Laura Zizzo is a lawyer and strategic advisor with over a decade of experience leading organizations towards a low-carbon and climate-adapted future through the application of law and policy. Laura started her legal career with a prominent Bay Street law firm before founding the first law firm in Canada focused on climate change in 2009. She is a frequent writer and speaker on the move to the low-carbon economy and has become a leading voice on the legal imperative to adapt to climate change.
Her legal experience ranges from complex and innovative transactions, regulatory interpretation, environmental litigation and securities reporting of environmental and climate risks. Laura has authored and co-authored numerous research and policy papers on legal liability related to climate change adaptation, the use of existing legal mechanisms to address climate change, and the role of markets and flexibility mechanisms in driving emissions reductions.
Before entering the field of law, Laura worked in strategic policy research for the Ontario Ministry of Finance and for the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority. In her final year of law school, Laura was co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Law and International Relations. She is co-founder of the Climate Change Lawyers Network, a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) committee on Environmental Law, a member of the University of Toronto’s Environmental Finance Advisory Committee and is a volunteer presenter for The Climate Reality Project.
She has a degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and a law degree from the University of Toronto. Laura is called to the Bar of Ontario.
- “Innovation in Action,” Futures: Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada published by the Canadian Bar Association, August 18, 2014.
- Boothby, Kathryn. “Environmental lawyers are part of the solution,” The Calgary Herald, April 20, 2013
- Zizzo, Laura. “Beyond the Accord: Reflections from the Copenhagen Conference,” Briefly Speaking, October 2010
- Furlong, Jordan. “Leading the Way,” Canadian Bar Association’s National Magazine, September 2010
- Zizzo, Laura. “World waits on Washington’s Climate Bill,” Reuters Environment Forum, April 30, 2010
- Zizzo, Laura. “Going Green: Preparing Your SME for the Carbon Constrained Economy,” Enterprise Magazine, Spring 2010
- Waltshire, Elain. “Committed to climate change,” The Lawyers Weekly, December 11, 2009
- Zizzo, Laura. “A Primer for Copenhagen: Canada Lags in Climate Change Commitment,” Canadian Property Management, November 2009
- Kryhul, Angela. “Ready, Set, Thrive: How to successfully work alone,” The Globe and Mail, October 20, 2009
- Zizzo, Laura. “Carbon Laws and Markets: What’s happening in Canada?” HazMat Management, September 1, 2009
- “Climate Risk Assessment for Adaptation Planning and Implementation Workshop,” APWA (American Public Works Association) International Congress and Exposition. Toronto, ON., August 20, 2014.
- Moderator, Panel: “Examining the Policy and Innovations Surrounding Climate Adaptation Design and Engineering to Increase Gird System Resilience,” Storm Restoration Conference 2014. Toronto, O.N., June 11, 2014.
- “Legal Implications of Climate Change in Emergency Management,” Hamilton CAER (Community Awareness and Emergency Response) Group. Hamilton, O.N., May 8, 2014.
- “Responsibilities and Risk Management in a Changing Climate,” North American Consortium on Legal Education (NACLE) Workshop. Vancouver, B.C., March 19, 2014.
- “A Changing Legal Climate: Risk Mitigation, Insurance, and Reducing Liability Exposure,” Insight’s 4th Planning and Development Forum. Toronto, O.N., November 25, 2013.
- “Year of the Flood: Building Resiliency Through Legal Risk Management,” 2013 A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium. Alliston, O.N., November 20, 2013.
- “Surviving the Perfect Storm – Managing Your Stormwater Risk in Light of Climate Change,” Credit Valley Conservation Conference. Mississauga, O.N., November 4, 2013.
- “The Legal Climate: Transition to the Low-Carbon Economy – Mechanisms to Reduce GHGs and Adapt to Climate Change,” University of Toronto Faculty of Engineering. Toronto, O.N., September 18, 2013.
- “Legal Considerations – Offsets and Market Based Mechanisms,” Conservation Ontario/CA Watershed Stewardship/Forestry and Restoration Meeting. Newmarket, O.N., February 27, 2013.
- “Hanging Out Your Shingle,” Women’s Law Association of Ontario, CPD Series: Practice Management. Toronto, O.N., April 16, 2012.
- “New Developments in Commercial Rooftop Leasing,” Solar Canada 2011. Toronto, O.N., December 6, 2011.
- “Mechanisms to Finance Mitigation and Adaptation,” Climate Finance: Legal and Regulatory Issues, International Capacity-Building Course at the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law (side event to UNFCCC COP 15). Copenhagen, Denmark, December 13, 2009.