Larissa Parker is a second year law student at the McGill Faculty of Law, interested in climate litigation and innovative environmental law. She also holds an MSc from the University of Oxford, where she focussed on the human rights impacts of climate change, and a BA from the University of Toronto. According to Larissa, inaction on climate change is driving the largest rights movement of our time; one led by youth all over the world. Although young people have little ability to influence today’s political decisions, they will bear the brunt of climate change’s effect. This has led Larissa to support several climate litigation projects that focus on the rights of youth.
This year, she will be working on the pan-Canadian law suit that the David Suzuki Foundation, Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation and Our Children’s Trust, alleging that the government’s climate inaction violates young people’s rights to equality under section 15 of the Charter, as well as the the landmark lawsuit that sixteen children (including Greta Thunberg) have put forward against five of the world’s major carbon polluters under the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child.
Larissa also conducts research on the minority rights of youth and future generations as a Research Associate in the Law, Governance, and Society Lab at McGill University. Finally, she also supports the Youth Climate Lab – a youth-run non-profit – on law and advocacy-related projects. Named one of Canada’s Top 30 under 30 Sustainability Leaders for grassroots activism and volunteer work and one of Forbes Top 30 under 30 (EU) in 2017, Ms. Parker also won The Economist’s 2019 Open Future Essay Competition. She calls for accountability across generations for the devastating impacts that climate change has caused; as well as inclusive and intersectional approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation.