Page 1

Summer/Fall 2016 A Summary of the Key Activities of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law


A Summary of the Key Activities of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

1

Contents Summary . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

4

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6

Projects . . Events . .

Publications .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

9

Earth Institute .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Who We Are . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

12

Since its creation in 2009, the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law has been known as a center of expertise, providing timely information and resources on key topics and promoting advances in the interrelated fields of climate law, environmental regulation, energy regulation and natural resources law. The Center’s activities are spearheaded by Michael Gerrard, Faculty Director of the Sabin Center and Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law School, and Michael Burger, Executive Director of the Sabin Center and Research Scholar and Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School. The core mission of the Sabin Center is to develop and promulgate legal techniques to address climate change, and to train the next generation of lawyers who will be leaders in the field. The Sabin Center is both a partner to and resource for public interest legal institutions engaged in climate change work. Further, the Center addresses a critical need for the systematic development of legal techniques to fight climate change outside of the realm of litigation, and the compilation and dissemination of information for lawyers in the public, private and NGO sectors.


A Summary of the Key Activities of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

3

Summary The Sabin Center currently focuses its work within seven programmatic areas: The Clean Air Act, Environmental Assessment, Energy Law, Adaptation, Securities and Climate Finance, Natural Resources, and Human Rights. The Center’s thought leadership and direct engagement operate at the international, national, state and local levels. This report presents some of Sabin Center’s recent projects, events, publications, and resources and provides web links throughout the report in order to give you access to additional information.

Clean Air Act

Adaptation

Environmental Assessment

Threatened Island Nations

Energy Transition

Securities and Climate Finance

Human Rights

Natural Resources

International and Foreign Law


4

Summer/Fall 2016

Projects In the absence of congressional legislation specifically addressing climate change, federal activity is taking place under the authority of existing environmental, energy, and natural resources laws. Action is also being taken at state and local levels.The Sabin Center conducts independent research to produce publications and useful resources; advances new techniques and ideas through direct engagement; and partners with agencies, NGOs, and the private sector to promote climate action. Adaptation

Human Rights

As well as taking steps to mitigate climate change, humanity must also find ways to adapt to it. The Sabin Center conducts research into how existing laws and regulations can be used to promote short- and longer-term adaptation efforts within government and the private sector.

Climate change poses serious risks to human rights for individuals and communities around the world, including the rights to life, health, food, and an adequate standard of living. The global response to climate change also poses risks to human rights, as mitigation or adaptation projects threaten to displace or dispossess communities, potentially without adequate participation.

• Workshops: In October, the Sabin Center conducted workshops with three Florida communities threatened by rising sea levels. Our Climate Law Fellow Justin Gundlach met with local officials to discuss the impacts of sea level rise and strategies needed to respond to those impacts. Based on the workshops, we are developing adaptation strategic plans for the communities. • Talks: Justin Gundlach spoke on “Putting Green Infrastructure on Private Property in NYC” at the 2nd Interdisciplinary Workshop on Urban Green Infrastructure at Columbia University in October.

• Presentations: In October, Sabin Center Executive Director Michael Burger travelled to Geneva to present at an Expert Meeting on Climate Change and Human Rights hosted by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. • Engagement: Sabin Center Staff Attorney Jessica Wentz attended the Advisory Committee Workshop of the Platform on Disaster Displacement in Geneva. The Advisory Committee, of which the Sabin Center is a member, aims to promote enhanced cooperation and action to improve legal protections for persons displaced by climate change and natural disasters.


A Summary of the Key Activities of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Environmental Assessment The National Environmental Policy Act and its state and international analogs provide for the assessment of environmental impacts of proposed projects, plans and programs. The Sabin Center examines legal requirements and practices relating to the analysis of GHG emissions and the impacts of climate change on proposed projects under these statutes. • Protocols: In September, the Sabin Center published “Considering the Effects of Climate Change on Natural Resources in Environmental Review and Planning Documents: Guidelines for Agencies and Practitioners” by Jessica Wentz.The report includes a protocol containing guidelines for considering the impacts of climate change on natural resources in environmental reviews and other planning documents. • Research: “Using Online Databasing to Unlock the Full Value of EIA,” by Jessica Wentz, examines ways to enhance online access to environmental impact assessments and make it easier for the public to use the information in those assessments. The Sabin Center also submits comments to state and federal agencies undertaking environmental reviews: • Comments on the Bureau of Land Management’s Proposed Greater Mooses Tooth Development Project (submitted August 19, 2016) • Comments on the Bureau of Land Management’s Programmatic Review of the Federal Coal Leasing Program (submitted July 26, 2016)

