Elizabeth Yeampierre is an internationally recognized Puerto Rican attorney of African and Indigenous ancestry and environmental/climate justice leader who is the executive director of UPROSE, Brooklyn’s oldest Puerto Rican community-based organization. She is also the Co-Chair of a national alliance called Climate Justice Alliance and the co-founder of #OurPowerPRnyc. Her award-winning vision for an inter-generational, multi-cultural and community-led organization is the driving force behind UPROSE. She is a long-time advocate and trailblazer for community organizing around just, sustainable development, environmental justice, and community-led climate adaptation and community resiliency in Sunset Park. In addition to that, she was recognized in 2015 by Vogue as a Climate Warrior and one of the 13 women on the frontline fighting against Climate Change.
Ms. Yeampierre has been a featured speaker at local, national and international forums. Her work is featured in several books, in addition, being featured in Latina Magazine, VOGUE, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Grist, American Prospect, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, Democracy Now, The Intercept, and a variety of media outlets throughout the United States, Latin America, and Europe. In 2014, Ms. Yeampierre was part of the leadership of the People’s Climate March Mobilization – a march of over 400,000 people across New York City. She played a major role in ensuring the frontline was made up of young people of color, and successfully proposed the adoption of the Jemez principles for democratic organizing, which have since become the roadmap to building just relationships in the climate justice movement. Elizabeth was recently featured by in NY Times as a visionary paving the path to Climate Justice.
Phillippines Human Rights Commissioner Roberto Eugenio T. Cadiz
Commissioner Roberto Eugenio T. Cadiz is the focal commissioner for Sustainable Development Goals; International Humanitarian Law; Peace; Environment; and Business and Human Rights at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the Republic of the Philippines.
Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Cadiz was a private law practitioner specializing in litigation while being the Executive Director of Libertas, a non-government organization working for an informed and empowered citizenry, adhering to the rule of law, and working within the framework of a functional democracy.
Currently, Commissioner Cadiz oversees the Commission’s Center for Crisis, Conflict, and Humanitarian Rights, as well as the Human Rights Education and Promotion Office. He is also presently handling the CHR’s National Inquiry on Climate Change and its Impact on Human Rights – the first of its kind in the world stemming from a Petition filed before a National Human Rights Institution - wherein climate change is couched within a human rights framework.
Equity in International Climate Negotiations
For more than 25 years, Sue Biniaz served as the lead climate lawyer for the U.S. State Department. In that capacity, she played a central role in all major international climate negotiations, including the Paris Agreement on climate change. During her tenure at the State Department, as a Deputy Legal Adviser, she also supervised the Treaty Office and issues related to the law of the sea, Somali piracy, the Western Hemisphere, human rights, law enforcement, and private international law. Prior to that, she led the State Department’s legal office for Oceans, Environment, and Science, as well as the legal office for European Affairs.
She clerked for Judge Dorothy W. Nelson on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, attended Yale College, and earned her J.D. from Columbia Law School.
She is currently an Associate Researcher at the French think tank IDDRI and has been teaching courses on international environmental law and the international climate negotiations at various law schools, including Yale, Columbia, and the University of Chicago.
Manjeet is the Head of LDC Support Team at Climate Analytics and has been coordinating the technical and strategic advisory support provided to the Least Developed Country Group (LDC) in the UNFCCC negotiations. He has been participating in the UN Climate Change negotiations since 2009 as a member of the national delegation of Nepal, and was a key part of the LDC efforts that led to the Paris Agreement in 2015, taking part in many of the high level processes in that negotiation in support of the LDC Chair.
Manjeet serves as an Advisor to the Chair of the LDC Group at the UNFCCC, and has provided high-level climate leadership support for the LDCs’ officials and ministers in climate change UN-related processes over many years and is responsible for institutional capacity on climate issues. He is also associated with Pokhara University, School of Environmental Science and Management, Kathmandu as Adjunct Associate Professor for Environmental Management.
Seychelles Ambassador Ronald Jumeau
Ambassador Ronny Jumeau is an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and former Cabinet Minister of the Republic of Seychelles. He is currently serving a second term as Seychelles’ Permanent Representative (PR) to the United Nations, Ambassador to the United States and High Commissioner to Canada since March 2017.
He started his career as a journalist in 1978, rising to Chief Editor of the Seychelles Agence Presse news agency and Seychelles Nation daily newspaper. He became Secretary to the Cabinet in the Office of the President of Seychelles in 1992 before holding several ministerial posts from 1998 to 2007. The last was Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, which included responsibility for climate change, conservation, water, forestry, agriculture and fisheries. Ambassador Jumeau was Seychelles’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador to the United States and High Commissioner to Canada for the first time from 2007 to 2012. He was also Ambassador to Brazil, Cuba and several Caribbean islands. From 2012 to 2017 he was his country’s New York-based roving Ambassador or Ambassador at large for Climate Change and Small Island Developing State (SIDS) Issues, which included specialising in oceans, sustainable development, island resilience and renewable energy, among others. The post was merged with that of Permanent Representative to the United Nations in 2017 when Mr Jumeau became the PR, as well as Ambassador to the United States and High Commissioner to Canada, for a second time.
He is the member of the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) representing small island developing states and of the Executive Council of SIDS DOCK, the SIDS global sustainable energy and climate resilience organisation. 2 He represents the President of Seychelles on the Board of the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) and was Chair of the GLISPA Steering Committee from 2013 to 2015. Mr Jumeau was Chief Spokesperson of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) from 2012 to 2014.
