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Commission on Carbon Competitiveness

The Commission comprises experts in topics such as trade law, industrial decarbonization, and climate policy. It aims to support the transformation of Canada's industrial sectors into globally competitive, low-carbon leaders for the benefit of all Canadians.


The Commission on Carbon Competitiveness (C3) was formed in 2023 to promote the critical goal of industrial decarbonization as part of Canada’s 2030 emission reduction target and 2050 net-zero goal.

Canada’s emissions-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) sectors account for over a third of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Government policy must incentivize significant investments in industrial decarbonization to foster the long-term competitiveness of sectors that can drive future prosperity and growth in low-carbon markets.

It is challenging to design effective and ambitious decarbonization policies for EITE sectors. Stringent climate policies may lead to “carbon leakage,” where emissions simply shift from Canadian producers to foreign producers that do not have strong greenhouse gas regulations or carbon pricing. Carbon leakage undermines both economic and environmental objectives.

This project aims to advance the dual objective of reaching Canada’s climate targets while maintaining global industrial competitiveness and avoiding carbon leakage. It serves a crucial role in informing economic development and industrial policy aligned with Canada’s climate policy approach.

The Commission is supported by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Clean Prosperity, and the Canadian Climate Institute, and funded by the Trottier Family Foundation.

  • The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Headquartered in Canada with an office in Geneva, Switzerland, IISD’s staff of more than 220 people, plus over 150 associates and consultants, come from across the globe and from many disciplines.
  • Clean Prosperity is a Canadian climate policy organization advocating for smart Canadian climate policy using market-based solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, foster inclusive economic growth and competitiveness, and catalyze global climate action.
  • The Canadian Climate Institute is Canada’s leading climate change policy research organization that produces rigorous analysis and evidence-based recommendations to advance climate resilience, chart net-zero pathways, and drive long-term prosperity. The strength of its work is rooted in independence, the diversity and depth of its staff, board, and advisors in fields from climate mitigation to adaptation and clean growth, and the breadth of the stakeholders and rights holders engaged through research.

Our Aim

The Commission’s goal is to support the transformation of Canada’s EITE sectors into globally competitive low-carbon leaders for the benefit of all Canadians. To that end, it will identify and promote policies that will enable Canada’s industrial sectors to play their full part in national decarbonization efforts, while also contributing to Canada’s prosperity.


Aaron Cosbey

Aaron Cosbey, Chair of the Commission: With over 30 years of experience in the field of sustainable development, Aaron is a development economist specializing in trade, investment, and climate change. He is a Senior Associate with IISD, a Senior Fellow with the European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition and a Senior Associate with the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF).

Marisa Beck

Marisa Beck, Vice-Chair of the Commission: Marisa is the director of the clean growth research program at the Canadian Climate Institute. She has extensive experience conducting and managing research on climate and energy policy, clean growth, and evidence-based decision-making. She has worked in academia, with non-governmental organizations, and in the private sector. Marisa holds a PhD in global governance from the University of Waterloo, a master’s degree in environmental policy, and a graduate degree in business administration.

Michael Bernstein

Michael Bernstein, Vice-Chair of the Commission: Michael Bernstein is the executive director of Clean Prosperity, a Canadian non-profit that works toward practical climate solutions that reduce emissions and grow the economy. He also co-founded Carbon Removal Canada, an initiative that advances policies to scale up Canada’s carbon removal sector, and chairs the organization's advisory board. Michael is a member of the Canadian government’s Net-Zero Advisory Body and a member of the C.D. Howe Institute’s Energy Policy Council.

Bentley Allan

Bentley Allan: Bentley is an associate professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University and a research director at the Transition Accelerator. His research focuses on the political economy of decarbonization and industrial policy. He co-leads a project called Canada's Future in a Net-Zero World that advocates for a green industrial strategy in Canada.

Chris Bataille

Chris Bataille: With 27 years of experience in energy and climate policy analysis, Chris is dedicated to helping Canada achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. He is affiliated with institutions such as the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations. His expertise lies in decarbonization strategies for heavy industrial sectors.

Dave Sawyer

Dave Sawyer: Dave is an environmental economist with a 30-year track record. He currently works as the principal economist at the Canadian Climate Institute and owns EnviroEconomics. His expertise includes positions held at Environment Canada and leading Canadian consultancies. He also teaches environmental economics at the University of Ottawa.

Debra Steger

Debra Steger: Debra is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. She has a background in international economic law and has held various positions related to trade and competition law. Her experience includes serving as the Director of the Appellate Body Secretariat of the World Trade Organization.

Michael Mehling

Michael Mehling: Michael is the Deputy Director of the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research and a Professor at the University of Strathclyde Law School. He is involved in multiple organizations focused on climate change and sustainable transition. With a legal background, he has extensive international experience in energy and climate policy.

Nancy Olewiler

Nancy Olewiler: Nancy is an economist and professor at Simon Fraser University. Her research areas include climate policy, natural resources, energy, and regulation. She serves on various boards related to climate and public policy, including the Mitigation Panel for the Canadian Climate Institute.

Rachel Samson

Rachel Samson: Rachel is the Vice President of Research at the Institute for Research on Public Policy. She has extensive experience in policy analysis and research, with previous roles at the Canadian Climate Institute, as a consultant for international organizations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and as an economist and executive in the federal public service. At the IRPP, she leads a team of researchers working on a range of public policy topics, including industrial policy, affordability, workforce transformation, and long-term care. 

Barbara Zvan

Barbara Zvan: Barbara is the President and CEO of University Pension Plan Ontario (UPP), renowned for championing secure pensions and exceptional service to its 39,000+ members while positioning UPP as the top pension choice for Ontario's academia. Globally acclaimed for sustainable investing leadership and advocacy for defined benefit pensions, she holds influential roles on boards like the Responsible Investment Association, the advisory board of the Institute of Sustainable Finance at the Smith School of Business and chairs the Steering Committee of Climate Engagement Canada.

Advisory Council Members

  • Ken Boessenkool: Founding Partner, Meredith Boessenkool Policy Advisors
  • Jane McDonald: Vice President, Climate and Nature Solutions
  • Sarah Goodman: Partner and Associate Director, Climate and Sustainability, BCG
  • Katie Sullivan: Managing Director, International Emissions Trading Association
  • Matthew Foss: Vice President, Research & Public Policy, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
  • Stewart Elgie: Professor, Law and Economics, University of Ottawa
  • Beth Burke: Chief Executive Officer, Canadian-American Business Council
  • Michael McSweeney: Consultant, and former President of the Cement Association of Canada
  • Steve Verheul: Principal, gt&co, and former Chief Trade Negotiator for Canada
  • Alison Loat: Senior Managing Director, Sustainable Investing and Innovation, OPTrust
  • Kate Chisholm: Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer, Capital Power
  • Sean Speer: Senior Fellow, Public Policy Forum
  • Steven Robins: Head of Strategy, Canada Infrastructure Bank


To get in touch and learn more about the work of the Commission, please email Darcie Doan: