Blog: Faces of CELA, Amanda McAleer

What is your role and how long have you been involved with CELA?

This summer I am working as a student intern, and I have been working at CELA since early May.

What inspired you to get involved in environmental law and public policy?

In undergraduate I studied science, and I have always been interested in combining that degree with my legal career. Environmental preservation and sustainability have become a passion of mine over the past few years, so when I saw an opportunity to work at CELA I was really excited to see what a career in environmental law would offer. I really hope to give back to the community throughout my legal career and working in environmental law is a field that I feel really proud to be contributing to.

What’s the most rewarding part of working/volunteering with CELA?

The project I’m working on is very new and innovative within the Canadian landscape, which has been really interesting to see come to fruition. The best part about working with CELA is getting to see the abundance of people who truly care about effecting a positive change for the environment, and working towards a common goal with people who are passionate about the same issues as I am.

What do you think is Canada’s biggest environmental challenge today?

I think carbon emissions remains a huge issue within Canada and abroad, and as a developed country we need to make a more concerted effort to be a global leader in that regard. The damage caused by global warming is reaching a point of irreversible harm, which is scary to think about when looking forward to the longevity of the environment.

How do you think we can best approach this challenge?

I think we need more strict regulations pertaining to carbon emissions, particularly related to the quantity that can be emitted by corporations and the fashion industry. There needs to be policies that put much smaller caps on the quantity of emissions permitted that may be associated with punishment more severe than a nominal monetary fine, as the planet simply cannot continue to bear the effects of catastrophically high emissions.

If you were the Leader of the World, what environmental law or policy would you implement?

I would implement a policy that related to conservation, which would allow for the creation of more protected areas as well as protect endangered species. I am a huge animal lover, so I think as the World Leader I would put my efforts into the enforcement of their preservation.

When you’re not working on environmental issues, what do you like to do?

I like to cook and paint, which are my two main hobbies. I also love being outside and exploring nature, so going on a hike or getting to enjoy being at the cottage would be an ideal day for me!