Caroline Dihl Prolo
Caroline is an environmental attorney and head of the environmental law department at the Brazilian law firm Stocche Forbes. She is also a volunteer legal advisor of the London-based organization Legal Response International and consultant to the international think tank IIED (International Institute for Environment and Development), providing legal support to the group of the Least Developed Countries in the UNFCCC negotiations since 2013. She holds an L.LM degree in international environmental law at the University College London and is currently founding a climate change law initiative in Latin America.
Emilia Reyes has specialized in gender responsive public policies and budgets and development issues, including comprehensive disaster risk management and climate change, and in those fields she has trained governmental officers from the Legislative, Judiciary and Executive Branch, as well as officers from UN agencies at national and regional level.
In the last 10 years she has been advocate for equality, human rights and sustainable development in several processes of international negotiations, like the 2030 Agenda, Financing for Development, Habitat, the Paris Agreement and other related instruments. Since 2013 she has been attending the UNFCCC sessions as part of the Mexican delegation on behalf of civil society. Since 2014, she has been one of the eight Organizing Partners (OP) of the Women’s Major Group for the 2030 Agenda, supporting women’s and feminists groups to enhance their voice in the process. For two years in a row she was elected as Co-Chair of the Major Groups and other Stakeholders Coordination Mechanism for the High Level Political Forum in the United Nations, which is the largest civil society official body to engage in the sustainable development platform.
Elkanah Babatunde is a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. He holds an LLM in Human Rights Law from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where he is also a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Law. Elkanah’s focus has been on the relationship between international law and domestic law and policy. His current research provides an analyses of Africa’s role in the juris-generative process of the Paris Agreement and the international law on climate change in general. This research explains the primacy of equity and economic considerations in Africa’s engagement with the international law on climate change.
He is currently with the Macmillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University as a Yale-Fox International Fellow.
Moderator: Joshua Galperin
Josh Galperin is a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and the Special Advisor for Environmental Law Programs at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (F&ES) . Prior to Pitt Josh was the Director of the Environmental Protection Clinic, Lecturer in Law, and a Research Scholar at Yale Law School. Josh was also a lecturer and the Environmental Law and Policy Program Director at F&ES. His research covers administrative law, environmental law, food law and policy, private environmental governance, the role of environmentalism and participation in environmental lawmaking, and more.
Public Health Co-benefits of Climate Action
Lyndsay Moseley Alexander
Lyndsay has more than 15 years of experience leading environmental health policy and advocacy campaigns to advance clean air, clean energy and climate solutions by helping Americans connect these issues to their core values. Currently, Lyndsay serves as the American Lung Association’s National Assistant Vice President, Healthy Air Campaign, leading efforts to reduce air pollution and fight climate change so that it does not cause or worsen lung disease. Lyndsay has a Master of Public Administration, with a certificate in environmental policy, from the University of Tennessee and B.A. in public policy analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and son
Rebecca Boehm, PHD
Rebecca is an economist with the Food & Environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. In her role, she conducts applied economic research to advance the development of a healthier, more sustainable, and equitable food system. Prior to joining UCS, Dr. Boehm was a postdoctoral fellow at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut, with a joint appointment in the UConn Agricultural and Resources Economics Department’s Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy. Her research has focused on understanding the implications of food choices for climate mitigation and adaptation, evaluating federal nutrition programs including the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program, and assessing public health interventions to encourage healthy eating among children. You can read her work in various journals including Climate, Food Policy, Journal of Nutrition Education Behavior, and Public Health Nutrition.
Dr. Boehm has a BA in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University, and a MS and PhD from the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy’s Agriculture, Food, and Environment program. She has been quoted in the Chicago Tribune, Vice Munchies, the Washington Post, among other outlets.
Jonathan Buonocore, Sc.D.
Jonathan Buonocore, Sc.D., works with the Climate, Energy, and Health team at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. His research focuses on the health, environmental, and climate impacts of energy, and the benefits of methods to reduce carbon emissions from energy generation, commonly called “health co-benefits”. His present health co-benefits work is focusing on understanding the health co-benefits of a carbon fee in Massachusetts, the health and climate benefits of green buildings, and applying these methods to investment portfolios. He is also currently working on improving the understanding of hazards posed by natural gas, focusing on less well understood parts of the oil and natural gas infrastructure, such as underground gas storage facilities, pipelines, and processing and refining.
He previous research includes the health co-benefits of the U.S. electricity generation carbon standards, the health benefits of installing offshore wind, onshore wind, solar, and energy efficiency, the health impacts of forest fires in Indonesia, and the full health and environmental costs of coal. He has also done research on exposure and health impacts of air pollution from traffic congestion, health impacts of cuts to public transportation service, and health consequences of changes to the chemical makeup of gasoline.
Dr. Peng is an assistant professor at the Penn State University, joint between the School of International Affairs and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She is also an associate with the Belfer Center for Science and International affairs at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a fellow with the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy in the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Her research aims to inform energy policy in both emerging markets and advanced economies to align their decarbonization efforts with local environmental and socioeconomic concerns, such as air pollution, public health, water conservation, and economic development. She utilizes a variety of modeling methods, including atmospheric chemistry and transport model, integrated assessment model, and optimization model. She received her PhD degree in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, and bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Peking University, China.
Moderator: Dr. Robert Dubrow
Dr. Dubrow has been heavily involved in the educational mission of Yale School of Public Health, as well as in research. Moved by what he sees as the greatest public health challenge in this century, Dr. Dubrow has committed himself to a new direction of education, training, and research on climate change and health. He serves as Faculty Director for a new Climate Change and Health Initiative at Yale School of Public Health, which aims to 1) create a cohort of leaders dedicated to addressing climate change and health; 2) establish an educational program on climate change and health for students across the University; 3) catalyze research on climate change and health utilizing Yale’s multidisciplinary expertise to generate innovative interventions and policy prescriptions; and 4) utilize public health science to support legislative, litigative, regulatory, executive, community, and other efforts to mitigate or adapt to climate change and to achieve climate justice.
