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An image of John Drexhage John has worked on the issue of climate change and sustainable development for twenty years. Initially, John worked for the government of Canada and was responsible for developing Canada’s First National Action Program on Climate Change in 1994.  He shifted to the multilateral side a year later and served as Associate Director on Climate Change’s International Division in Environment Canada from 1995 – 2001. In addition to his chief responsibility as overall mandate coordinator for the Canadian government in the international negotiations, his major substantive responsibilities revolved around the carbon market, including the Clean Development Mechanism, Joint Implementation and International Emissions Trading.

In 2002, John switched to the independent policy research community by accepting a position as Director of Climate Change with the International Institute for Sustainable Development.  John built a comprehensive climate change program with a $3 million (CAN) annual budget, covering international and national mitigation and energy policy issues as well as ground level programs in the areas of adaptation and land use change.

Starting in the spring of 2011, John worked with the International Council on Mining and Metals in establishing their climate change program. As Director of Climate Change and Energy Management, until his return to Canada in the fall of 2013, he has focused on working with ICMM companies in implementing their principles based approach on climate change. This has involved policy-based discussions at national and international levels. Substantive areas of focus include competitiveness implications of carbon pricing for the mining and metals industry; ways in which public revenues can be effectively used to support a long term, sustainable low carbon transition; challenges related to reporting on emission related activities; and, opportunities for the industry to adapt to a changing climate. He also led the ICMM delegation at the Rio +20 conference on sustainable development held in Brazil in May 2012.

Currently, John is a Senior Fellow with IISD and Ecoressources, a Quebec based company responsible for managing a carbon co-op. He currently is a Board member of the Verified Carbon Standard and an advisor for Climate Strategies, a EU based research network. John has developed a strong reputation for championing a pragmatic, solutions based approach to climate change and sustainable development issues. His focus is to develop a more positive understanding of the way in which business can augment its contributions to a sustainable future.

John graduated with a BA Honors Degree in History and Philosophy at Calvin College, Michigan in 1978 and a Master’s Degree with Distinction in International Affairs at Carleton University in 1991.

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