October 26, 2023: IRES Professional Development Seminar with Tom Green

Tackling climate change and advancing planetary boundaries: an ecological economist’s forays into research, teaching, policy and advocacy.

Time: 12:30pm to 1:20pm

Location: Michael Smith Labs Theatre, Room 102, 2185 East Mall

View video here

Talk summary:

Ecological economists posit that rather than having GDP growth as the goal that trumps all others, societies should seek to build just and resilient economies that support human and ecosystem wellbeing within planetary boundaries. Long concerned about the accelerating ecological crisis, an ecological economist has worked in different capacities, driven by a desire to help shift society away from an economic path that is breaching multiple planetary boundaries and degrading the natural systems that humanity depends upon. His career has included working for an Indigenous government to advance land rights, as an academic researcher and university lecturer, and as a policy adviser working for environmental organizations. This engaging talk will be of interest to those who are interested in how those who draw upon an ecological economics perspective can inform education, advocacy and policy and the roadblocks, frustrations and windows of opportunity that emerge in a world still largely entangled in an economic worldview of ever growing GDP and consumption.

Dr. Tom Green, Senior Climate Policy Adviser, David Suzuki Foundation


Tom Green is Senior Climate Policy Adviser at the David Suzuki Foundation, working to advance climate policies to rapidly reduce emissions and accelerate the shift to a clean economy that delivers wellbeing within planetary boundaries. He advocates for strong federal and provincial climate policies, including on methane, transportation, clean energy transition and carbon pricing.

From 2019 to 2022, he led the foundation’s Clean Power Pathways project, a collaboration with university research partners that coupled strategic electricity decarbonization modelling research with public engagement to advance a national zero-emissions electricity grid by 2035.

Tom has carried out research and taught at Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá, Colombia, Simon Fraser University, Royal Roads University, Quest University Canada and the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University. He was a founding member of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics. He has a PhD from the University of British Columbia.

Tom previously worked as socio-economic advisor for Rainforest Solutions Project, a coalition of environmental groups that helped set aside 3.1 million hectares of BC’s Great Bear Rainforest. He also was environmental advisor and assistant to the chief negotiator for the Innu Nation.