Emi Belliveau-Thompson is working to divest Dalhousie from fossil fuels.

Photo from Emi Belliveau-Thompson.

Photo from Emi Belliveau-Thompson.

AGE: 23

One of the biggest obstacles in the fight against climate change is overcoming over a century of economic assumptions that point towards fossil fuels being a sound investment. Forcing a paradigm shift is no easy task. It requires smart, passionate advocates who are willing to overcome deeply ingrained institutions and force a new way of thinking. Fortunately for anyone who takes the threat of climate change seriously, there are people like Emilia Belliveau-Thompson leading the charge.

Growing up in rural Sydenham, Ontario, Emi always enjoyed the outdoors. Passion, curiosity, intelligence and hard work eventually earned her a full scholarship into one of Dalhousie University’s first cohorts studying Environment, Sustainability and Society. During a lecture series in her first year, she met and was inspired by young activists on a panel about COP16, some of which were organizing PowerShift 2012 – a series of student-led events in Ottawa that sought to bring together young leaders from across the country and build momentum for the shift away from fossil fuels. Emi’s enthusiasm led her to take on an organizing role in the events around Canada’s capital.

Upon her return to Dalhousie, Emi became involved with Divest Dalhousie, a campaign to encourage university leaders to cut investments in fossil fuel related industries and focus on clean, renewable energy sources. When she is not busy convincing Board of Governors to alter their investment portfolios she is fighting for the constitutional right to a healthy environment as part of the Halifax chapter of the David Suzuki Foundation’s Blue Dot movement. Emi has also continued her involvement with PowerShift, helping facilitate workshops during PowerShift Atlantic in 2014.

As her time at Dalhousie draws to a close, Emi is moving on to conduct masters research at the University of Victoria where she hopes to study the power dynamics and relationships involved in political activism. She also hopes to continue to work on fossil fuel divestment with Divest UVic. No matter where here work takes her, however, it is clear that Emi will continue to inspire those around her.

People who have worked closely with Emi have been inspired by her world-class leadership skills. Her passion for stewardship and equality motivates those around her to face their challenges head on and the work she inspires has a lasting impact on those lucky enough to work closely with her. Her achievements in divestment activism and her ability to inspire others have earned Emi Belliveau-Thompson her place as one of Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25.

Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 2015 Magazine

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