Cities and Climate Action Forum

The Cities & Climate Action Forum was launched with a $125,000 start-up grant from the Climate Action Fund of Environment and Climate Change Canada in 2019. It is an interactive platform that seeks to empower youth, other community builders, and municipal governments to work for institutional climate mitigation action at the local level. Upwards of 60% of Greenhouse Gas (GhG) emissions are committed and/or regulated by municipalities. Cities must therefore be part of the solution to the climate crisis.

The Forum is hosted by Windsor Law with law students leading much of its work. Our mission is three-fold:

  1. public engagement on climate change and the need for municipalities to act;
  2. capacity-building for collaborative and coordinated climate mitigation action at the local level; and
  3. direct assistance to municipalities and other local institutions.

The Cities and Climate Action Forum experiential learning course is open to 2L and 3L Windsor Law students.  Students selected for the course will undertake a programme of research and community engagement which may include: 

  1. Organizing and/or leading in-person or online Climate Cafés on topics related to municipal-level governance and climate action;
  2. Organizing and/or leading in-person or online youth workshops on such topics;
  3. Undertaking research on the legislative and policy tools of climate change mitigation to support municipalities, other local institutions and/or community organisations;
  4. Oral and/or written advocacy before municipal and possibly provincial and/or federal bodies on issues related to climate mitigation;
  5. Preparing materials such as blogs or research briefs to be available through open access on the Cities and Climate Action Forum website; 
  6. Preparing social media posts on topics related to municipal-level climate action;
  7. Other related duties as assigned/agreed.   

Actual schedule of activities will be confirmed with input from accepted students and is subject to change based on municipalities’ needs and items coming before council/requiring input. 

Clinic work will take place primarily on a remote basis. Limited face-to-face opportunities may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Applications are collected each year for the Fall, Winter, and both Fall and Winter terms. Students will be notified by email about application details and apply for the Cities and Climate Action Forum here. Up to 8 2L and 3L students will be selected for postions with the Cities and Climate Action Forum.


Pre- and Co-Requisites

Municipal Law is typically a pre- or co-requisite. If an applicant has not or will not be taking Municipal Law, they will need to demonstrate sufficient experience/knowledge of municipal law through professional or academic experiences. Such exceptions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Other important studies include Land Use Planning, Indigenous Legal Traditions, Environmental Law, Administrative Law, Construction Law, Community-Engaged Lawyering and Community Organization, Clinical Placement, and other Experiential Placements.


Applications include

  • A cover page explaining why you are a good fit for a position with the Cities and Climate Action Forum, highlighting any experience related to municipal law and policy, land use planning, indigenous legal traditions, environmental law, and related fields, also indicating any community work, legal or otherwise;
  • Your resume/CV;
  • Your law school transcript (unofficial documents will suffice).


Students participating in the Cities and Climate Action Forum for one term will earn 3 credits. Those participating in both the Fall and Winter terms will earn 6 credits and have selection priority.

Numerical grades will be used to evaluate students.

Contact Prof Anneke Smit with any questions about the Cities and Climate Action Forum.

Additional information can also be found here.

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