For many folks, going back to the 1980s might signal a return to neon leg warmers, Star Wars, and synthpop. For Elizabeth May, it would probably mean fighting for international ozone layer protection and the 1987 Montreal Protocol, a benchmark in multilateral agreements for climate action. Through the ‘80s, the former Green Party leader was beginning her career as an environmental lawyer and policy advisor in Canada.
You can’t tell the story of modern environmentalism in Canada without Elizabeth May. May helmed Canada’s Green Party from 2006 until stepping down in 2019. Over those 13 years, she led the party from obscurity to prominence through a seismic shift in culture as the climate crisis became a pressing international concern. Her tireless work ethic has garnered bipartisan respect; in 2013, she was recognized by her colleagues as the year’s Hardest Working MP. May currently serves as a Member of Parliament for her longtime, loyal riding in Saanich-Gulf Islands. She’s also contributed guest columns to National Observer.
Now, May is returning as a guest with National Observer founder and editor-in-chief Linda Solomon Wood for a special Conversations event: Earth Day With Elizabeth May.