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Senior Fellows

John Drexhage

» Senior Fellow and Associate
John Drexhage has worked on the issue of climate change and sustainable development for close to twenty years. In the first ten years, Drexhage worked for the Government of Canada and was responsible for developing Canada’s First National Action Program on Climate Change (1994). In 1995, he shifted to the international side and served as Associate Director on Climate Change. His chief responsibility was as overall mandate coordinator in negotiations revolving around the carbon market, including the Clean Development Mechanism, Joint Implementation and International Emissions Trading.

In 2002, Drexhage switched to independent policy research by accepting a position as Director of Climate Change and Energy with the International Institute for Sustainable Development. Starting from scratch, Drexhage built it into a comprehensive program with a CAD$3,000,000 annual budget, regulatory frameworks for greenhouse gas emissions, post-2012 climate change regimes, market based instruments (covering allowance and credit based systems), climate change in the context of sustainable development, governance issues, energy policy and a fuller exploration of linkages between adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development.

For the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007), Drexhage was a WG3 Lead Author of Chapter 11, which focused on mitigation from a cross-sectoral perspective. His contributions focused on international spillover effects, synergies and tradeoffs, along with mitigation and adaptation. He also oversaw a growing and robust program on adaptation and sink related activities, focusing on building capacity in developing countries to strengthen their negotiating positions while integrating these activities with their policy priorities on poverty eradication and sustainable development.

In 2011, Drexhage worked with the International Council on Mining and Metals to establish their climate change program. As their Director of Climate Change and Energy Management until his return to Canada in 2013, he focused on working with ICMM companies to implement ICMM’s principles based approach to climate change. This involved policy based discussions at national and international levels. Substantive areas of focus included competitiveness implications of carbon pricing for the mining and metals industry; ways in which public revenues could be effectively used to support a long term, sustainable low carbon transition; and opportunities for the industry to adapt to a changing climate. He also led the ICMM delegation at the Rio +20 conference held in Brazil in May 2012.

Drexhage has developed a strong reputation for championing a pragmatic, solutions-based approach to climate change and sustainable development issues. He looks forward to working with the private sector more directly, in particular helping business augment its contributions to a sustainable future.