The North American Colloquium (NAC) climate policy webinar series, which I am helping organize along with Professor Barry Rabe as part of my postdoctoral fellowship this year at the Ford School, continues this semester, and I am very excited about the line-up we have in store!
Our first webinar session is scheduled for February 3rd. It will emphasize climate policy developments and prospects from the perspective of our neighbors to the north (Canada) and south (Mexico). After Andrés Ávila, the executive director of a Mexican environmental NGO updates our audience on the state of climate policy efforts in his country, and in particular how his organization is adapting its strategy in light of the challenges making headway on this issue with the current national government, we will hear from Canadian scholar Debora VanNijnatten and Mexican scholar Marcela López-Vallejo. The two will have a conversation about what the last four years of Trump have meant in terms of setbacks for bilateral and/or trilateral cooperation on climate, as well as the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the coming years.
Our second webinar session is scheduled for February 25th. The topic will be the “politics of pipelines,” and we’ll hear about the findings of two teams of top notch researchers, both of which have studied the politics of oil/gas pipeline construction/expansion from a comparative perspective. André Lecours’ and Daniel Béland’s paper asks why Canadian pipeline projects (in British Columbia and Québec) have been fraught with controversies and have blown up into highly salient national political issues while pipeline projects to transport oil in the United States have moved forward quietly and without the same sort of visibility and controversy. Meanwhile Amy Janzwood’s, Sarah Martin’s, and Kate Neville’s paper compares multiple pipeline projects within Canada and focuses on the question of how and why these proposals stalled over time, how “projects that were once confidently framed by proponents as commercially viable became unviable.”
Our third webinar session is scheduled for March 9 and will feature a former California Public Utility Commissioner and a leading Canadian scholar of energy regulation. Then, our fourth webinar session, on March 23rd, will focus on public opinion on climate and energy policy, and will feature researchers from all three North American countries. Our fifth session, on April 8th, will focus on urban climate governance in all three countries. Leading scholars will examine the efforts of the largest cities in all three countries and grapple with the question of how municipal governments are attempting to tackle a problem of global proportions. Finally, our sixth session, on April 20th, will examine the politics associated with the siting of renewable energy projects, and will once again feature research and researchers from all three countries. I will have much more to say about these sessions in the months to come.