Dr. Dubrow serves on the Advisory Board of Cool Effect, a program that identifies some of the best carbon emission reduction projects in the world and makes it simple for supporters to donate.
Dr. Dubrow has taught both Principles of Epidemiology I and Principles of Epidemiology II and was chosen by the Classes of 2002, 2007, and 2012 to be Teacher of the Year. He co-Chaired the Yale School of Public Health Accreditation Advisory Committee, which oversaw the School’s self-study process leading up to its successful 7-year re-accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health in 2014.
Historically, Dr. Dubrow’s research has focused on cancer, HIV, and their intersection. Most recently, his research has focused on two distinct areas: glioma (the main form of brain cancer) and HIV-related malignancies. He is currently developing a research and public health practice program in the area of climate change and health.
Indigenous Rights & Resistance in a Changing Climate
Grethel Aguilar, PHD
Dr. Grethel Aguilar is the Regional Director for International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for Central America, México, and the Caribbean. Last year, she attended Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as an associate research scholar and Dorothy S. Maccluskey Fellow in Conservation. She is an author and co-author of numerous publications in the field of environmental law and policy. Most recent publications include Governance of Shared Waters: Legal and Institutional Issues (IUCN-2009) and Forest Legality in Mesoamerica (IUCN-2015).
Dr. Grethel is a Costa Rican Lawyer with a Doctorate Degree from the University of Alicante Spain where she developed the thesis: “Legal Instruments for access to Genetic Resources and associated traditional knowledge in indigenous territories” obtaining the title of Doctor of Law Outstanding “cum laude”. Since 2005 she has been leading the work of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for Central America, México, and the Caribbean as the IUCN Regional Director. Since 2017 she also provides support to IUCN Regional office in South America.
Between 1992 and 1996 she formed part of the Costa Rican Environmental Law Center advocating for the rights of indigenous peoples and nature conservation. Between 1996 and 2005 she has worked as a consultant on Environmental Law and Sustainable Development for various organizations and governments; among them the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), The Central American Commission on Development and Environment (CCAD), The Ramsar Convention. Between 2001-2003, she provided expert advice on Access to genetic resources and benefit sharing to the Division of Environmental Conventions and to the Executive Director of UNEP. In the academic field, she has taught at the University of Costa Rica, the Latin American University of Science and Technology, The Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) and the Metropolitan Autonomous University of México. As Regional Director of IUCN, she seeks to promote and strengthen the mission of a just world that values and conserves nature.
Ozawa Bineshi Albert
Ozawa Bineshi Albert is Yuchi and Chippewa and is the Movement Building coordinator with the Indigenous Environmental Network. A graduate in Indigenous Liberal Studies at the Institute of American Indian Art. She served as the Operations Director of the Native American Voters Alliance and a lobbyist for Strong Families. She grew up in the movement and her work over last 29 years has primarily been in environmental justice and Native/indigenous rights. She began her organizing work with the Native Lands Toxics Campaign of Greenpeace. She was founding board member of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN).
Jennifer Skene is an Environmental Law Fellow with NRDC’s Canada Project. She works with Indigenous Peoples and Canadian partners to safeguard the boreal forest from industrial logging and other threats and promote Indigenous-led forest protection. Skene first joined NRDC as a Ford Fellow in 2014. After a judicial clerkship with the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, she rejoined the Canada Project as a consultant for two years until returning as a fellow through a joint program between NRDC and Yale Law School. Skene holds a JD from Yale Law School and a bachelor’s of science from Northwestern University School of Communication. She is based in Santa Monica, CA.
Gerald Torres is a Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School, as well as the Jane M.G. Foster Professor of Law at Cornell Law School. He is an authority on critical race theory, environmental law, and federal Indian Law, and has previously served as the Bryant Smith Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law, as well as Associate Dean at the University of Minnesota Law School. He is the former president of the Association of American Law Schools, has served as deputy assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and as counsel to the then-U.S. attorney general Janet Reno. Professor Torres is a Trustee of NRDC and is currently board chair of EarthDay Network. He has served as a board member of the Environmental Law Institute and was recently awarded The Living Legacy Award from GreenLatinos a national Latino Environmental Group.
Moderator: Jameson Sweet
Jimmy Sweet (Lakota/Dakota) is Assistant Professor of American Studies at Rutgers University. Sweet specializes in Native American and Indigenous studies with a concentration on interactions between American Indians and Euro-Americans. His current book project, “The ‘Mixed-Blood’ Moment: Race, Law, and Mixed-Ancestry Dakota Indians in the Nineteenth-Century Midwest” analyzes the legal and racial complexities of American Indians of mixed Indian and European ancestry with a focus on kinship, family history, land dispossession, citizenship, and the Dakota language. He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Minnesota.
Leaving Home: Displacement in the Context of Climate Change
Isra Chaker is a certified project manager (PMP), campaigns and advocacy expert, social justice activist, and public speaker. She serves as the Refugee Campaign Lead at one of the leading international NGOs in the world, Oxfam; where she uses her campaigns expertise in managing this campaign that advocates for vulnerable people such as refugees, asylees, temporary protected status (TPS) holders, and opposes discriminatory policies such as the Muslim Bans. Isra is also the CEO of Chaker Solutions LLC, a company that specializes in providing training in leadership, project management, advocacy, policy strategy, and information technology solutions. Her vision for this company has been to go beyond being a motivational speaker by providing communities with the knowledge, tools and confidence to become effective leaders in their careers and communities.
