Nathalie Chalifour

Nathalie Chalifour
Nathalie Chalifour
Full Professor

Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 3331
Office: 613-562-5124


Nathalie Chalifour is an Full Professor with the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa.  She is cross-appointed to the Institute of the Environment where she teaches and supervises students in the interdisciplinary Masters of Environmental Sustainability. Professor Chalifour holds a Doctorate in law from Stanford University (2005) and a Master’s in Juridical Sciences (1999), which she obtained as a Fellow of the Stanford Program in International Legal Studies, and Fulbright scholar. Professor Chalifour was elected to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists in 2018.  

Professor Chalifour’s research lies at the intersection of environment law, economics and social justice, with a focus on climate change.  Her publications address a variety of topics, including climate change, carbon pricing, environmental justice, constitutional law, environmental human rights, the green economy and sustainable food and agriculture. Her most recent articles focus on the constitutionality of carbon pricing policies and Charter rights in the context of climate change.  She is currently co-leading a multi-year SSHRC-funded project on Environmental Justice in Canadian Law and Policy (with Professors McLeod-Kilmurray and Thériault)She is the co-editor of three international books, including Energy, Governance and Sustainability (Edward Elgar, 2016), and a fourth collection on Food Law in Canada (Thomson Reuters, 2019).  She was a contributing editor for The Canadian Brownfields Manual, a looseleaf text, from 2004-2014.  Some of her research can be accessed on the SSRN network.

Professor Chalifour is actively engaged in the development of Canadian law and policy. She is frequently invited to speak at conferences and public events, and as a commentator in the media. She recently served as pro-bono co-counsel to Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission at the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, and the United Chiefs and Council of the Mnidoo Mnising at the Ontario Court of Appeal (with Westaway Law), in the constitutional challenges to the federal carbon price.  She served as pro-bono co-counsel to the National Association of Women and the Law and Friends of the Earth Canada in the appeals of these decisions to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Professor Chalifour joined the Faculty of Law in 2003 and has been actively engaged in university and community life ever since. She was a founding Co-Director of the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability, and remains an active member of the Centre. During her mandate as Associate Director of the Institute of the Environment from 2011 to 2015, Professor Chalifour led the creation and served as inaugural director of the innovative, interdisciplinary Master’s of Environmental Sustainability Program.  She continues to teach and supervise students in this program.   She serves as a member of the Advisory Committee to the uOttawa Ecojustice Clinic and helped found the Secretariat for the IUCN Academy of Environmental Lawwhich was housed at the University of Ottawa from 2006 to 2016.

Prior to joining the University of Ottawa, Professor Chalifour was senior advisor to the President of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, Senior Policy Advisor to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and established TRAFFIC Canada (an NGO that focuses on wildlife trade). She was also an adjunct professor at Widener University, and taught at the University of Nairobi, Kenya from 1996 to 1998.  .


Selected publications

Books edited (selected):

  • Heather McLeod-Kilmurray, Angela Lee, & Nathalie J. Chalifour eds, Food Law in Canada (ThomsonReuters, 2019).
  • Jordi Manzano, Nathalie Chalifour & Louis Kotze, eds, Energy, Governance and Sustainability (United Kingdom: Edward Elgar, The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Series, 2016).
  • Nathalie J. Chalifour et al, eds, Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation – International and Comparative Perspectives - Volume V (Oxford University Press, 2008).
  • Ahab Abdel-Aziz & Nathalie J. Chalifour eds, The Canadian Brownfields Manual (Lexis Nexis – Butterworths, 2004) (looseleaf updated annually to 2014).

Book chapters and articles (selected):

