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Media Release

Commission for Environmental Cooperation to Convene North American Environmental Leaders for #CEC31, to Be Held 24–26 June in Wilmington, North Carolina, USA

Tiohtià:ke (Montreal), 8 May 2024 — The Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s (CEC) 31st annual Council Session and Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) Public Forum will be held 24–26 June 2024 in Wilmington, North Carolina under the theme “Strengthening Environmental Justice through Community Empowerment.” #CEC31 will bring together North America’s top environmental officials and the public-at-large to learn from and engage with environmental justice advocates, Indigenous and community leaders, experts, youth, activists and others, including many of the partners CEC has worked with over three decades of regional collaboration to protect and conserve the North American environment. 2024 also marks the CEC’s 30th anniversary, presenting an opportunity for the CEC and North America to reflect upon and showcase three decades of regional environmental cooperation.

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JPAC will kick off the three-day event on 24 June with a Public Forum, titled “Advancing Environmental Justice in North America,” providing public participants the opportunity to engage in an open dialogue and share their experiences on advancing environmental justice and empowering communities across North America, helping the CEC identify critical and emerging environmental issues at the local and regional levels.

Day two will feature an Expert Roundtable with the CEC Executive Director on “Environmental Justice: Origins, Evolution, and Emerging Policy in North America,” a high-level discussion on the unique histories and trajectories of environmental justice and its evolution in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The panel will feature renowned environmental justice leaders and activists sharing their experiences on the diversity of North American environmental justice paradigms, exploring emerging directions of environmental justice for overburdened communities in the three countries, as well as public policy experiences across the region to recognize and address historic and systemic marginalization, discrimination, racism and environmental inequity.

Day three will conclude with the Council Public Session, which presents an opportunity for North Americans to engage with the top environmental officials in the region. This year, discussions will focus on “Strengthening Environmental Justice through Community Empowerment”.

“The 2024 Council Session offers the opportunity for participants and the CEC to dive into the many intersectional facets of environmental justice (EJ) which has undoubtedly become one of the most critical development issues of our time. This Council Session will help identify best practices and provide critical guidance to further advance EJ across North America,” said Jorge Daniel Taillant, CEC Executive Director. “Through engagement with environmental justice advocates, with community leaders and the general public, and by showcasing the CEC’s growing work on EJ, the Council Session will help advance a more refined, nuanced and intersectional understanding of EJ within a regional, North American perspective.”

Three decades of regional environmental cooperation

For 30 years, the Governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States have worked together through the CEC to conserve, protect and restore the North American environment. Each year, the CEC convenes the top environmental leaders from Canada, Mexico and the United States to engage with the public in a dialogue on pressing environmental issues facing North America. This year, the United States Environmental Protection Agency will host counterparts from the CEC Council, Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Mexico’s Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat).

The 30th anniversary milestone presents a unique opportunity for the CEC to showcase three decades of cooperation and achievements throughout this year’s Council Session and JPAC Public Forum.


#CEC31 is a three-day event that is open to the public, with live-streamed events featuring simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Spanish. #CEC31 events can be attended in person or virtually at no cost. We encourage participants to take advantage of the ability to participate remotely in this conference and avoid the need to travel.

Media and the public-at-large are invited to attend all events, either in person or virtually, and will be able to pose questions for all event sessions.

Time zone: Eastern Daylight Time (UTC−04:00)

24 June 2024

9:00-10:00 Opening ceremony, welcoming remarks and keynote presentation
10:15-12:00 Panel 1: Legal and Policy Instruments to Access and Implement Environmental Justice in North America
13:15-13:30 Report From the U.S. National and Governmental Advisory Committee Representatives
13:30-15:00 Panel 2: Community Mobilization and Environmental Justice Challenges
15:15-16:50 Open Dialogue on Opportunities for Environmental Trilateral Cooperation: Can We Think about Environmental Justice From a Regional North American Perspective?
16:50-17:00 Closing Remarks by Esteban Escamilla, JPAC Chair

25 June 2024

11:00-12:00 CEC Presentation on Environmental Justice Work (Part 1): Air Quality Improvement for Environmental Justice and North American Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) Initiative
14:00-15:30 Youth Panel: Bridging the Gap: A Conversation on the Generational Fight for Environmental Justice
16:00-17:30 Expert Roundtable with the CEC Executive Director on Environmental Justice: Origins, Evolution and Emerging Policy in North America

26 June 2024

10:00-11:30 CEC Presentation on Environmental Justice Work (Part 2): EJ4Climate Grant Program and Communities for Environmental Justice Network
13:30-17:00 Council Public Session: Strengthening Environmental Justice through Community Empowerment

Click below to learn more, download the complete program of public events and register for virtual or in-person participation.

REGISTER NOW (virtual or in-person)

If you would like to know more about CEC initiatives, opportunities and efforts, you can sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media.

Members of the media are encouraged to register for in-person accreditation or virtual participation. For any media inquiries, please contact info@cec.org.

For more information, please contact cec31@cec.org.


About the CEC

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations

The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.

About the CEC video