Shaping a greener future

Law Society launches free online course on Environmental Law and Climate Change.

The Law Society of Ireland has announced that Dr Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and Adjunct Professor of Climate Justice, Trinity College Dublin, will deliver the opening presentation of its seventh Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the topic of Climate Justice. This free five-week online course, ‘Environmental Law and Climate Change – Shaping a Greener Future’, is open to all and starts today, Tuesday 18 May 2021.

Director of Education at the Law Society, T P Kennedy, said, “With over 2,600 people already registered, this year’s MOOC is set to be one of our most popular courses yet. This strong interest is a reflection on the importance of environmental law and climate action and its position as an urgent societal and inter-generational issue.”

“Anyone who has an interest in the many different aspects of the climate change issue – environmental law, ecocide, fast fashion, green finance and much more – is encouraged to register and participate. You don’t have to be a solicitor to participate and the course is free of charge and open to all,” he said.

Expert speakers

“We are grateful to welcome some inspiring and knowledgeable speakers and leaders in their fields. Dr. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and Adjunct Professor of Climate Justice, Trinity College Dublin, will be joining us to launch this year’s MOOC to discuss Climate Justice. The climate change debate is often focused on the science and data, but framing the discussion in the context of justice brings it back to people – who is affected and how, and what can we do about it? ” said Mr Kennedy.

“The remaining lineup comprises a raft of experts who are leading environmental lawyers, academics, climate scientists and conservationists, including:

  • Conor Linehan, Partner and Head of the Environmental Law Unit, William Fry
  • Brian Carroll, Assistant Secretary General, Department of Environment, Climate and Communications
  • Laura Burke, CEO, Environmental Protection Agency
  • Vicky Brown, CEO, Cool Planet Experience
  • Pádraic Fogarty, Ecologist, Environmental Scientist, Irish Wildlife Trust
  • Deirdre Robertson, Psychologist, Behavioural Economics Team, ESRI
  • Aideen O’Hora, Sustainability Works.”

Accessible education

“This MOOC is delivered as part of the Law Society’s Public Legal Education initiative, which aims to increase awareness of the law by teaching people about our legal system and how the law impacts every part of our society both directly and indirectly,” explained Mr Kennedy.

“We know it has never been so important to offer accessible and reputable information. By delivering this year’s course, we hope participants can have a stronger understanding and foundation about the key legal and ethical issues affecting the environment and climate change,” he said.

"The course will examine several timely and relevant topics, including:

  • Climate change, including international, EU and national obligations
  • Climate Bill 2021
  • Climate Justice
  • Environmental law enforcement
  • Ecocide and green crime
  • The circular economy, plastics, fast-fashion
  • Renewable energy laws
  • Sustainable planning for the environment
  • Conservation and biodiversity
  • Green finance
  • Roadmap for change – what we can do.

“The course features online recorded interviews and streamed presentations, together with interactive discussion forums and quizzes that allow participants to engage directly with our expert presenters at any time, from anywhere in the world,” he said.

Register now

Registration for this year’s MOOC is open now and available free of charge. Participants can continue to register after the start date and can catch up on lectures on demand.

To register and for more information see:

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