President and Chief Executive Officer
Scott Vaughan is IISD President and CEO, and Chair of the IISD Experimental Lakes Area Board. Previously, Scott was Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. As Director of the Department of Sustainable Development, Organization of American States (OAS), his group supported the world’s largest portfolio of transboundary freshwater basin cooperation initiatives, including the eight-country Amazon Treaty Cooperation Organization. He has held positons as Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Head of Economics, NAFTA Environment Commission; and Counsellor, World Trade Organization (WTO).
While at UN Environment, Scott initiated the UNEP Finance Initiative (FI), as well as the environment–trade program, and worked in the office of the UNEP Executive Director. He worked in Economic and Corporate Affairs of the Royal Bank of Canada head office and was a policy advisor to the federal Minister of the Environment (Hon. Charles Caccia). He holds post-graduate degrees from the London School of Economics, University of Edinburgh and Dalhousie University, and an undergraduate degree from Mount Allison University.
Current board and related affiliations include the Mare Nostrum Global Initiative; the Environmental Leadership Council of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce; the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED); the China Eco-Forum Global International Advisory Council; the World Economic Forum (WEF) Stewardship Board for International Trade and Investment; and Smart Prosperity Leaders Initiative. He is Associate Editor of the Chinese Journal of Urban and Environment Studies.
- Belief in Climate Change in the Age of TrumpWill more evidence affect climate action, or are we entering a new Dark Age characterized by willful ignorance? Scott Vaughan reflects as COP24 struggles to make the necessary progress.
- What's Stalling the G20's Move to Clean Energy?Next year will mark a decade since G20 leaders met in Pittsburgh and promised to identify and eliminate subsidies to fossil fuels. In that time, trillions of dollars in government budgets have been spent to subsidize fossil fuel production and consumption.
- WTO Survival Uncertain as Ministers Meet in CanadaThe WTO faces its most critical test—a reaction to the October 2018 Joint Communiqué as international trade evolves faster than the WTO can move.
- Nordhaus Nobel Recognizes What We've Long Known: Carbon pricing worksIn 1984, Nordhaus concluded climate change is real, its impacts are global and comparable to economic depression, and it's likely to occur in sudden jolts.
- USMCA Versus NAFTA on the Environmenthttps://www.iisd.org/story/after-nafta/#text-82776The old NAFTA set the bar in linking trade and environment. How does its successor compare?
- NAFTA Agriculture Clash Distracts From More Important Conversation: SustainabilityFollowing the NAFTA negotiations has been like riding a roller coaster, holding your breath...
- Canada's Trade Troubles Make a Perfect OpportunityNAFTA uncertainty, global shakeups prompt Canadian trade to do the unthinkable: evolve.
- China's War on Pollution—and What Comes NextInsights on China's climate leadership following the 10th meeting of Eco Forum Global.
- Five Steps We Must Take to Protect Refugees in the FutureThis year, a new reality, based on a new international paradigm regarding refugees futures, must emerge. Here are five steps that need to be set in motion to make this happen.
- Paris to Paris: Raising climate finance without raising global temperatureWhat does climate (and broader sustainability) leadership mean today, as we close out a year of ever-increasing emissions and one of the top three hottest years on record?
- Adaptation Urgent as Climate Change Impacts ProliferateIn the 1990s and into the early 2000s, there was debate about whether there was a need to talk about climate change adaptation.
- Together, Canada, China and the EU Can Fill Trump's Climate Leadership VoidA critical summit offers the chance for 34 major world economies to raise their collective climate efforts—without the aid of the U.S.
- Carbon Without Borders: Can trade policy support ambitious climate action?The multilateral trade and climate regimes both face unprecedented uncertainty and strain. How should countries advance the urgent need for climate action without resorting to protectionism?
- Raisons pour lesquelles nous devrions nous inquiéter à propos de la richesse du CanadaIn a French-language blog post, Scott Vaughan and Robert Smith explain why we need to reconsider how we measure wealth in Canada.
- Freshwater Stewardship in CanadaScott Vaughan explains how IISD is bridging the gap between freshwater science and policy, and how it plans to celebrate Canada's 150th Anniversary.
- China's Low-Carbon RevolutionSince the US election, many are speculating about the ascendancy of Beijing as a global leader both on trade and climate policy. In reality, however, China had been moving forward on a comprehensive climate mitigation and adaptation pathway well before the US election.
- How Canada Can Be a Global Leader on the Sustainable Development GoalsIn an opinion piece originally published in The Hill Times, Julia Sánchez (CCIC) and Scott Vaughan argue that other countries are voluntarily reporting on progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, while Canada has no clear plan.
- Deaths in Honduras Underline the Grave Risks Facing Indigenous LeadersEnvironmental activists and indigenous leaders face deadly risks in many countries, as recent murders in Honduras demonstrate.
- A New Year of Subsidy Reform2016 begins with two historic global achievements in place to reform subsidies that harm the poor and damage the environment.