UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrives at the Copenhagen Climate Finance Meeting in October 2013 (Lars Krabbe, AP).
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrives at the Copenhagen Climate Finance Meeting in October 2013 (Lars Krabbe, AP).

CIGI aims to explore innovative solutions addressing challenges related to financing sustainable development. The multi-level governance of climate change and sustainability challenges is a main area of focus.  While nation-states are often identified as having primary responsibility for negotiating, designing, and implementing climate change policy, the diverse implications and scales of both impacts and solutions imply that this is a task best undertaken at multiple scales of governance and by a variety of actors. 

One element is the investigation of the proposals for green banking and voluntary sustainability guidelines for the banking sector. This work will review existing voluntary guidelines and codes of conduct in the banking sector and will critically analyze their content with respect to addressing important sustainability issues such as climate change, water, energy, distribution of wealth, and education. Another important focus is on innovative approaches to engage the private sector on the pressing challenges involved in financing sustainable development. There remains a growing concern that “non-financial” information, specifically environmental and climate change risks, represents a similar under-reported risk. 

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Photo of Joël Blit

Joël Blit

Senior Fellow

Joël Blit is a CIGI senior fellow researching the topic of innovation, including exploring intellectual property rights, closing Canada’s innovation gap, and the link between Canadian immigration and innovation.

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Sarah Burch

Senior Fellow

Sarah Burch is a CIGI senior fellow. She is contributing to research on financing sustainable development, focused on the exploration of innovative solutions to address challenges associated with climate change and sustainability. 

Daniel Henstra, senior fellow

Daniel Henstra

Senior Fellow

Daniel Henstra is a CIGI senior fellow and associate professor of political science at the University of Waterloo.

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David Runnalls

CIGI Distinguished Fellow

David Runnalls is a distinguished fellow and was formerly acting director of the Environment and Energy Program at CIGI. He also provided strategic advice and support for CIGI Chair Jim Balsillie’s role at the United Nations High-level Panel on Global Sustainability. He remains a distinguished fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development and a senior fellow at Sustainable Prosperity. David is chair of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development.

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Jason Thistlethwaite


Jason Thistlethwaite is a CIGI senior fellow, as well as assistant professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo.

Photo of Olaf Weber

Olaf Weber

Senior Fellow

Olaf Weber is a CIGI senior fellow. His research focuses on sustainability and the banking sector. He is currently an associate professor at the University of Waterloo. Since 2010, Olaf has held the Export Development Canada Chair in Environmental Finance.