"Dealing with climate change is among the most important challenges that will face Canada and the world in the 21st century. The impact of climate change will be especially felt by already vulnerable people, exacerbating the social and legal difficulties they face. It is imperative that lawyers and justice actors who desire a just society engage pro-actively in curbing climate change and mediating its impacts.”
– The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, former Chief Justice of Canada
The Law Society of BC’s 2023 Annual General Meeting will be held on June 27, 2023. Members can vote on resolutions during the meeting or through advance online voting, which is open now until 5:00 p.m. PDT on June 26. Visit the Law Society’s website for the full text of all resolutions and more information about how to vote.
FACL BC endorses Resolution 4: Member Resolution on the Role of Lawyers in Addressing Climate Change, and encourages our members who are eligible to participate to vote in favour of it. This resolution has been put forward by Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, Gid7ahl Gudsllaay, K.C. and Hasan Alam, Advisory Director for FACL BC.1
If passed, the resolution will require the Law Society of BC to encourage lawyers to take steps to address climate change and advise their clients as appropriate of the risks and opportunities of climate change; to set up a task force or advisory group to study the issue to develop practice guidelines and create educational programming; and to set an example by carrying out a climate impact report for the Law Society itself.
FACL BC’s mandate is to promote equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian Canadian legal professionals and the wider community. World leaders and governments, institutional investors, the Supreme Court of Canada,2 and innumerable stakeholders, including youth, have recognized that climate change is a reality, a global financial risk, and an existential threat to humanity. Recent wildfires, heat waves, and floods across our province have underscored how climate change is impacting us, with the most vulnerable members of our communities being hit the hardest. Further, studies done in Canada have demonstrated that climate change disproportionately harms Indigenous, Black and other communities of colour.3 In light of this existential threat that our communities are facing both domestically and globally, FACL BC recognizes that it is incumbent upon Asian Canadian legal professionals to formally incorporate climate change considerations into our roles as lawyers to ensure the well-being and livelihood of our communities.
As Dr. Carol Liao, one of the contributors to this resolution, aptly stated, "We are all going to be climate lawyers, whether we like it or not."
1 This statement by the movers of Resolution 4 provides more information
2 Reference re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2021 SCC 11.
3 The Canadian Climate Institute, Centring Social Justice is Sound Climate Policy: https://climateinstitute.ca/centring-social-justice-is-sound-climate-policy/
For more background on the resolution: