SDG Discussion Panel

Climate change policy in a time of crisis, war, and rapidly evolving technology

Monday, February 6, 2023
7:00 PM, TELUS 150
Cost: Free

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Every week, evidence of looming catastrophic climate change seems to become stronger, including the 2021 heat dome deaths and mass flooding in British Columbia that underscored Canada’s vulnerability. For policy-makers, though, the task ahead of them is not getting any easier as they seek to navigate a changing global context. As the global economy recovers from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine rages on, the willingness to act aggressively to curb emissions has waned in many quarters. Closer to home, constitutional battles between the provinces and Ottawa are accompanied by fossil fuel culture wars and legitimate questions about our governments' capacity to deliver on the promise of a just transition. 

At the same time, new technology, from solar energy to electric vehicles, has advanced much faster than our policy ambition, leading to lowered forecasts of our future reliance on fossil fuels. In this talk, hear from two experts in the economics and politics of climate change on what we know, what we're learning, what we need to do, and the largest domestic and international challenges ahead.

This event was co-organized by the University of Alberta Sustainability Council and the City of Edmonton Change for Climate program.

Panel Speakers

Kathryn Harrison
Speaker Bio
Kathryn Harrison is a Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. She received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering before completing her PhD in Political Science. Before entering academia, Professor Harrison worked in the oil industry and as a policy analyst for both Environment Canada and the United States Congress. She has served as Senior Associate Dean and Acting Dean in the UBC Faculty of Arts. Professor Harrison has published widely on Canadian and US climate policy. She has advised governments from the local to international level, and is currently chair of the Expert Advisory Panel on climate mitigation of the Canadian Climate Institute and co-chair of the technical committee of the British Columbia Climate Solutions Council. Harrison is a frequent media commentator on climate policy, and tweets at @profkharrison.
Andrew Leach
Speaker Bio
Andrew Leach is an energy and environmental economist and is Professor at the University of Alberta, with a joint appointment in the Department of Economics (Arts) and the Faculty of Law. His research spans energy and environmental economics with a particular interest in climate change policies and the law.