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Social Justice, Podcast, Environmental Justice

Climate Justice & Inequality: Environmental Law and the Politics of Extraction — with Eugene Kung

September 21, 2021
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Environmental lawyer Eugene Kung joins Below the Radar’s Climate Justice & Inequality series to discuss pipeline politics in BC and the role of law in fighting the climate crisis.

Eugene shares about how law has been wielded as a mechanism for enacting colonialism, and the various ways it can instead be a tool for effecting major change and upholding human rights.

Eugene discusses different legal strategies to mitigate climate change — from legislation and law reform, to legal challenges against extractive energy projects that drive pollution. He speaks to a positive shift that has seen more Indigenous nations asserting their own laws and sovereignty in decision-making, as caretakers of their lands. 

He and Am also discuss how to decentre whiteness and Western perspectives in the climate justice movement and the importance of connecting environmentalism with other social movements and systemic issues.

About Our Guest

Eugene Kung

Eugene Kung (he/him/his) is a staff lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL), working on Tar Sands, Pipelines and Tankers, as well as with RELAW. 

He is committed to human rights, social justice and environmental justice and has been working to stop the Kinder Morgan TransMountain expansion project.

Eugene was born and raised in Burnaby BC, holds a BA from UBC (2001) and JD from Dalhousie (2006) and was called to the BC Bar in 2008. Prior to joining WCEL, Eugene was a staff lawyer with the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre (BCPIAC) where he had a social justice law practice in the areas of Constitutional, Human Rights, Administrative, Anti-Poverty and Regulatory law. He has represented low and fixed-income ratepayers before the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC); low-income tenants of slumlords; Treeplanters and Temporary Foreign Workers before the BC Human Rights Tribunal; and families of deceased farmworkers at a coroner’s inquest.

In 2010, Eugene worked with the Legal Resources Centre in Durban, South Africa on Constitutional law cases involving access to housing, water, education and a healthy environment.

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