Dr. Laurel Besco

Laurel Besco

Assistant Professor Geography, Geomatics and Environment
Office Location:
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga , Ontario
L5L 1C6

My Research Interests

My area of research expertise is environmental law and policy, specifically related to climate change, energy use, and sustainability management. I also undertake research related to sustainable tourism. My current SSHRC and UTM funded research explores how corporate environmental norms can be created and strengthened, and how legal and policy tools can encourage the production of these norms. Preliminary findings suggest companies view norm violations (negative actions) very differently than corporate social responsibility actions (positive actions) and that far more company resources are dedicated to ensuring norm violations do not happen. This asymmetry means targeting legal instruments at creating norms and public expectations could be a highly effective way to increase energy efficiency among corporate actors. In addition, I have a growing research agenda looking at law and policy approaches to reducing GHG emissions from aviation. In terms of impact on climate change, aviation is likely to increase its contribution as it has been largely left out of international climate negotiations as well many domestic programs. I am interested in Canadian approaches to dealing with emissions from both domestic and international aviation as well as how other jurisdictions are implementing similar programs.

I participate in the following research clusters:

Human-Environment Interactions

Graduate Student Recruitment

I welcome graduate students interested in undertaking research exploring connections between corporate norms and legal instrument choice as well as the social, economic, and legal dimensions of climate change, specifically as they relate to aviation. In addition, I welcome students interested in sustainable tourism research.