral global economy, accelerates the achievement of a carbon-neutral economy and generates clean prosperity for generations to come.