Sept. 22: Political Obstacles and Opportunities for Canadian Climate Policy

Sep 22, 2022
  • Wednesday, September 22, 2022, 1pm - 3pm
  • Location:
    Peter Wall Institute
    Seminar Room (Room 307)
    6331 Crescent Road, UBC

The Wall Catalyst Emeriti cohort meet monthly to share research experience and engage with guest lecturers on the topic of the “Climate and Nature Emergency”. Their first guest lecturer on September 22 is Kathryn Harrison, Professor of Political Science, UBC and COP26 (Conference of the Parties) delegate in Glasgow, 2021. This event is open to all to attend in person or over Zoom.




Kathryn Harrison is a Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. Harrison received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering from Western University and MIT, and a PhD in Political Science from UBC. Before entering academia, Harrison worked as a chemical engineer in the oil industry, and as a policy analyst for the United States Congress and Environment Canada. She has been a visiting scholar at Resources for the Future, the University of Melbourne, the University of California Berkeley, and the European University Institute. She has widely published on Canadian and US environmental and climate policy, most recently in Nature Climate Change, Science, and Global Environmental Politics. Harrison has advised governments from the local to international level, and is currently chair of an Expert Advisory Panel of the Canadian Climate Institute and a member of the BC Climate Solutions Council.  Harrison is a frequent media commentator on climate policy, and tweets at @profkharrison.


Canada has a three-decade track record of missed emissions targets, failed climate plans, and weak or abandoned regulatory standards. This presentation will provide an overview of obstacles that have contributed to that failure, including oil and gas export dependence, carbon-intensive households, a growing partisan divide on climate, and federalism, all of which still loom large today. However, I’ll also consider political shifts at this critical moment in the climate crisis: visibility of tragic and costly climate impacts, evolving NGO and Indigenous strategies, US climate legislation and regulatory ambitions, and a new legislative accountability regime.

Thursday, 22 September 2022 – 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Peter Wall Institute, Seminar Room (Room 307), 6331 Crescent Road