  • Nathalie J. Chalifour, Peter Oliver, & Taylor Wormington, “Clarifying the Matter: Modernizing Peace, Order, and Good Government in the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act Appeals” (2020) 40:2 N.J.C.L. 153-211 (Thomson Reuters).
  • Nathalie J. Chalifour & Dayna N. Scott, « Environmental Justice » in Alastair Lucas et al., Environmental Law and Policy4th edition (Emond Montgomery, 2019).
  • Nathalie J. Chalifour, “Jurisdictional Wrangling over Climate Policy in the Canadian Federation: Key Issues in the Provincial Constitutional Challenges to Parliament’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act” (2019) 50:2 Ottawa L. Rev pp 197-253.
  • Nathalie J. Chalifour & Josiane Rioux Collins, “Cultivating healthier, more sustainable food choices through taxation” in McLeod-Kilmurray et al eds., Food Law in Canada (Carswell 2019) pages 305-323.
  • Heather McLeod-Kilmurray & Nathalie Chalifour, “Food Systems and Sustainability” in McLeod-Kilmurray et al., Food Law and Policy in Canada (Carswell 2019) pages 93-112.
  • Nathalie J. Chalifour, “Drawing Lines in the Sand: Parliament’s Jurisdiction to Consider Upstream and Downstream Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions in Interprovincial Pipeline Project Reviews” (2018) 23:1 Review of Constitutional Studies/Revue d’études constitutionnelles pp. 129-174.
  • Nathalie J. Chalifour & Jessica Earle “Feeling the Heat – Climate Litigation under the Charter’s Right to Life, Liberty and Security of the Person” (Summer 2018) 42:4 VLR pp. 689-770.
  • Nathalie J. Chalifour & Laurel Besco “Taking Flight: Federal Action to Mitigate Canada’s GHG Emissions from Aviation” (2018) 48:2 Ottawa L Rev 577-625.
  • Nathalie Chalifour, Lynda Collins & Heather McLeod-Kilmurray, “Climate Change: Human Rights & Private Remedies” in Sébastien Jodoin, Sébastien Duyck & Alyssa Johl eds, Handbook of Human Rights and Climate Governance (Routledge, 2017), ch 31.
  • Nathalie Chalifour, “Gender and Climate Change: How a Gendered Understanding of Climate Change Can Help Shape Canadian Climate Policy” in Marjorie Griffen Cohen, ed, Gender, Climate Change and Work in Rich Countries (Routledge, 2017) pp. 232-249.
  • Nathalie J. Chalifour & Jacques Papy, “The cost of enforcing carbon pricing mechanisms: a comparison of the British Columbia carbon tax and the Québec emissions trading system” in L. Kreiser, ed, Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation, Volume XV, Carbon Pricing: Design, Experiences and Issues (Edward Elgar, 2016) pp. 16-31.
  • Nathalie J. Chalifour, “Canadian Climate Federalism: Parliament’s Ample Constitutional Authority to Legislate GHG Emissions through Regulations, a National Cap and Trade Program, or a National Carbon Tax » (2016) 36 NJCL 331-408.
  • Nathalie J. “Environmental Justice and the Charter: Do environmental injustices infringe sections 7 and 15 of the Charter?” (2015) 28:1 J Envtl L & Prac 89-124.
  • Nathalie J. Chalifour & Heather McLeod-Kilmurray, “The Carrots and Sticks of Sustainable Farming in Canada” (2015) VJEL17:3 303-344.
  • Nathalie J. Chalifour “Environmental Discrimination and the Charter’s Equality Guarantee: Is Section 15 an Avenue for Environmental Justice? The Case of Drinking Water for First Nations Living on Reserves” (2013) 43 183-222.
  • Chalifour, Nathalie, Scott Findlay & Heather McLeod-Kilmurray, “Science and the Scientific Method” in Science Manual for Canadian Judges (Ottawa: National Judicial Institute, 2013) Chapter 2, pp. 39-142.
  • Nathalie Chalifour, « Les instruments économiques et protection de l’environnement » in JurisClasseur Québec – Droit de l’environnement (Lexis Nexis 2013, mise à jour 2017).
  • Karen Bubna-Litic & Nathalie Chalifour « Are Climate Change Policies Fair to Vulnerable Communities? The Impact of British Columbia’s Carbon Tax and Australia’s Carbon Pricing Proposal on Indigenous Communities” (2012) 35:2 Dal LJ 127-178.
  • Nathalie Chalifour, M Amparo Grau Ruiz & E Traversa, « Multi-level Governance: The Implications of Legal Competences to Collect and Administer Environmental Tax Instruments” in Janet Milne & M. Skou Andersen, eds, Handbook of Research on Environmental Taxation (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012) pp. 249-272.
  • Nathalie J. Chalifour “A Feminist Perspective on Carbon Taxes » (2010) 21:2 169-212; Reprinted in J. Milne, Environmental Taxation and the Law (Edward Elgar, 2017), chapter 26.
  • Nathalie J. Chalifour “Promoting Environmental Justice Through Environmental Assessment – the Case of Fort Chipewyan and the Kearl Oil Sands Joint Review Panel” (2010) 21 31-83.
  • Nathalie J. Chalifour & Gavin Smith “The Pursuit of Environmental Justice in the McLachlin Court” (2010) 50 SCLR 509-538.
  • Nathalie Chalifour “Case Comment - A (Pre)Cautionary Tale about the Kearl Decision – How the Federal Court Takes Diverts from the Precautionary Principle” (2009) 5:2 JSDLP 251-287.
  • Nathalie Chalifour, “The Constitutional Authority to Levy Carbon Taxes” in Queen's Policy Studies Series (Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, 2010) 177-196.
  • Nathalie J. Chalifour, “Making Federalism Work for Climate Change – Canada’s Division of Powers over Carbon Taxes (2008) 22:2 NJCL 119-214.

