Kathryn Harrison on Political Obstacles and Opportunities for Canadian Climate Policy (Video)

October 21, 2022

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 was Kathryn Harrison, Professor of Political Science, UBC and COP26 (Conference of the Parties) delegate in Glasgow, 2021.


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.