The rocky path towards climate accountability in BC
Despite 15 years of efforts, B.C. has never met a climate target and is still not on track to meet them in the future. Join us for a webinar where we discuss why Sierra Club BC, represented by Ecojustice, took the B.C. government to court over climate accountability, the B.C. Supreme Court’s ruling on our case, what it means for future legal cases like ours, and what’s next on the rocky path towards climate accountability and meeting our targets.
The webinar features commentary by Matt Hulse, Ecojustice staff lawyer, Kate Kempton, an Indigenous rights and environmental law lawyer, and Jens Wieting, Sierra Club BC’s senior forest and climate campaigner, and is moderated by Dr. Shelley Luce, Sierra Club BC’s campaigns director.
It’s been just over a year since we took the B.C. government to court over what is in our view a failure to follow its own climate accountability legislation. A couple of months ago, B.C.’s Supreme Court shared its ruling, containing good news, bad news, and some inconvenient truths. Now that the dust has settled, we want you to hear from our team and Ecojustice lawyers about the mixed outcome of this legal case and why it will stay relevant as B.C. continues to struggle to meet provincial climate targets.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Matt Hulse joined Ecojustice in April 2020 as a project lawyer to work on climate accountability. Matt is keen to build provincial and national GHG reduction schemes that are effective and equitable for all. Prior to joining Ecojustice, Matt was an associate at Woodward & Co., working for Indigenous communities on environmental assessments and conservation of endangered species. Outside of work, Matt tries to spend as much time outside as possible – mainly cycling, hiking, or camping. He has also been known to write parody songs and make the odd music video.
Kate Kempton is a lawyer (Juris Doctor of Laws, University of Toronto) specializing in Indigenous rights and one of Canada‘s leading experts in Aboriginal law. In addition, she is well-versed in environmental and impact assessment law, mining law, energy law, and areas of international law related to Indigenous rights. Kate has a part-time advisor role with SCBC to support the organization with strategic planning, donor engagement and community partnerships – this includes helping to define and structure campaigns; determine campaign action plans, timelines and deliverables; and building contacts with Indigenous communities across B.C.
Dr. Shelley Luce has worked in leadership roles for nonprofits in Los Angeles for 15 years, most recently as the president of Heal the Bay. She is currently Sierra Club BC’s Director of Campaigns and Programs. Her focus so far has been water and forest protection, with an emphasis on community resilience and environmental justice. She is deeply committed to the vision laid out in SCBC’s strategic plan Growing Into Balance and honoured to join the SCBC team as we embark on a transformation to better center Indigenous voices and communities of color. Shelley is excited to lead the SCBC team to develop collaborative, innovative strategic actions with measurable goals and publicly reported outcomes. Shelley holds a Doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from UCLA and a BS in Biology from McGill.
Jens Wieting is SCBC’s senior forest and climate campaigner. He works on protecting B.C.’s spectacular rainforest and fighting global warming. His primary focus is solutions to maintain the ecological integrity and the climate-stabilizing role of BC’s globally rare temperate rainforests, from Vancouver Island to the Great Bear Rainforest. Jens is following climate science and advocates for strong climate action to phase out fossil fuels and speed up the transition to zero emissions. Growing up on the coast of the North Sea in West Germany, Jens became passionate about nature at a young age. After spending some time in the Amazon rainforest between high school and university, he got hooked on rainforests and became concerned about their fate. He studied land use planning at the Technische Universitaet Berlin.