The Clean Energy Transition

October 17, 2019

The East Coast Environmental blog consists of a wide variety of environmental topics. Some blogs maintain a legal focus, some take a more sociological approach, while others lend a scientific lens to the material that they explore. The depth and breadth of these blog posts showcases the variety of interests and perspectives found amoung the many dedicated individuals connected to East Coast Environmental Law.

This blog post, written by East Coast Environmental Law Board member Matt Poirier, is one of a series of posts that profiles our organization’s board members; exemplifying the dynamic group of visionaries that make up the East Coast Environmental Law team.

On Friday, September 27, 2019, joined by my colleagues, I had the opportunity to march with 500,000 others in Montreal’s climate strike. We marched to send a message: it is time to take climate change seriously. The youth-led movement has inspired millions and is prompting further discussion on how to pursue a clean energy transition.

I am fortunate to work in a job that supports this transition on a daily basis. At Dunsky Energy Consulting—a leading Canadian firm specializing in the design, support, and evaluation of leading climate change and energy initiatives across North America—we support our clients in accelerating the clean energy transition. Our team has extensive experience in assessing greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions reduction opportunities in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and mobility. Within Canada, we have worked with governments and utilities from coast-to-coast-to-coast. In this job, I find it clear that more and more individuals are appreciating the work that lies ahead to successfully address climate change.

While technological solutions will help, broader change is needed to successfully mitigate climate change. This is why I am also proud to support East Coast Environmental Law. With the non-profit being one of the reasons I chose to study law in Halifax, I have been involved with the organization in one capacity or another for nearly a decade. Over this time, I have seen the organization push for commitments to be upheld, while pushing the envelope on new laws and regulations. As a Board member, I strive to enable our growing staff to support the creation of the innovative and effective environmental laws needed to maintain healthy environments in Atlantic Canada.

Earlier this year, East Coast Environmental Law delivered its first youth education project entitled, Youth to Youth: Law and the Environment. The project brought law students from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University together with high-school students at the King's Edgehill School in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Using experiential learning methods the law and high school students explored the realm of public interest environmental law. Youth to Youth connected young law students who are passionate about environmental law with high school youth just beginning to consider their career options. The program provided opportunities for transformative empowerment for youth grappling with the challenging and uncertain future that they face by creating greater awareness of the legal tools at their disposal. Such legal tools, if used, have the potential to be instrumental in addressing climate change and environmental injustice now and into the future.

East Coast Environmental Law’s meticulous work provides opportunities for the next generation of lawyers to sharpen their skills, while resetting the norms we all abide by in order to maintain a healthy environment.

If East Coast Environmental Law’s work appeals to you, I’d welcome you to join me and all of our Board members in donating to the organization in 2019.

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Mathieu Poirier, Board Member