Opeds (selected)

  • Supreme Court Case on Carbon Pricing is about Climate Change, not the Constitution, The Conversation, Sept 22, 2020(with Jason MacLean)
  • Sasktachewan’s highest court ruled in favour of carbon pricing – and it wasn’t really close on key issues, The Globe and Mail, OpEd, May 17, 2019 (with Stewart Elgie).
  • Work on climate, not weaponizing the Constitution, National Post, OpEd, May 8, 2019 (with Jason MacLean and Sharon Mascher).
  • Courts should not have to decide climate change policy, (with Jason MacLean), Policy Options, OpEd, December 21, 2018.
  • Saskatchewan, Ontario and the constitutionality of a national carbon price, Globe and Mail, OpEd, September 27, 2018.
  • Earth v. Emissions, Corporate Knights Magazine, OpEd, posted online May 29, 2017, paper version in June 7, 2017 edition of Globe and Mail.
  • Angela Lee, Heather McLeod-Kilmurray & Nathalie Chalifour, Canada’s Food Guide update needs to address Sustainability, Policy Options, OpEd, January 24, 2017.
  • Nathalie Chalifour, The feds have every legal right to set a carbon price, iPolitics (Oct 4, 2016).
  • Nathalie Chalifour, Can Trudeau keep his carbon tax out of court? iPolitics (September 24, 2016)
  • Nathalie Chalifour & Laurel Besco, Taking Flight and Pushing Off - Why federal action on aviation and maritime shipping emissions makes sense (2016) Embassy News.
  • Nathalie Chalifour, Trudeau's high-risk, high-reward approach to the climate file, iPolitics. (December 8, 2015).

Presentations (selected):

