Climate change calls for immediate action, and Environmental Justice (EJ) calls for fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people in developing environmental laws and climate policies. This panel will address the relationship of EJ in climate action, specifically addressing the urgency, fairness, and equity.
The discussion will highlight global and national issues related to EJ and draw attention to regulatory structures meant to address the EJ objectives here in New England.
Partner in Foley Hoag's Energy & Climate Practice
Carol Holahan advises large, competitive regional generators and other participants in the wholesale and retail competitive electricity markets on regional policy initiatives, changing environmental regulations, decommissioning and sale of plants, and matters pending before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
In addition to concentrating on traditional fossil fuel generation, Carol’s practice includes renewable energy resources such as large solar storage and biomass and has significant experience in the NEPOOL stakeholder process. She also has considerable experience with matters involving legal challenges to new or existing laws and regulations, environmental permitting, facility siting and assessment or limitations of liability as a result of the sale or retirement of generating facilities.
PhD faculty member in the Department of Economics at Northeastern University
Madhavi Venkatesan, PhD is a faculty member in the Department of Economics at Northeastern University. She is the editor-in-chief of Sustainability and Climate Change and the executive director of Sustainable Practices, a non-profit she founded on Cape Cod. An author of multiple articles, chapters, and books related to the relationship between economics and sustainability, her most recent text is SDG 8: Sustainable Economic Growth and Decent Work for All. Her text Economics of Sustainability is scheduled for release in late 2023.
Prior to re-entering academics, Madhavi was employed in the financial services sector, first as a market strategist (equity/fixed income), and following she represented three U.S. domiciled insurers as a senior investor relations officer.
Tanisha Edwards focuses on advising public and private companies on a wide range of corporate matters including entity formation, founder’s arrangements, angel and venture capital financings, exit strategies and general corporate governance.
She is an active member of the firm’s Business Department, working with clients in the clean energy, climate, sustainability and technology sectors on innovative business approaches to solving energy and sustainability challenges. Tanisha works with sponsors, investors, and developers on all aspects of renewable energy project development, tax equity, sponsor equity and debt financings, acquisitions, tax credits and state incentives. Tanisha has a passion for environmental justice (EJ) and has written and spoken on EJ issues drawing upon her experiences during her time working for an environmental non-profit evaluating EJ considerations and risks. Tanisha also serves as the ABA Young Lawyers Division, Environment, Energy & Resources Committee Chair.
Director & Senior Attorney, Equitable Regulatory Solutions of Environmental Defense Fund
Jolette Westbrook focuses on issues associated with an equitable transition to clean energy. She has an extensive energy background which includes serving eight years as a Commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. In that position, her responsibilities included overseeing investor-owned utilities and developing alternatives to traditional regulation. Prior to serving on the Commission, Jolette held the position of Director of the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board. Before working for the Commonwealth, she was the Managing Attorney at Southeastern Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation.
Jolette holds a J.D. from Northeastern School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Russell Sage College. Jolette has been active in such organizations as the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners where she served on the Board of Directors. Further, Jolette has been a keynote speaker at various events including the European/US Regulatory Conference and the Annual Conference of the American Association of Blacks in Energy. She is based in Massachusetts.