Isra served as the Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator at Syria Relief and Development; a lead humanitarian NGO working on the ground in Syria. She served as a lead advocate in the United Nations, meeting with Special Envoy to Syria, Stefan De Mistura in consultations on the greater Syria strategy. Her leadership elevated her voice to the highest level meetings at the White House, Capitol Hill, the US National Security Council and the United Nations Security Council. In addition, Isra served as a Fellow for President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaign; where she used extensive grass-roots mobilizing to support in the successful victory for President Obama in Colorado. Isra received her bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Colorado Boulder and her master’s degree in Global Affairs and Public Policy from George Mason University.
Isra is a firm believer in positive social change and believes that “Change is On Us”. She created a social media platform @IsraSpeaks to empower people around the world to use their personal narrative to become engaged and active citizens who use their voice to create positive change. She uses her platform to educate people on social justice and political challenges facing humanity, to advocate for underrepresented populations, and to put a spotlight on leaders and organizations doing positive social change work. Isra has been invited to speak at the United Nations, major global conferences, and a multitude of local organizations and university campuses across the United States. Her story of choosing a life of purpose to break stereotypes of Muslim women because of harassment and discrimination she endured growing up, is the reason she is a powerful, eloquent and successful public speaker and engaging over 200,000 people on her social media platforms.
Alice Thomas is a Senior Policy Advisor and Program Manager at Refugees International. An expert on vulnerable communities displaced by extreme weather and climate change, Ms. Thomas has more than 15 years of experience in international environmental law and policy and humanitarian affairs. She launched the Climate Displacement Program at Refugees International in 2010 to advocate for solutions to address the impact of disasters and climate change on forced migration of vulnerable communities around the globe. Since joining RI, Ms. Thomas has conducted over a dozen independent assessments of the response to humanitarian crises brought on by extreme weather events including in Puerto Rico, Haiti, Somalia, and the Philippines. She has presented her findings to government and UN officials, and at numerous think tanks including the Brookings Institution and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She is a member of the Advisory Committee to the Platform on Disaster Displacement (Nansen Initiative) and of the Advisory Group on Climate Change and Human Mobility, which provides technical support to state parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Prior to joining RI, Ms. Thomas was a staff attorney in the International Program at EarthJustice where she devised legal strategies to mitigate climate pollution and address climate impacts on vulnerable populations. She has also held several positions at the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative including as Deputy Director of the Asia Law Initiative. She started her career in private law practice. She received her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School and a B.A. in History from Princeton University.
Juliana Vélez Echeverri
Juliana Vélez Echeverri is a lawyer specializing in Environmental Law (Universidad Externado de Colombia). She coordinates research in risk management and environmental displacement at the Centro Latinoamericano de Estudios Ambientales (CELEAM). Juliana has experience in research and public interest advocacy regarding human rights and environmental issues gained at CELEAM, the Legal Clinic for Public Interest and Environmental Conflicts at the University of Medellín, and Global Witness. Since 2013, she has legally advised communities displaced by environmental disasters in Medellín, Colombia and is an author of a number of academic papers on the subject.
Maya Prabhu, MD, LLB is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Law and Psychiatry in the School of Medicine. One of her areas of clinical focus is the treatment and care of refugees and the forensic evaluations of persons seeking asylum. Prior to returning to medicine full time, she practiced law with Davis Polk and Wardwell in New York and was a Deputy Counsel with the UN Oil-for-Food Investigation. She has also worked with the Canadian International Affairs unit of Health Canada and the Canadian International Development Agency. She continues research at the nexus of international law and health.
Moderator: Conor Dwyer Reynolds
Conor Dwyer Reynolds is a Clinical Lecturer in Law, Associate Research Scholar in Law, and Environmental Law Fellow at Yale Law School. Reynolds co-directs Yale’s Environmental Protection Clinic, co-teaches Environmental Law, and is a supervising fellow in the Rule of Law Clinic. His work focuses on democracy, tort law, and environmental law. Reynolds is a native of Rochester, New York.
Protecting Tomorrow: Intergenerational Justice
Randall S. Abate
Randall S. Abate is the inaugural Rechnitz Family / Urban Coast Institute Endowed Chair in Marine and Environmental Law and Policy, and a Professor in the Department of Political Science and Sociology, at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. He teaches courses in domestic and international environmental law, constitutional law, and animal law. Professor Abate joined the Monmouth faculty in 2018 with 24 years of full-time law teaching experience at six U.S. law schools. He has taught international and comparative law courses—and delivered invited lectures—on environmental and animal law topics in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Norway, Qatar, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Vanuatu.
Professor Abate has published five books—and more than thirty law journal articles and book chapters—on environmental and animal law topics, with a recent emphasis on climate change law and justice. He is the editor of Climate Justice: Case Studies in Global and Regional Governance Challenges (ELI Press 2016), What Can Animal Law Learn from Environmental Law? (ELI Press 2015), Climate Change Impacts on Ocean and Coastal Law: U.S. and International Perspectives (Oxford University Press 2015) and co-editor of Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples: The Search for Legal Remedies (Edward Elgar 2013). Professor Abate’s latest book, Climate Change and the Voiceless: Protecting Future Generations, Wildlife, and Natural Resources, is scheduled for publication with Cambridge University Press in August 2019. Early in his career, Professor Abate handled environmental law matters at two law firms in Manhattan. He holds a B.A. from the University of Rochester and a J.D. and M.S.E.L. (Environmental Law and Policy) from Vermont Law School.
