One of the main functions of Senators for Climate Solutions is educating Senators on issues related to climate change. To achieve this objective, we invite leaders and experts on climate change, biodiversity, energy, environmental law, and public policy to give presentations on their areas of expertise. Some of the experts we have invited to speak are listed below:

Fatih Birol

The Executive Director of the International Energy Agency

Dr. Fatih Birol has served as Executive Director of the International Energy Agency since 2015. Under his leadership, the IEA has moved to the forefront of global efforts to reach international climate goals while ensuring that the social and economic impacts of clean energy transitions are at the heart of policy-making and energy security is safeguarded. Dr. Birol has led the IEA in its first comprehensive modernisation programme since its creation in 1974 by “opening its doors” to major emerging economies, making it the global hub for clean energy transitions and broadening its energy security mandate.



Jerry DeMarco

Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development

Jerry DeMarco has devoted his career to the environment and is considered a leading Canadian expert in environmental policy and law. Before joining the Office of the Auditor General of Canada, DeMarco served as the Commissioner of the Environment and Assistant Auditor General at the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario, from 2019 to 2021.

Katharine Hayhoe

Canadian atmospheric scientist, professor of political science at Texas Tech University and author of Saving Us, A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World.

Katharine Hayhoe is a Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor and Endowed Chair in Public Policy and Public Law in the Public Administration program of the Department of Political Science at Texas Tech University. She is also the Chief Scientist for the global conservation organization, The Nature Conservancy. Professor Hayhoe's research focuses on developing and applying high-resolution climate projections to evaluate the future impacts of climate change on human society and the natural environment. In 2019, Dr. Hayhoe was named to Foreign Policy's list of 100 Global Thinkers for the second time and received the United Nations Environment Programme's flagship award, being named Champion of the Earth in the category of Science and Innovation. Her new book: Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World was released in September 2021.



Mark Carney

Former governor of the Bank of England; Former Governor of the Bank of Canada

After a thirteen-year career with Goldman Sachs in its London, Tokyo, New York and Toronto offices, Mark Carney was appointed Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada in August 2003. In November 2004, he left the Bank of Canada to become Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Finance. He held this position until his appointment as Governor of the Bank of Canada in 2008. Mark Carney served as Governor of the Bank of Canada and Chairman of its Board of Directors until 2013. He served as the governor of the Bank of England from 2013 to 2020. Mark Carney is the UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance. His recent book Value(s) was published in 2021.

Steven Guilbeault

Minister of Environment and Climate Change

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Laurier—Sainte-Marie in 2019. He has previously served as Minister of Canadian Heritage. In 1993, Minister Guilbeault co-founded Équiterre, the largest environmental organization in Quebec, and served as its Senior Director from 2008 to 2018. He also worked as a Director and Campaign Manager for Greenpeace, and was a Strategic Advisor for more than 10 years at Cycle Capital Management, a Canadian fund dedicated to the development of clean technologies. Minister Guilbeault also worked for Deloitte & Touche as well as Copticom, a consulting firm specializing in the green and social economy, and transportation.


Caroline Lee

Mitigation Research Director at the Canadian Climate Institute

Caroline Lee is the Mitigation Research Director at the Canadian Climate Institute. She has a diverse background in international climate and energy policy analysis. Caroline has previously worked as Energy Policy Analyst at the International Energy Agency, Climate Change Mitigation Analyst at the Government of New Brunswick, and an Energy Consultant with Navius Research. She holds an MA in Resource Management from Simon Fraser University.


Sara Hastings-Simon

Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary

Sara Hastings-Simon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. She is an expert in energy, innovation, and climate policy. Using her diverse experience across 3 fields, as an academic researcher in physics, as a management consultant with McKinsey and Company, and as a policy researcher she approaches questions in energy, innovation, and climate systems through the multiple lenses.


Anthony Haines

President and Chief Executive Officer of Toronto Hydro Corporation

Anthony Haines is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Toronto Hydro Corporation and its subsidiaries, one of the largest urban electricity distribution companies in North America. He has over 30 years of experience in both natural gas and electricity, which brings a unique perspective to the Canadian energy industry. He is currently a board member of Ontario Energy Association (OEA) and of the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA).


Brent Preston

President, Farmers for Climate Solutions

Brent worked as a human rights investigator, election observer and journalist on four continents before becoming a farmer. For the past fifteen years he has run The New Farm, a wholesale vegetable operation near Creemore, Ontario, with his wife, Gillian. The farm supplies specialty retail stores and some of the best restaurants in Canada. Brent speaks often on food and farming issues, and has written for the Huffington Post, Globe and Mail, and other publications. His memoir of starting a sustainable farm was a national bestseller. Brent is the President of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario.


Andrew Rushmere

Program Director, Farmers for Climate Solutions

Andrew has farmed mixed vegetables in Alberta and B.C. for over 13 years. He has other work experience in the academic and not-for-profit sectors overseeing sustainable agriculture teaching and research programs at UBC Farm, advocating for better agriculture policy, and in curriculum development and implementation for various organizations. He completed a BA in International Development and Geography at Queen’s and an M.A. in ecological education curriculum development, implementation and evaluation at SFU. All these experiences feed his commitment to advance systems-level solutions to the climate emergency with farmers. Andrew lives near Duncan, BC with his partner and two daughters.