5

Energy Transition • New Research: Michael Gerrard and Professor John Dernbach of Widener Law School are leading a project to identify changes in statutes, regulations, and other legal authorities needed to achieve deep decarbonization in the United States. The necessary changes will be detailed in an edited volume to be published by the Environmental Law Institute. • Workshops: In June and October, the Sabin Center hosted two workshops with academics and legal experts to discuss legal pathways to deep decarbonization. Natural Resources • New Publication: In September, the Sabin Center published a working paper titled “A Mitigation-Based Rationale for Incorporating a Climate Change Impacts Fee into the Federal Coal Leasing Program.” • Workshops: On September 8, the Sabin Center hosted a full-day workshop on “U.S. Coal in the 21st Century: Markets, Bankruptcy, Finance and Law.” The workshop brought together leading experts from academia, government, law, and finance to discuss recent developments in, and the future direction of, coal markets.


6

Summer/Fall 2016

Events From June to December 2016, the Sabin Center sponsored or co-sponsored a total of 15 events or conferences. Highlights

Disruptive Energy Futures

Ensuring Urban Resilience, Come Hell or High Water

f e at u r i n g d i s t i n g u i s h e d g u e s t s p e a k e r

keynote speakers

Hon. Dawn Zimmer, Mayor, Hoboken, New Jersey Chris Ward, AECOM; former Executive Director, Port Authority of NY and NJ; former Commissioner, NYC Department of Environmental Protection

Amory Lovins Physicist and cofounder and Chief Scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute

moder ator

Michael Gerrard, Professor and Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School panelists

Columbia Law School

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 7–9 p.m.

Jerome Greene Hall, Room 104 435 West 116th Street (at Amsterdam Avenue) New York, New York

Registration Information: http://bit.ly/2bgPlyV

Joyce Rosenthal, The Earth Institute, Columbia University Kate Orff, Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation

Thursday, September 22, 2016 6:45–8:45 p.m.

program sponsored by sabin center for climate change law and co-sponsored by the center on global energy policy, and the earth institute of columbia university

Registration Information: http://bit.ly/2auL3Vi

Nico Kienzl, Atelier Ten Juan Camilo Osorio, NY Environmental Justice Alliance Megan Linkin, SwissRe

Columbia Law School

Jerome Greene Hall, Room 103 435 West 116th Street (at Amsterdam Avenue) New York, New York

PROGRAM IS SPONSORED BY THE CLIMATE WEEK NYC 2016, THE EARTH INSTITUTE, THE SABIN CENTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE LAW, AND THE SALLAN FOUNDATION

• Disruptive Energy Futures, lecture by Amory Lovins, Co-founder and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute Sabin Center for Climate Change Law presents the Second

David Sive Memorial Lecture on Environmental Law

• Ensuring Urban Resilience, Come Hell or High Water, panel discussion moderated by Michael B. Gerrard, with keynote speakers, the Hon. Dawn Zimmer (Major of Hoboken) and Chris Ward (AECOM)

Environmental Law: Time to Reboot a p r e s e n tat i o n b y

James Gustave Speth Co-chair, Next System Project

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Columbia Law School

6:15 p.m. Wine and cheese reception 7–8 p.m. Lecture and Q&A Session

Jerome Greene Hall, Room 104 435 West 116th Street (at Amsterdam Avenue)

to register:

NEAREST SUBWAY: 116th

http://bit.ly/2af3njr

Street stop on #1 line.

James Gustave Speth is co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council. He was a professor of law at Georgetown University; chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality in the Carter administration; and founder and president of the World Resources Institute. From 1993 to 1999, he was administrator of the United Nations Development Programme; and completed his decade-long tenure in 2009 as dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is the co-chair of Next System Project. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

Daniel Riesel ’61, Principal, Sive Paget & Riesel Michael B. Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice and Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School CO-SPONSORS

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law • The Earth Institute of Columbia University This program is supported by the David Sive Memorial Fund, which is generously supported by Sive, Paget & Riesel, P.C.

• Environmental Law: Time to Reboot, the Second David Sive Memorial Lecture by James Gustave Speth, co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council and World Resources Institute and co-chair of The New System Project

• EPA Environmental Issues in U.S. EPA Region 2, conference featuring keynote address by Judith Enck, EPA Region 2 Administrator and panels moderated by Michael Burger, Eric H. Schauff (EPA), Seth Davis (Elias Group LLP) and David Brooks (Consolidated Edison Co.)


