The Rights of People with Disabilities in the Climate Crisis
Note: The time has been changed to begin at 12:30 pm.
Prof. Sébastien Jodoin
Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair in Human Rights, Health, and the Environment, McGill University, Faculty of Law
Co-hosted by the Environmental Justice & Sustainability Clinic and the Disability Law Intensive
Despite forming 15% of the world’s population, people with disabilities have been largely excluded from efforts to tackle the climate crisis. Many measures aimed at reducing carbon emissions, such as the development of inaccessible low-carbon transportation options or bans on single-use plastics, have only reinforced social inequities for people with disabilities. Climate adaptation and disaster risk readiness policies have also generally failed to strengthen the adaptive capacity of persons with disabilities, thereby exposing them to disproportionate rates of mortality and morbidity. Citing examples drawn from Canada and around the world, this talk will demonstrate that it is critical that climate action be designed and implemented in ways that engage and empower persons with disabilities and meaningfully integrates their rights and knowledge. A disability-inclusive approach to combatting climate change is not only critical for protecting the lives and dignity of people with disabilities, it also has the potential to generate resonant impacts that enhance the effectiveness and equity of climate policies for society as a whole.
Dr. Sébastien Jodoin is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law of McGill University, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Human Rights, Health, and the Environment. Drawing on his lived experience with multiple sclerosis, Dr. Jodoin founded and directs the Disability-Inclusive Climate Action Research Programme, a pioneering initiative to generate, co-produce, and translate knowledge at the intersections of disability and climate justice. His research in this area has been cited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and has been covered by media outlets around the world, including the CBC, the BBC, and The Guardian.