Alexandre Gajevic Sayegh
Alexandre Gajevic Sayegh is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Political Science at McGill University. He is a fellow of the Research Group on Constitutional Studies (RGCS) and the Groupe de Recherche Interuniversitaire en Philosophie Politique (GRIPP). He was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies and a Lecturer at the Department of Political Science at Yale University. At Yale, he lectured on ‘The Ethics of Climate Change’ and on ‘Markets and Morals’. He also collaborated with the Governance, Environment and Markets Initiative (GEM) at Yale. He is particularly interested in ethics and its relation to markets and climate change.
His current research focuses on climate justice and development, collective action, markets, a green economy, as well as on the ethics of carbon pricing. He obtained his Ph.D. in Philosophy at University College London in 2016. His forthcoming book is titled Justice in a Non-Ideal World (London: Rowman and Littlefield International, 2019). The book casts light on the concepts that occupy the space between moral values and real-world politics. His articles have appeared in Ethics, Policy & Environment, the Routledge Handbook in Climate Justice, the Journal of Global Ethics, Moral Philosophy and Politics, and the Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. His recent research was supported by the FRQSC, UCL, Yale University and the SSHRC.
17-year-old high schooler, Jamie Sarai Margolin, is the Founder and Co-Executive Director of Zero Hour and the #ThisIsZeroHour youth climate action movement.
She is a fierce climate justice advocate, who has been working tirelessly for the last few years to move her home state of Washington to adopt common sense climate change laws. Frustrated by the inaction of elected officials and the fact that youth voices are
almost always ignored in the conversation around climate change and the profound impact that it would have on young people, Jamie started gathering several of her friends in the summer of 2017 to start organizing The Youth Climate March, which took place the
summer of 2018 in 25 cities around the world. The Youth Climate Marches and the lobby days that accompanied them sent a message of urgent climate action to thousands of people around the world.
The Zero Hour youth are now working towards their next actions, which will take place in Miami the summer of 2019. With her activism, Jamie strives to center the voices of youth on the frontlines of the climate crisis, and make sure that the climate crisis is tackled in an intersectional way that doesn’t leave underprivileged people behind.
Jamie’s identity as an LGBT mixed-race latina and daughter of a Colombian Immigrant and an Ashkenazi Jew influences her activism and passion to fight for those who are marginalized.
Nora Heaphy is a climate justice organizer with Fossil Free Yale, a campaign demanding that Yale University direct its fund managers to cancel their holdings in Puerto Rico’s debt and divest its endowment from the fossil fuel industry. She coordinated press and media for a coalition of students and New Haven organizers who occupied the Yale Investments Office last semester in the largest university fossil fuel divestment direct action in history. She is also an organizer with Yale Students for Prison Divestment and Sunrise, a movement of young people to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process. In the past few years, Nora has been involved in both electoral organizing and direct action, including the sit-in at Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office that launched the Green New Deal campaign.
Moderator: Mary Evelyn Tucker
Mary Evelyn Tucker is co-director with John Grim of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale. Together they organized 10 conferences on World Religions and Ecology at Harvard and were series editors of the 10 resulting volumes. She co-edited Confucianism and Ecology, Buddhism and Ecology, and Hinduism and Ecology. She has authored with John Grim, Ecology and Religion (Island Press, 2014) and Thomas Berry: A Biography (Columbia, 2019). With Brian Thomas Swimme she wrote Journey of the Universe (Yale 2011) and was the executive producer with Grim of the Emmy award winning Journey film that aired on PBS. In 2015 she was awarded the Inspiring Yale teaching award.
Climate Injustice Behind Bars
Bailey Riley has been doing prisoner advocacy work for nearly a decade with a focus on social prisoners and people who often find themselves in situations with less support. Prior to and concurrent with this work she focused on environmental liberation and has fought many campaigns mostly centralized around halting deforestation. She was a staff writer and editor at the Earth First! Journal, which has been around for over 35 years. She is a board member of the Prison Ecology Project and Vice President of Mutual Aid Disaster Relief. Her focus now is at the intersection of legal and prison abolition work. She is a pre-law student, enrolling in law school for Fall 2019.
Melissa Legge is an Equal Justice Works fellow at Earthjustice’s Northeast Office in New York.
Her fellowship project aims to use the power of environmental law to fight for environmental justice for the incarcerated. Melissa received her law degree from Yale Law School and a Master’s of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in May 2017. While in law school, Melissa was a student in the Environmental Justice Clinic, a teaching fellow in the Environmental Protection Clinic, and a co-Director of the Temporary Restraining Order Project. Prior to law school, Melissa was an organizer at the consulting firm Grassroots Solutions in Minneapolis, Minnesota, working on federal energy and agricultural policy and other progressive campaigns. She received an A.B. in Environmental Studies and American Culture Studies in 2010 from Washington University in St. Louis. Her hometown is St. Johnsbury, Vermont, in Vermont’s beautiful Northeast Kingdom.
Jordan E. Mazurek
Jordan E. Mazurek is a national organizer with the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons which seeks to organize grassroots resistance at the intersections of incarceration, health, and ecology. They are an Erasmus+: Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Fellow pursuing a Doctorate in Cultural and Global Criminology from the University of Kent and Universität Hamburg, using their doctoral thesis to explore the spatial and environmental justice implications of America’s toxic prison system.
Moderator: Doug Kysar
Professor Douglas Kysar is Deputy Dean and Joseph M. Field ’55 Professor of Law at Yale Law School. His teaching and research areas include torts, animal law, environmental law, climate change, products liability, and risk regulation. He received his B.A. summa cum laude from Indiana University in 1995 and his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1998. He has published articles on a wide array of environmental law and tort law topics, and is co-author of two leading casebooks, The Torts Process (9th ed. 2017) and Products Liability: Problems and Process (8th ed. 2016). In addition to his many articles and chapters, Kysar’s monograph, Regulating from Nowhere: Environmental Law and the Search for Objectivity (Yale University Press, 2010), seeks to reinvigorate animal and environmental protection and by offering novel theoretical insights on standing and inclusion, cost-benefit analysis, the precautionary principle, and sustainable development.
Climate Solutions: the True, the False and the Just
Nicky Sheats, PhD
Dr. Nicky Sheats, Esq., is currently the director of the Center for the Urban Environment of the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy at Thomas Edison State University and has defined the primary mission of the Center as providing support for the environmental justice (EJ) community on both a state and national level. The University is located in Trenton, New Jersey. Among the issues he is working on are particulate matter air pollution, climate change, cumulative impacts, developing EJ legal strategies and increasing the capacity of the EJ community to address these and other issues. Sheats is a founding member of the NJ EJ Alliance, the EJ Leadership Forum on Climate Change, the EJ and Science Initiative, and an informal EJ attorneys group.
Sheats has been appointed to several federal and state advisory councils including the EPA’s National EJ Advisory Council, the EPA’s Clean Air Act Advisory Committee and the New Jersey Clean Air Council. In 2014 he also served as a co-author of the public health chapter of the National Climate Assessment. Early in his career he practiced law as a public interest attorney. During that time Sheats served as a law clerk for the Chief Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (the local Court), as a landlord-tenant and housing attorney at Camden Regional Legal Services, as a public defender in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and as a legal instructor at a community legal education and college preparatory program in Harlem. He holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Princeton University and a Master in Public Policy, law degree and Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University.
Prior to joining the Legislature, Katie was the Principal for Valenzuela Garcia Consulting, a firm she founded to partner with environmental justice communities seeking to influence policy change. Katie was also co-chair of California’s AB 32 Environmental Justice Advisory Committee and a member of the California Office of Health Equity’s Advisory Committee. She spends her spare time organizing for change in the Sacramento area, and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the newly-formed Sacramento Community Land Trust. Katie was born and raised in Oildale, California, and earned her bachelors and masters degrees from the University of California at Davis.
Katie Valenzuela is the Principal Consultant for the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies at the California State Legislature. Established by AB 197 (E. Garcia) in 2016, this committee is charged with providing oversight and recommendations for California’s climate policies and investments. She also staffs her committee chair, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D - Coachella) in his role as Ex Officio Member of the California Air Resources Board.
Moderator: Dr Michael Mendez
Dr. Michael Mendez serves as the inaugural James and Mary Pinchot Faculty Fellow in Sustainability Studies at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Michael has more than a decade of senior-level experience in the public and private sectors, where he consulted and actively engaged in the policymaking process. This included working for the California State Legislature as a senior consultant, lobbyist, gubernatorial appointee, and as vice chair of the Sacramento City Planning Commission. During his time at Yale, he has contributed to state and national research policy initiatives, including serving as an advisor to a California Air Resources Board member, and as a participant of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s workgroup on “Climate Vulnerability and Social Science Perspectives.” Most recently, Michael was appointed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to the Board on Environmental Change and Society. Michael holds three degrees in environmental planning and policy, including a PhD from UC Berkeley’s Department of City and Regional Planning, and a graduate degree from MIT. His research on the intersection of climate change and communities of color has been featured in national publications including Urban Land (published by the Urban Land Institute); the Natural Resources Defense Fund Annual Report; the American Planning Association’s Planning Magazine; Green 2.0: Leadership at Work; USA Today; and Fox Latino News. His forthcoming book “Climate Change from the Streets,” will be published by Yale University Press (Fall 2019)
Exploring the Rights of Nature
Hugo Ivan Echeverria Villagomez
Attorney at Law and Doctor of Jurisprudence granted by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Quito, Ecuador. Master of Laws (LL.M) granted by McGill University in Montreal - Quebec, Canada. Alumni of the Chevening Fellowship Program, directed by The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on Environmental Governance at Wolverhampton University – United Kingdom.
Hugo Echeverria litigates and teaches environmental law since 2001, with emphasis on biodiversity conservation, the environmental rule of law and rights of Nature. Hugo Echeverria is a member of the World Commission on Environmental Law of IUCN.
Dr. Craig Kauffman
Dr. Craig Kauffman is Associate Professor Political Science and Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon. His book, Grassroots Global Governance: Local Watershed Management Experiments and the Evolution of Sustainable Development (Oxford University Press 2017) won the Best Book Award in Environmental Studies by the International Studies Association. He has also authored various articles on environmental law (particularly Earth Law and the Rights of Nature), ecological economics, and the politics of sustainable development. He is a member of the United Nations Knowledge Network on Harmony with Nature and a Participating Member in the UN General Assembly’s Interactive Dialogue on Harmony with Nature, tasked with providing recommendations on implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. A scholar-practitioner, his research and teaching is informed by more than a decade’s experience working for NGOs and government before joining academia, as well as extensive experience working internationally in Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Israel, Cyprus, India, and New Zealand.
Mari Margil leads the International Center for the Rights of Nature of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). CELDF has assisted the first places in the world to secure the Rights of Nature in law, including in Ecuador’s Constitution, and is a founding member of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. Mari is working in Nepal, India, Australia, and other countries, as well as with tribal nations and indigenous peoples, to advance the Rights of Nature. Mari received her Master’s degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She is a co-author of The Bottom Line or Public Health (Oxford University Press) and Exploring Wild Law: The Philosophy of Earth Jurisprudence (Wakefield Press).
Julio Prieto is an Ecuadorian lawyer specialized in Environmental Law, Indigenous’ Rights and Rights of Nature. He also holds a Master degree on Environmental Management from Yale University, focused on global environmental governance and ecology of restoration. Since 2006 he has been working as litigant attorney for Ecuadorian indigenous and farmers communities fighting Chevron Corporation over oil pollution in the Ecuadorian Amazon. At this position, he was part of the team achieving an historical victory and award of more than 9,6 billion dollars. He is currently helping his clients to collect the payment from Chevron and planning the ecological restauration for more than 400.000 hectares. His experience on these efforts brought him to collaborate towards a binding treaty on transnational corporations and human rights. He has also served as a researcher for Ecuadorian Constitutional Court and is the author of Rights of Nature, Rationale and Jurisdictional Enforcement.
Moderator: Linda Sheehan
Linda Sheehan is Senior Counsel at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF), where she manages programs, advances solutions to climate change, and provides legal counsel. Prior to LDF, she was Executive Director of Earth Law Center, where she advocated for nature’s rights. Ms. Sheehan also ran the California Coastkeeper Alliance and Pacific Region office of Ocean Conservancy, where she successfully advanced initiatives to benefit inland waterways and the oceans. For her efforts in “fight[ing] pollution of the Pacific and the streams and rivers that flow into it,” Ms. Sheehan was recognized as a California Coastal Hero. She holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from MIT, an M.P.P. from U.C. Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, and a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley Law School.
Challenging Power Asymmetries Through Inclusive Adaptation
Lilian M. Molina
Lilian Molina is an organizing and capacity building specialist on climate, environmental and social justice for local and national groups. A Mestiza Palestinian born in Honduras and raised in Chicago, Lilian first delved into the principles and praxis at the root of the Environmental Justice (EJ) Community as Youth Coordinator with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO). After LVEJO, Lili served as the inaugural Environmental Justice Director of the Energy Action Coalition (EAC). There, she led the development of a shared leadership model between the youth EJ movement and main-stream environmental movement. Notable initiatives include the Frontline Community Leadership training with more than 350 youth from impacted communities and the Frontline Environmental Justice Fellowship, one of several outcomes of working closely with the EPA to develop opportunities for more youth engagement in the federal decision-making process. Lili also launched the Movement Support Hub at Greenpeace USA, an internal operating system that made Greenpeace resources accessible to environmental, climate and racial justice community groups and alliances, accompanied by an external commitment to align with the Jemez Principles and EJ Principles. Her most challenging campaign is currently mothering two fierce, gentle loving, feminist sons ages.
Mr. Orr is the State Chairperson of Environmental & Climate Justice for the Michigan State Conference NAACP. Formerly, Mr. Orr worked as the Environmental Justice Coordinator for the Transnational Environmental Law Clinic at Wayne State University Law School. In that role, Mr. Orr also served as the Coordinator for the historic Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition. Before joining Wayne Law, Mr. Orr was the Executive Director of the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council. Currently, Mr. Orr also serves a Vice-Chair of the Environmental Justice Committee for the American Bar Association’s Civil Rights and Social Justice Section and is an appointed member of the U.S. EPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
Angela Park is an independent consultant, researcher, and writer dedicated to making social justice and equity hallmarks of progressive institutions—across advocacy, policymaking, philanthropy, education, and business. She helps mission-driven organizations embed social justice and equity throughout their operations and programs, bringing three decades of experience on sustainable development policy, environmental justice, equity and diversity, and organizational and leadership development. Previously, Angela worked at The White House in both terms of the Clinton-Gore administration, managing sustainable communities policy and constituency engagement at the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. She led research and recommendations to the President on wide-ranging issues from civic participation and environmental justice to sustainable economic development and smart growth. Angela coordinated state-level sustainable development initiatives at the Center for Policy Alternatives, focusing on legislation to promote renewable energy, public transportation, energy efficiency, and environmental justice. She co-founded and served as deputy director of the Environmental Leadership Program where she created its leadership development programming and launched and facilitated two collaborative peer learning networks on environmental leadership and diversity in the environmental field. She researched and wrote Equity in Sustainability (2014) and Everybody’s Movement: Environmental Justice and Climate Change (2009). Her work has been published by The Diversity Factor, Grist, and Yale University and featured in The Washington Post and Audubon.
Clarenda Stanley-Anderson is a global principals gifts officer with The Nature Conservancy, World Office. In this capacity, Clarenda works with the organization’s top donors, assisting them with realizing their conservation goals through philanthropy. She also works closely with projects and programs that support the historically oppressed, underserved, or vulnerable. Clarenda attended The University of Alabama in Huntsville where she earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and Troy State University, where she received a master’s degree in education. She has also earned the internationally recognized Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential. Clarenda calls North Carolina home and works on behalf of The Nature Conservancy throughout the US and world.
Moderator: Anthena Gore
Anthena Gore is a project coordinator for Public Sector Programs at Elevate Energy, a nonprofit dedicated designing and implementing clean energy and efficiency programs that ensure smarter energy use for all. In this role, Anthena manages outreach and energy efficiency advisory services to economically-distressed communities. Her passion for inclusive economic development has led her to serve as a council member of the Chicago Community Climate Partnership, collaborator with Do It Better Design and City Open Workshop, and previously as strategy advisor to the Environmentalist of Color Network. Anthena believes that a better future always starts with an honest, equitable conversation.
Urban Resiliency: Think Global, Prepare Local
Hassaan Sipra is currently serving as a Scientific Officer at the Centre for Climate Research and Development, COMSATS University Islamabad, where he is focused on air pollution, water management and climate modeling analysis. He is a former Yale Law School Gruber Fellow on Global Justice, an Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps Fellow and an Andrew Sabin International Environmental Fellow.