A Summary of the Key Activities of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

COP22 Events

TWO EVENTS ON INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall, 435 West 116th Street (at Amsterdam Avenue) Nearest subway: 116th Street stop on #1 line

Migration and Climate Change In Preparation for the United Nations Summit on Refugees and Migrants

Sunday, September 18, 2016 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Jerome Greene Hall Room 105 Admission is free but registration is required. RSVP to http://bit.ly/2c2ust3 Program is sponsored by Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and co-sponsored by the United Nations University- Institute for Environment and Human Security, and the Earth Institute of Columbia University.

Next Steps for International Climate Action A Roundtable Discussion with the COP22 Steering Committee

Monday, September 19, 2016 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Jerome Greene Hall Room 103 Admission is free but registration is required. RSVP to http://bit.ly/2cMlxZf Program is sponsored by the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and co-sponsored the Earth Institute of Columbia University, Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, and Columbia Law School’s Environmental Law Society.

• Next Steps for International Climate Action: A Roundtable Discussion with the COP22 Steering Committee:

In September, the Sabin Center hosted a roundtable with Dr. Hakima El Haite, Delegate Minister in Charge of Environment, and members of the COP22 Steering Committee • Role of Climate Litigation in the Post-Paris World: The Sabin Center co-hosted a Climate Litigation Roundtable as part the Climate Law and Governance Day at COP22 in November

7

Sabin Center staff also participated in various national, regional and international events and meetings, including ones organized by the International Bar Association, Legal Response Initiative, Climate and Development Knowledge Network, Law Seminars International, World Resources Institute, Council on Foreign Relations, and Ford Foundation. On October 25, 2016, Michael B. Gerrard presented at the 27th Meeting of the Legal Advisors to the United Nations on “Realistic Aims and Realities for Climate Justice.” International: In June 2016, Michael B. Gerrard

participated in a meeting convened and at­ tended by Pope Frances at Vatican City, “Judges’ Summit on Human Trafficking and Organized Crime.” He discussed climate change and human trafficking after the Paris Agreement. Michael also spoke at the International Bar Association’s 4th Mediterranean Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in Rome. In September, Michael Burger travelled to the U.K. to speak on national climate change legislation and the role of the courts. He spoke on issues relating to climate change and human rights in Switzerland in October and Morocco in November.


8

Summer/Fall 2016

Media Mentions and Interviews Sabin Center experts were interviewed and/or quoted directly or mentioned via one of the products produced by the Center in approximate 54 media and news items. Highlights • POTUS 2016: Trump Transitions and Climate Change Brian Lehrer Show, CUNY TV

Michael Gerrard joined a panel of experts to discuss the potential impacts on climate change under a Trump Administration. • The Plucky Millennials Racing to Save the World From Donald Trump New Republic

The news article quotes Michael Burger in regard to a climate lawsuit Juliana v. the United States, brought by a group of young people against the federal government alleging that excessive carbon emissions are threatening their future. • Why climate change experts fear

• As The S.E.C. Investigates Exxon, Companies May Rethink How They Report Climate Risk Fast Company’s Co.Exist

Interview with Michael Gerrard about the Security and Exchange Commission investigation into Exxon’s compliance non-compliance with climate regulations. • At a Cape Cod Landmark, a Strategic Retreat From the Ocean New York Times

In this interview Michael Gerrard discusses the implications of sea level rise and the concept of “managed retreat” on private property. • Global Climate Spending Focusing on

Trump’s presidency CNN

Forest Protection Climate Center

In this interview Michael Burger gives voice to the concerns raised by the climate and environmental communities regarding Mr. Trump’s controversial statements and policy positions on Climate Change.

In this interview Michael Burger mentions that the least developed countries are not significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The main source of emissions in these places is from forest degradation, deforestation, and changes to land use.

• States May Drive U.S. Climate Policy Under Trump Climate Central

This interview quotes both Michael Gerrard and Michael Burger sharing their views on the complicated and lengthy process that a Trump administration would face in rolling back Climate Change regulations, as well as, the challenges presented by individual states’ progress in the energy and climate projects, particularly carbon-cutting policies.

• White House Tells Agencies to Consider Climate Change Effects of Projects Scientific American

This article highlights a paper and blog by Jessica Wentz, Staff Attorney and Associate Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, evaluates the terms “upstream and downstream emissions” in the context of fossil fuel-related projects and addresses concerns about how far an agency needs to go in calculating emissions.


