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Jessica McIlroy, Regional Organizer for Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland (Community Climate Hub Initiative BC)

Saturday Spotlight Series

· Climate Reality Canada Team
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Full Name and Title
Jessica McIlroy, Regional Organizer for Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland (Community Climate Hub Initiative BC)

Short Biography

Jessica McIlroy is a sustainable energy strategist, passionate about driving change to realize social and climate justice. With fifteen years of experience in clean energy and climate action, she is continually looking for and creating opportunities to change policy, behaviour and industry practices. Jessica is currently a Councillor with the City of North Vancouver and works with Climate Reality Canada as the BC Organizer for the Community Climate Hub Initiative. In past work, Ms. McIlroy has held leadership positions with Smart Grid Northwest, the BC Sustainable Energy Association, the BC Green Party, Passive House Canada, Marine Renewables Canada and the BC Women in Energy Network.

Why did you join the climate movement/what pushed you to become interested in climate change issues?

The desire to protect the environment was something that started as a child growing up in BC, stemming from a love for nature, and expanding as I watched the environmental movement grow. That passion led to my educational and career decisions, completing a BSc in Environmental Biology and an MSc in Environmental Sustainability. I worked for many years on the advancement of renewable energy and policy and when our ideas of timelines and the climate crisis started to shift, I chose to get involved in politics.

What is one achievement you are proud of?

I'm proud of stepping in and taking on the challenges that come with political leadership and working to create change.

What was your most iconic/memorable Act of Leadership?

Leading the policy change in my City to align our climate targets with the IPCC and create a new citizen and environment task force to work with us on a new climate strategy.

What are some climate change initiatives you are currently taking part in?

Outside of the Climate Reality Project Canada, I currently sit on the Metro Vancouver Climate Action Committee and the BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council, I'm a member of the national Climate Caucus and I'm participating the first FCM Climate Leadership Course this fall.

What do you think is the most effective way for people to take climate action?

Outside of the daily actions we all need to collectively take, we need everyone to support local government politicians in making the tough decisions on how we build and live in our communities and vote for political parties that will commit to the targets and budgets we need.

What is a fun fact about yourself?
I spend as much time in nature as I can, but I also run as a way to stay mentally healthy. It may be a couple years before organized runs return, but I'm looking forward to the energy of a marathon again one day!