Picture of Jason Thistlewaite

Jason Thistlethwaite is an Assistant Professor at the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) at the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on innovative strategies designed to reduce the economic impacts of extreme weather and climate change within the financial sector. These strategies are analyzed as forms of environmental governance and climate change adaptation that reveal interesting and often contentious engagement between environmental and financial interests. To inform this work, he has worked directly with business and government leaders in the insurance, banking, real estate, building, and investment industries. Jason is also a frequent speaker, media contributor on Canada’s growing vulnerability to extreme weather, and a self-described “weather geek”.

Recent Keynote Presentations and Outreach

  • Climate Change Adaptation and Corporate Canada. Conference Board of Canada. Montreal, June 11th 2014 (50 attendees).
  • Decarbonization in Canada Panel. Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy. Waterloo, ON, February 20th 2014 (40 attendees).
  • Climate Change and Actuarialism Panel. Ontario Conference of Casualty Actuaries (OCCA). Toronto, November 31st 2013 (100 attendees).
  • Implementing Climate Change Standards and Best Practices. 4th Planning and Development Forum. Toronto, November 26th 2013 (60 attendees).
  • The Resilient City Panel. CityAge Conference. October 10th 2013 (150 attendees).
  • Climate Change Adaptation: A Business Perspective. Canadian Electricity Association (CEA). Toronto, October 2nd 2013 (50 attendees).
  • Climate Change Adaptation and Insurance. Ceres Resilient Cities. Toronto, June 19th 2013 (100 attendees).
  • Climate Change Adaptation Project: Adaptation Demonstration. Presentation to Intact Financial Corporation Foundation. Toronto, April 30th 2013 (20 attendees).
  • Building Resilience into Residential Homes. Presentation to Ontario Home Builders Association Technical Committee. Toronto, April 20th 2013
  • Financial Risks of Climate Change. Presentation to Federal Environmental Commissioner and Canadian Banks. Toronto, March 25th 2013 (15 attendees).
  • The Business Case for Climate Change Adaptation. Invited Panellist to Livable Cities Forum, Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI). Hamilton, November 29th 2012 (30 attendees).
  • Insurance as Climate Change Adaptation. Keynote Presentation to the Intact Actuarial Symposium. Ottawa, November 28th 2012 (200 attendees).
  • Climate Change Adaptation and Financial Risk for Canadian Municipalities. Presentation to Mayor and City Council of Vancouver. Vancouver, September 2012 (25 attendees).
  • Climate Change Risks and Insurance. Keynote Address to the 2012 HUB International Conference. Chilliwack, BC., September 2012 (400 attendees).
  • Assistant Professor at the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) at the University of Waterloo
Global Political Economy / Waterloo Political Economy Group (WatPEG)
  • Ph.D., University of Waterloo, Balsillie School of International Affairs (2011)
  • M.A., University of Western Ontario, Political Science (2006)
  • B.A., University of Western Ontario, Political Science and History (2005)

“I highly recommend the Balsillie School of International Affairs for any student looking to engage in research and policy debates that are needed to combat the challenges of the 21st century. As the first PhD graduate from the program, I have benefitted tremendously from my exposure to some of the world’s leading thinkers on public policy and governance. Through this experience, I was able to develop a research agenda on the interface between financial market decision-making and environmental risk. This research has helped secure a tenure track appointment in addition to significant opportunity to engage senior corporate and government decision-makers.”


  • Thistlethwaite Jason. 2015. Professional Accounting and Environmental Governance. (forthcoming) in Lasse Folk Henriksen and Leonard Seabrooke eds (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Forthcoming ).
  • Thistlethwaite, Jason. 2014. Private Governance and Sustainable Finance. 4 (1): 1-15.
  • Helleiner, Eric, and Jason Thistlethwaite. 2013. Subprime Catalyst: Financial Regulatory Reform and the Strengthening of U.S. Carbon Market Governance. 7.
  • Clapp, Jennifer, and Jason Thistlethwaite. 2013. Private Voluntary Programs in Environmental Governance: Climate Change and the Financial Sector.. edited by Ronit Schneider (43-47) New York: United Nations University Press 2012.
    Thistlethwaite, Jason. 2012. The ClimateWise Principles: Self-Regulating Climate Change Risks in the Insurance Sector. (51: 121-147).
  • Thistlethwaite, Jason. 2011. Counting the environment: The Environmental Implications of International Accounting Standards. (11(5): 75-97).

Academic/Professional Award

  • Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2009-2011)
  • Balsillie Fellowship, Balsillie School of International Affairs (2008-2011)

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