A Summary of the Key Activities of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

9

Publications The Sabin Center produces papers, surveys and other legal resources, and its members edit and co-author books with climate law and energy experts from around the globe. In addition, the Center publishes the Climate Law Blog, and maintains a growing presence on social media, which now includes over 4,500 Twitter followers and 1000 Facebook “friends” (as of November 30), as well as a video archive on youtube. Highlights • Climate Engineering and the Law:

• A Mitigation-Based Rationale for

Regulation and Liability for Carbon Dioxide Removal and Solar Radiation Management,

Incorporating a Climate Change Impacts Fee into the Federal Coal Leasing Program,

edited by Michael B. Gerrard and Tracy Hester (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press)

by Michael Burger

• Climate Change and Human Trafficking After the Paris Climate Agreement, by Michael B. Gerrard (Judges Summit on Human Trafficking and Organized Crime) • Legal Tools for Climate Adaptation Advocacy: The Electric Grid and Its Regulators—FERC and State Public Utility Commissions, by Payal Nanavati and Justin

Gundlach (Sabin Center Working Paper) • Sadly, the Paris Agreement Isn’t Nearly Enough, by Michael B. Gerrard (The Debate) • Three Major Developments in International Climate Change Law, by Michael B. Gerrard and Edward McTiernan (New York Law Journal)

• Considering the Effects of Climate Change on Natural Resources in Environmental Review and Planning Documents: Guidelines for Agencies and Practitioners,

by Jessica Wentz • Using Online Databasing to Unlock the Full Value of Environmental Impact Assessment, by Jessica Wentz


10

Summer/Fall 2016

Highlights from our Climate Law Blog A Remarkable Papal Conference: A Personal Report, by Michael B. Gerrard A Right to Fossil Fuels? Pressure Mounts for Developing Countries to Leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground, by Romany Webb

Climate Engineering Research Governance: A New Book Chapter by Mike Burger and Justin Gundlach, by Justin Gundlach Human Rights Safeguards for the UNFCCC’s New Climate Finance Tool, by Jessica Wentz

Website

In November 2016, the Sabin Center launched a new website at columbiaclimatelaw.com. The new site contains landing pages for each of our program areas, which include links to relevant projects, publications, and other resources.There is a new publications library, which visitors can search by keyword in the title, author or description field, or browse by category.Visitors can also search for terms or phrases across the entire website using a new search bar. The Sabin Center has upgraded the NonU.S. Climate Change Litigation Database to a new interactive format that makes it easier

to find cases by subject and jurisdiction. The U.S. Litigation Database is being upgraded to the same format and will be re-launched in early 2017. The Center’s litigation databases are widely recognized as the leading source of continually updated information on case law dealing with climate change. We are in the process of integrating them with the Global Climate Legislation Database, maintained by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, to produce a more comprehensive repository of climate change related law.


A Summary of the Key Activities of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

11

Earth Institute The Sabin Center is a member center of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and frequently collaborates with Earth Institute scientists on cutting edge interdisciplinary research. Campus Sustainability and Climate Action:

America’s Waters Project: This National Science

Since his appointment as Chair of the Earth Institute Faculty in July 2015, Michael Gerrard has taken a leadership role in the campus-wide Sustainability Initiative, serving as Co-Chair of the Senior Advisory Committee on the Senior Advisory Committee. Justin Gundlach is also involved in the Initiative, serving on the Greenhouse Gas and Energy Focus Team. The team is developing proposals for improved emissions and energy accounting and novel approaches to the financing of, and investment in, campus-wide emissions reductions.

Foundation-funded project, led by Dr. Upmanu Lall, Director of the Columbia Water Center, brings together a wide range of disciplines to comprehensively model water availability, use, and the factors that influence both water demand and supply in the continental United States. The model being developed will serve as a valuable education tool, and to inform decision-making, including water-relevant policy development. Adam Schempp, a visiting associate research scholar at the Sabin Center and director of the Environmental Law Institute’s Western Waters Program is helping to incorporate legal data into the model and to advise on the model’s structure.


12

Summer/Fall 2016

Who We Are

Michael B. Gerrard Faculty Director

Michael Burger Executive Director

tel: 212-854-8213

tel: 212-854-2372

michael.gerrard@law.columbia.edu

michael.burger@law.columbia.edu

Jessica Wentz Staff Attorney and Associate Research Fellow

Justin Gundlach Climate Law Fellow

tel: 212-854-0081

tel: 212-854-0106

jessica.wentz@law.columbia.edu

justin.gundlach@law.columbia.edu

The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law Romany Webb Climate Law Fellow

Columbia Law School Jerome Greene Hall, Room 525 435 West 116th Street, New York, New York 10027

tel: 212-854-0088

tel: 212-854-3287

romany.webb@law.columbia.edu

fax: 212-854-8213


W E B . L AW. C O LU M B I A . E D U / C L I M AT E - C H A N G E Columbia Law School Jerome Greene Hall, Room 525 435 West 116th Street New York, New York 10027 tel: 212-854-3287 fax: 212-854-8213

A Summary of the Key Activities of the Sabin Center for Climate Change  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you