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Governance-103: Ethics, Liability & Professionalism

Numerous occupations require practitioners to possess special licenses and responsibilities that hold them to higher standards, as well as demand special knowledge and skill, when undertaking their professional responsibilities.  Those practitioners working on climate change related considerations must discern between fact and fiction, and engage in difficult, realistic assessments of risk.  This course examines ethical duties, legal liability considerations, and one's professional responsibilities and aspirations in the context of climate change.

Preliminary Learning Objectives

  • Understanding the need to make distinctions between fact and risk, and the implications on the duties of professional competence
  • Considering how ethical standards apply to numerous occupations working on climate change initiatives, including how to locate relevant provisions of professional codes
  • Understanding the elements of professional negligence and malpractice, exploring actual legal cases involving professional negligence, and discussing how disclosures and contracts and defenses, such as caveat emptor and sovereign immunity, can minimize liability in various professional disciplines
  • Recognizing how the mandates of ethical codes do, and do not, influence civil or criminal liability, and distinguishing between the risks of professional discipline and the risks of professional negligence
  • Thinking about aspirations of professionalism, and whether and how non-mandatory documents associated with various professions should influence climate change professionals


  • Daniel Kreeger – Executive Director, Association of Climate Change Officers
  • Keith Rizzardi – Professor, St. Thomas University School of Law
  • Additional instructor(s) to be announced

Registration Information

  • Registration Fee: $50
  • Complimentary for ACCO members (login to ACCO member portal for discount to be applied automatically)