  • “Recent developments in constitutional law and carbon pricing” (Invited Panelist, CBA NEERLS & Department of Justice 30th Annual Meeting, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, November 1, 2019).
  • “Carbon tax on trial” (Invited Speaker, Group of 78 Luncheon Talk, Ottawa, October 29, 2019).
  • “Women and Climate Change” (Invited Speaker, LEAF uOttawa Person’s Day Breakfast, Ottawa, October 25, 2019).
  • “Supreme Court of Canada Cases to Watch” (Invited Panelist, uOttawa Public Law Group Speaker Series, Ottawa, October 11, 2019).
  • “Constitutional Challenges to the Federal Carbon Price” (Speaker, The Six-Minute Environmental Lawyer 2019, Law Society of Ontario, Toronto, October 2, 2019).
  • “Climate and Food Justice” (Panelist, Journal of Environmental Law and Practice 7th BiAnnual Conference, University of Victoria, June 8, 2019 – via Skype).
  • “Climate Constitutionalism: Equality and Reconciliation” (Panelist, Journal of Environmental Law and Practice 7th BiAnnuel Conference, University of Victoria, June 7, 2019 – via Skype).
  • « Carbon Pricing on Trial » (Panel, uOttawa, March 13, 2019).
  • “Développements récents en droit de l’environnement” (Paneliste, PratiquO, Université d’Ottawa, le 1 mars 2019).
  • « Twelve Years Left to Save the World? Climate Change and the Future of Global Governance” (Panelist, Centre for International Policy Studies, uOttawa, February 28, 2019).
  • « Environmental Justice” (Panelist, Level Justice uOttawa’s Joint Panel on Environmental Justice, uOtawa, February, 7, 2019.
  •  “Constitutionality of the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act”, (Panelist, CBA NEERLS & Department of Justice 29th Annual Meeting, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, November 9, 2018).
  • “The Constitutional Context for Federal Climate Policy”, (Invited Presentation, CIRL Environment in the Courtroom: Enforcing Canadian GHG Emissions Laws, National Symposium, Presenter, Université Laval, October 25, 2018).
  • “Les droits environnementaux au Canada et le Pacte Global” (Paneliste, Conférence sur le Pacte Global sur l’environnement, Université d’Ottawa, le 24 septembre, 2018).
  •  “Sustainable Development Goals and Universities, with Jeffrey Sachs”, (Commentator, University of Ottawa, April 4, 2018).
  • “Earth v Emissions: Environmental Rights and Climate Justice” (Co-Panelist, Environmental Rights Symposium, University of Ottawa, February 15, 2018).
  • “Cultivating heather, more sustainable food choices through taxation” (Co-Panelist, Taking Stock – Second Annual Conference on Food Law and Policy in Canada, University of Ottawa, November 3, 2017) (with Josiane Rioux Collin).
  • « Integrating gender considerations into Canadian environmental policy » (Panelist on invitation, Conference on Resource Extraction and the Human Rights of Women and Girls, University of Ottawa, October 26th, 2017).
  • “Le fédéralisme en matière de changement climatique” (Paneliste sur invitation, Colloque sur le partage des compétences en matière d’environnement, L’Université de Laval, le 19 octobre 2017).
  • “Turning up the Heat – Key Issues and Latest Developments in Canadian Climate Policy” (Panelist, 18th Global Conference on Environmental Taxation, Tucson Arizona, September 29, 2017).
  • “Taking Flight – Aviation and Climate Change Policy in the Post-Paris World”, (Co-Panelist, 18th Global Conference on Environmental Taxation, Tucson Arizona, September 28, 2017).
  • “Coming of Age: The Charter’s Equality Guarantee and Climate Justice for Youth and Future Generations” (Conference Presenter, Journal of Environmental Law and Practice Bi-Annual Conference, Dalhousie University, June 16, 2017).
  • “Incorporating International Norms into Canada’s Approaches to Domestic Human Rights Protection” (Panel Chair, Realizing Rights: Human Rights and Constitutionalism, University of Ottawa, June 8, 2017).
  • “Climate Litigation and the Charter” (Panelist, Ontario Climate Consortium Symposium, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, May 12, 2017).
  • “Sustainable Food in a Changing Climate” (Panelist, CELGS Speaker Series, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, March 22, 2017).
  • “Introduction to the Honourable Justice Moldaver” (Presenter, Supreme Court of Canada Reception, Constitution150 Conference, Ottawa, March 9, 2017).
  • “Turning up the Heat – Charter Equality Rights and Climate Change” (Conference Presenter, Constitution150, University of Ottawa, March 9, 2017).
  • “Environmental Rights in Canada” (Conference Presenter, Canadian Association of Environmental Law Students Annual Conference, Making Waves, University of Ottawa, February 24, 2017).
  • “Domestic Initiatives to Implement Paris – Climate Policy in the Canadian Federation” (Workshop Presenter, CIGI Paris Agreement Workshop, Ottawa, January 11, 2017).
  • Post-Paris Pathways to Sustainability: Climate Policy in the Canadian Federation (Conference Presenter, UNEP Regional Consultation, Ottawa, December 2, 2016).
  • Solutions climatiques pour le Canada / Climate solutions for Canada How should uOttawa address global warming?” (Conférencière, Université d’Ottawa, le 21 mars 2016).
  • Climate federalism - After Paris COP21: Next Steps for Canadian Leadership on Climate Change” (Conference Presenter, Multi-disciplinary analysis to develop strategies for climate action”, Ottawa, Canada, 2016).
  • “Climate Policy in the Canadian Federation – Options for a National Approach” (Conference Presenter, Climate Choices Canada: Economics and Policy, University of Waterloo, February 19, 2016).
  • How a Gendered Understanding of Climate Change can help Shape Canadian Climate Policy” (Conference Presenter, Les femmes et le développement durable, Université McGill, Montreal, le 15 janvier 2016).
  • “The Carrots and Sticks of Sustainable Agriculture” (Conference Presenter, Vermont Law School Environmental Law Colloquium, South Royalton, United States, October 2, 2016) (with Prof. McLeod-Kilmurray).
  • “Does the Charter Create a Legal Duty to Address Climate Change?” (Workshop Presenter, CIGI Roundtable Discussion on the Urgenda Case and its Possible Relevance to Canada, Toronto, September 16, 2015).
  • Gender and Climate Change: How a Gendered Understanding of Climate Change Can Help Shape Canadian Climate Policy” (Conference Presenter, Vancouver, June 25, 2015).
  • “Environmental Justice and the Charter” (Conference Presenter, Après le deluge: Journal of Environmental Law and Practice Conference Semi Annual Conference, Kananaskis, Alberta, June 6, 2015).
  • Integrating Sustainability into the Law School Curriculum” (Panel Presentation, Canadian Association of Law Teachers, University of Ottawa, June 2, 2015) (with Profs. McLeod-Kilmurray and Thériault).
  • “Welcoming Address” (Speaker, UNEP Stakeholder Forum University of Ottawa, May 26, 2015).
  • Climate Change and the Role of Canadian Provinces” (Panelist, Institute of the Environment, CIPS and GPSIA, University of Ottawa, March 26, 2015).
  • “Carbon Pricing Now” (Panelist, Debate about Ontario’s Carbon Pricing Options - Panelist – McNabb Community Centre, February 23, 2015).