Deborah Carlson - Staff Counsel
Deborah joined West Coast in June 2010 as Staff Counsel, and is responsible for the Green Communities program.
At West Coast Deborah recently completed a two-year project to develop Preparing for Climate Change, An Implementation Guide for Local Governments in British Columbia, a resource that explains the legal tools available for implementing climate change adaptation strategies at the local government level. A highlight of this project was connecting with local government staff and community members around BC who are meeting the challenge of a changing climate with thoughtful approaches, recognizing the benefits of designing urban environments with nature in mind, and living more lightly on the land.
Prior to joining West Coast, Deborah was part of the climate change team at the David Suzuki Foundation for four years. There she worked with Canadian municipalities supporting climate action in the lead-up to the Copenhagen climate negotiations, and also developed strategies and promoted best practices for businesses and decision-makers (including the Vancouver Olympic organizers) to manage and reduce the climate impacts of their organizations.
She holds civil and common law degrees from McGill University and was called to the B.C. Bar in 1997. After articling she practised litigation in Vancouver until 2002, including work on behalf of survivors of Indian residential schools. From 2002-2005 she worked in Geneva assisting Holocaust survivors achieve redress following the settlement of a major U.S. class action brought against Swiss banks.