Climate and Sustainable Food and Agriculture


Climate and Sustainable Food and Agriculture

The Climate and Sustainable Agriculture Panel will address policies and approaches for sustainable and healthy food systems at the state and local level. Agriculture accounts for over 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions, yet it also represents a crucial climate opportunity with nearly half of the top twenty climate solutions agriculturally-based. The panel will address climate impacts from agriculture and solutions ranging from urban agriculture to sustainable procurement, plant-based food as medicine, food justice, and food waste. The panel will be moderated by Yale Law School Law Ethics, and Animals Program Faculty Co-Director, Jonathan Lovvorn, and panelists Rachel Atcheson (Deputy Strategist, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams Office), Latha Swamy (Food Policy Director, City of New Haven) and Chloe Waterman (Manager, Climate-Friendly Food Purchasing Program, Friends of the Earth).

Rachel Atcheson

Rachel Atcheson started as an intern with The Humane League and was promoted three times in three years to become Senior Campus Outreach Director. Rachel founded The Humane League’s campus outreach program and was responsible for its growth from 18 campuses to 52 campuses.

Rachel then moved on to work in the New York City Mayor’s Office as the Animal Welfare Liaison, also the only position of its kind in the country. She is currently Deputy Strategist for Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, working on plant-based nutrition initiatives such as launching Bellevue Hospital’s Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program and moving the needle to expand Meatless Mondays from the 15-school pilot to all NYC public schools. She is an At-Large Director of the SUNY Downstate Committee on Plant-Based Health and Nutrition.

Latha Swamy

Latha Swamy joined the City of New Haven as Director of Food System Policy in September 2018. Outside of this role, Latha also serves as the Senior Advisor to the Chair of the Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health, Dr. Ernesto Zedillo (former President of Mexico), at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. Her work broadly examines the relationship between environmental degradation and human health. Her research explores the linkages between health systems strengthening and access, food justice and security, gender equity, and postcolonialism in the midst of global environmental change – particularly their effects on those living in poverty, and innovative solutions that challenge the resulting systems of oppression.

Internationally, she has worked in India and Nepal with the MIT Poverty Action Lab using randomized control trial methods to evaluate the use of rural farmers’ social networks to promote new climate-smart agriculture technology uptake; in Haiti with Hôpital Albert Schweitzer developing interventions to transition smallholder farmers to agroforestry techniques to jointly address chronic malnutrition and deforestation; and in West Borneo, Indonesia conducting an independent mixed methods program evaluation at a rural clinic that aims to dis-incentivize illegal logging by providing reduced cost healthcare services in return for forest stewardship. Domestically (USA), she has worked conducting and managing clinical trials in anesthesiology and pain management at Hospital for Special Surgery, and as a Health Policy, Economics, and Advocacy Fellow for Physicians for a National Health Program.

She currently serves as a United Nations Ambassador for Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) and chairs the Junior Board of EcoHealth Alliance (EHA). She also trained in urban farming and food justice practices at Just Food NYC’s Farm School. She holds a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University, prior to which she pursued an M.D. and a Ph.D. in systems neuroscience at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Chloë Waterman

Chloë Waterman currently serves as the program manager for Friends of the Earth’s Climate-Friendly Food Purchasing Program where she implements policy and markets campaigns to advance a sustainable and just food system. Her work centers around reducing consumption of factory farmed animal products and growing the market for plant-based foods and regenerative, organic, and more humanely raised meat and dairy. Chloë previously served as the senior manager of state legislative strategy for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) where she successfully lobbied for a wide range of animal protection legislation and was instrumental in defeating pro-factory farming measures. Chloë holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Philosophy from Lewis & Clark College. She currently resides in Mt Rainier, MD with her two guinea pigs and a rotating cast of foster animals.

Jonathan Lovvorn

Jonathan Lovvorn is Faculty Co-Director of the Law, Ethics & Animals Program at Yale Law School, a Senior Research Scholar, and Lecturer in Law. Lovvorn’s teaching and scholarship focuses on the intersection of animal law, environmental law, and food policy, and the search for practical legal solutions that advance diverse public interest causes. Lovvorn and Professor Doug Kysar co-teach the Climate, Animal, Food, and Environmental Law & Policy Lab, which provides a creative space for students, faculty, outside experts, and non-governmental organizations to devise and propagate novel legal and policy strategies to compel industrial animal agriculture to pay the uncounted and externalized costs these operations saddle upon animals, workers, communities, and the environment. He has taught courses on animal and environmental law at Harvard, Georgetown, and NYU law schools, and litigated extensively on behalf of animals and the environment. Lovvorn also serves Chief Counsel for Animal Protection Litigation for the Humane Society of the United States, and as a board member and/or legal advisor to other animal and environmental protection organizations. He holds an LL.M. in Environmental Law from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College, and a J.D. from University of California Hastings College of the Law.