He has worked for Lahore Waste Management Company, the City of Palo Alto and Asian Development Bank in a variety of capacities related to energy efficiency, rural housing development and public-private partnerships. He holds a Master’s in Environmental Management from the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, and is passionate about increasing the role of technological interventions in fostering sustainable development in the Global South.
Colette Pichon Battle
Colette Pichon Battle, Esq. is the founder and Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy and develops programming focused on Equitable Disaster Recovery, Global Migration, Community Economic Development, Climate Justice and Energy Democracy. For more than a decade, Colette has worked with local communities, national funders and elected officials in the post-Katrina/post-BP disaster recovery. In 2015 she was a lead coordinator for Gulf South Rising, a regional initiative around climate justice and just transition in the South. In addition to developing advocacy initiatives that intersect with race, systems of power and ecology, Colette manages GCCLP’s legal services in immigration law and disaster law. In 2018 Colette was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate from Kenyon College. In 2016 Colette was named a White House Champion of Change for Climate Equity and in 2015, was selected as an Echoing Green Climate Fellow. In 2012, Colette was named an “Expert of Color” by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development based on her work to address the US racial wealth divide. In 2007 Colette received recognition from the American Bar Association and in 2008 she was awarded the U.S. Civilian Medal of Honor for the state of Louisiana- both awards were for her work around multiracial, cross regional alliance building in the Katrina recovery. Ms. Pichon Battle serves on the Board of Directors for the US Climate Action Network (USCAN), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and Gulf Restoration Network (GRN). Colette serves on the governance council for the Southern Movement Assembly (SMA), is an advisory board member for Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW) and has recently joined the Movement for Black Lives Policy Table leadership team.
Craig S. Altemose is the founding Executive Director of Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW) which works to build grassroots community resilience to climate impacts in Massachusetts. Craig also serves as the Executive Director of CREW’s parent organization, Better Future Project, a Massachusetts-based non-profit focused on building the climate justice movement. Since its founding, Better Future Project has helped shut down coal plants, prevent and delay new gas pipeline construction, advance crucial renewable energy projects and policies, and win key victories around fossil fuel divestment. Craig holds a B.A. in International Relations from Eckerd College, a Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School, which awarded him an Irvin R. Kaufman Fellowship after graduation.
Comparative Litigation: Climate Justice in the Courts
Dena Adler is a Climate Law Fellow at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School. Dena’s work at the Sabin Center includes tracking U.S. and international trends in climate change litigation and developing legal and regulatory tools to advance the efforts of governments and private actors to adapt to a changing climate and to mitigate the effects of climate change. During her fellowship, she has worked on projects related to the growing impacts of coastal flooding and hurricanes in the U.S., including new avenues for litigation, and written about trends in climate change litigation during the Trump Administration.
Before starting at the Sabin Center, she completed a J.D. at Yale Law School and a Masters of Environmental Management at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. While at Yale, Dena worked with the Yale Climate Change Dialogue and City of Paris to expand global action on climate change by designing legal mechanisms that could link climate commitments from cities, regional governments, and corporate actors to the international treaty regime. She has completed legal internships at the Environmental Defense Fund, Earthjustice, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Danielle de Andrade Moreira
Danielle holds a PhD and Master of Laws degrees from the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). She is an Adjunct Professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), where she teaches both in the post-graduation programme of Law and the Interdisciplinary Centre for the Environment (NIMA/PUC-Rio). She is also coordinator of the Research Group “Law, Environment and Justice in the Anthropocene” (JUMA), member of the advisory council of NIMA/PUC-Rio, and academic coordinator of the lato sensu post-graduation course (specialization level) in Environmental Law at PUC-Rio. Danielle is a founding member of the Association of Brazil’s Environmental Law Professors (APRODAB), where she is currently member of the Advisory Council. She is also Director of the Law for a Green Planet Institute and Vice President of the Deliberative Council of the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (FUNBIO).
Julia Olson is the Executive Director and Chief Legal Counsel of Our Children’s Trust. Julia graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1993 with a B.A. in International Affairs and from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, with a J.D. in 1997. Julia worked for 15 years representing grassroots conservation groups in the West. She helped protect rivers, forests, parks, wilderness, wildlife, organic agriculture and human health. After becoming a mother, and realizing the greatest threat to her children and children everywhere was climate change, she began focusing her work in that field and founded Our Children’s Trust. Her work has led her to the intersection of human rights and environmental protection and she is passionate about working for youth. Julia also teaches environmental courses as an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon School of Law. To rejuvenate, Julia loves being high up in the mountains with her family and her dog or playing tunes on her ukulele with friends.
Gabriela Eslava Bejarano
Gabriela Eslava Bejarano is a lawyer graduated in the Universidad de los Andes with a Minor in Journalism and Literature. She worked as political advisor at Colombia’s Congress where she focused on issues such as environmental justice, economic instruments for biodiversity conservation, payment for environmental services, human right to water and animal rights. She is currently a researcher at the Center for the Study of Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticiaa), a Colombian-based think tank dedicated to the strengthening of the rule of law and the promotion of social justice and human rights in Colombia and the Global South. Most recently she lead the group of 25 young plaintiffs who filed the first climate change and future generations lawsuit in Latin America. This lawsuit granted the Amazon Rainforest the status of an entity subject of rights and shed light on the debate on the correlation between deforestation and climate change in Colombia. Furthermore, the lawsuit created a legal precedent in the country that is being used today by other lawyers and activists willing to protect other ecosystems. Gabriela works at the Litigation area of Dejusticia where she focuses on issues related to environmental policy making and constitutional litigation.