August 14, 2020 11:00 am – 12:30 pm EST | Watch recorded session
Rebecca Harvey, Sustainability Coordinator, City of Boynton Beach, Florida
Responses to COVID-19 have illustrated the important role of local governments and the need for them to have greater responsibility for and input on responses to systemic risks. At the same time, in light of budgetary constraints, multiple demands on resources and the fact that many public health and environmental threats do not recognize jurisdictional boundaries, greater coordination is needed among local enterprises – both between government entities and with the private sector. Municipal interest in coordination with multiple parties is not a new phenomenon, but given the extreme complexity, uncertainty and high projected costs of preparing for and responding to the impacts of events like COVID-19 and climate change, more fluid forms of public private partnerships are required. These evolving forms of inter-jurisdictional, cross organizational efforts require changes to traditional models for such coordination and different roles for private partners, including consultants and lawyers.
Aladdine Joroff is a Lecturer and Staff Attorney at Harvard Law School’s Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic, where she develops and supervises environmental litigation, regulatory, policy and law reform projects involving cutting-edge environmental and energy issues. Areas of focus include developing climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies for municipalities; advocating for energy justice and innovative grid modernization initiatives; participating in administrative, regulatory and litigation proceedings to defend federal environmental protections; and supporting citizen science and the use of science in law. Aladdine teaches law and policy courses at Harvard’s Law School, College, Extension and Summer Schools.
Aladdine formerly practiced with the national environmental firm Beveridge & Diamond and, before that, Goodwin Procter in Boston. She served for several years on the Board of Directors for HEET: Home Energy Efficiency Team, and attended MIT and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Rebecca became the City of Boynton Beach’s first Sustainability Coordinator in 2017. In this role, Rebecca leads the City’s environmental sustainability and resilience efforts, which include reducing carbon emissions and helping the City and its diverse residents and business owners adapt to the impacts of climate change. Boynton Beach is a coastal community in Palm Beach County that started planning for climate change a decade ago with the release of its first Climate Action Plan in 2010 and adoption of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact in 2012. In 2018, the City joined the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy—an alliance of 10,000+ cities around the world committed to climate leadership. In a recent initiative, Rebecca has been a driving force in the Coastal Resilience Partnership of Southeast Palm Beach County, which is a coalition of municipalities working together on climate change adaptation efforts.