This episode of the IRPP/Policy Options podcast considers how to address ecological risks, and was recorded at the Examining Institutions for Effective Climate Action conference, which was hosted at Queen’s University in December 2023. The conference brought together experts from Canada, the US and Europe to discuss different ways that institutions may be hindering climate action, and to propose strategies for better institutional design in climate policy.

In this episode, panellists Lindsay Borrows (Queen’s University), Arden Rowell (University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne) and Sophie Thériault (University of Ottawa) discuss themes such as the vital role of Indigenous legal institutions in climate law and policy; how to ensure that climate institutions are informed by psychological research; and the necessity of moving toward a just energy transition for Indigenous peoples in Canada and the United States.

The Examining Institutions for Effective Climate Action conference was organized by Cherie Metcalf, associate professor in the Faculty of Law at Queen’s, and was sponsored by the Faculty of Law at Queen’s; the Energy, Environmental & Natural Resource Systems Program at Texas A&M Law; and Emory Law’s Center for Federalism & Intersystemic Governance, with financial support from the Social Science & Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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Lindsay Borrows is an Assistant Professor at Queen’s University, Faculty of Law, where she teaches special topics in the field of Indigenous law. Previously she worked as a lawyer and researcher at the Indigenous Law Research Unit (University of Victoria Faculty of Law), and as a staff lawyer at West Coast Environmental Law.
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Arden Rowell is Professor of Law at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests revolve around environmental law, administrative law, risk regulation and human behavior.
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Sophie Thériault is Full Professor and Vice-dean (Academic) in the Faculty of Law, Civil Law Section, at the University of Ottawa. Her research focuses on Indigenous peoples’ rights in the context of natural resources extraction; Indigenous environmental governance; environmental justice and environmental rights; and food security and sovereignty for Indigenous peoples.