Scott Ross

Executive Director, Canadian Federation of Agriculture

After serving as the Canadian Federation of Agriculture’s Assistant Executive Director since 2018, Scott Ross was promoted to the Executive Director position in 2022. Prior to that Scott served as CFA's Director of BRM and Farm Policy for six years, where he covered a wide variety of agricultural issues. Scott's policy work has given him a unique insight on how to develop and implement policy, while balancing a diversity of stakeholder interests. Scott has extensive experience in collaborating across the agri-food sector to achieve ambitious goals, most recently including co-founding the Agriculture Carbon Alliance, a coalition of 15 national farm associations advocating on behalf of farmers with regard to carbon pricing and environmental policies. Prior to his role at the CFA, Scott worked with the Economic Developers Council of Ontario and the University of Waterloo researching how municipal and regional governments can raise the profile of agriculture as an economic development priority.


David Burton

Director, Centre for Sustainable Soil Management, Dalhousie University

Dr. David Burton is a professor at Dalhousie University and the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Soil Management. His research examines the role of the soil environment in influencing the nature and extent of microbial metabolism in soil.  Dr. Burton co-established the Atlantic Soil Health Lab and has provided analytical support for research projects related to greenhouse gas emissions through the Greenhouse Gas Lab. Additionally, he actively contributes to numerous expert panels and committees, including the Farmer's for Climate Solutions Task Force, Équiterre's Climate Farming Advisory Committee, the Soil Conservation Council of Canada's Soil Carbon Roadmap Advisory Board, and Fertilizer Canada's 4R Research Network and 4R Science Panel.


Catherine McKenna

Former Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister of Infrastructure, current Principal of Climate and Nature Solutions

Catherine McKenna is Principal of Climate and Nature Solutions, chaired the UN Secretary General’s Expert Group on Net-Zero, is a Distinguished Fellow at Columbia University and launched Women Leading on Climate.

As Minister of Environment and Climate Change, she was a lead negotiator of the Paris Agreement, negotiated Canada’s climate change plan including a coal phase out and price on carbon, brought in a new Impact Assessment Act for major projects and doubled the amount of nature protected in Canada. Internationally she co-founded the Powering Past Coal Coalition and the Ministerial on Climate Action. As Minister of Infrastructure, she made historic investments in sustainable infrastructure including leveraging private sector investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.


Blair Feltmate

Head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, University of Waterloo

Blair is the Head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, University of Waterloo. Previous positions he has held include Vice President, Sustainable Development Investments, Bank of Montreal; Director, Sustainable Development, Ontario Power Generation; Partner, Sustainable Investment Group/YMG Capital Management.  Blair has written textbooks on Sustainable Banking and Aquatic Ecology.

He is on the Advisory Table, National Adaptation Strategy, Canada.  He is Sustainable Finance Council member, Global Risk Institute, and he is a member of Climate Proof Canada (Insurance Bureau of Canada).  Blair is Expert Member, ISO Strategic Advisory Group, ESG, and he is on the Science, Innovation and Policy Board of Canada’s Forest Trust.  He is on the Climate Advisory Board, Minister of Environment (Ontario). Blair was Chair, Federal Government of Canada Expert Panel on Climate Adaptation.

Blair was an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow (University of Waterloo). He holds a Ph.D in Theoretical and Applied Ecology (University of Toronto), Master’s in Sustainable Development (Wilfrid Laurier University), Master’s in Zoology (University of Toronto), and Hon. Bachelor’s Biology (University of Toronto).  He is generally interviewed by the media 150 times per year on climate change/ESG related issues.


Jimena Eyzaguirre

International Team Director, Climate Change Adaptation Lead, ESSA Environmental Consulting

Jimena is a managing partner at ESSA Technologies Ltd. She leads ESSA’s climate change adaptation practice and international development projects, where she applies her 20+ years of combined experience as a policy advisor and as a consultant to initiatives that strengthen human, institutional, and systems-level capacity to manage climate change risk and build resilience. Jimena has worked with clients and collaborators in 23 countries throughout Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Latin America & the Caribbean on a range of projects aimed at accelerating action on adaptation. Jimena has led or co-led several climate change impact, vulnerability, or risk assessments in the past five years, including for the fisheries sector in the Caribbean Community, the governments of El Salvador and St. Kitts and Nevis, the provinces of Ontario and Nova Scotia, coastal and marine sectors of British Columbia’s South Coast region, and three Canadian federal departments.

Jimena has contributed to Canada’s national assessment of climate change impacts and adaptation, leading the chapter on transboundary climate risks and responses in the 2021 national issues report. She currently serves as the chair of the Adaptation Expert Panel for the Canadian Climate Institute and is a past member on Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Disaster Resilience in a Changing Climate.

Jimena has a graduate diploma in Social Innovation from the University of Waterloo, an M.Sc. in Geology from the University of Western Ontario and a Master’s in Natural Resource and Environmental Management from Simon Fraser University.


Ryan Ness

Director, Adaptation, Canadian Climate Institute

Ryan has 20 years of experience in climate adaptation, environmental management and strategy. He was previously the lead for climate adaptation programs and corporate strategy at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, including heading the secretariat of the Ontario Climate Consortium. He is a professional engineer, holding a B.Sc. in Environmental Engineering and a M.Sc. in Water Resources Engineering from the University of Guelph. Ryan is also completing a Ph.D. in Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo.