Summer/Fall 2021 - Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

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Summer / Fall 2021 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

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Contents Summary . . Projects . . Events . .

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Publications .

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Media Mentions and Interviews . Awards and Recognition .

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Earth Institute /Columbia Climate School . Who We Are . .

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Since its creation in 2009, the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School 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 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 Center is both a partner to and a resource for public interest legal institutions engaged in climate change work, and is an affiliate of the Earth Institute and the Columbia Climate School. The Center’s activities are spearheaded by Michael Gerrard, Faculty Director and Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law School, and Michael Burger, Executive Director and Senior Research Scholar at Columbia Law School.


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Summary The Sabin Center continues to conduct independent research to produce publications and useful resources; advances new techniques and direct engagement; and partners with agencies, NGOs, and the private sector to promote climate action. The Sabin Center also continues to track the BidenHarris administration’s efforts through our Climate Reregulation Tracker, alongside our numerous online resources and our Climate Law Blog. The Sabin Center is committed to mainstreaming our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism (DEIA) plan into all areas of our work.

Cross-cutting Issues & Initiatives

Energy Law

Environmental & Land Use Law

International & Foreign Law


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

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Projects The Sabin Center currently focuses its work within four programmatic areas: Cross-cutting Issues & Initiatives, Energy Law, Environmental & Land Use Law, and International & Foreign Law. The Center’s thought leadership and direct engagement operate at the international, national, state and local levels.

Cross-cutting Issues & Initiatives Climate change cuts across law and policy domains, engaging governments, courts, businesses, scientists and others in multiple and overlapping ways. Our current cross-cutting efforts track and assess climate litigation, provide legal pathways to deep decarbonization, engage with cities to find legal answers to questions raised by policy innovations, provide pro bono legal representation to supporters of utility-scale renewable energy projects, and stand up for climate science and environmental justice.

Climate Change Litigation

The Sabin Center tracks and analyzes U.S. and global climate change litigation and submits amicus briefs in certain cases. Talks

• Columbia Law School launched Defending the Planet, a limited-series hosted by Michael Gerrard and featuring leading experts, including Michael Burger, who discussed the history of and prospects for climate litigation, and non-resident senior fellow Ama Ruth Francis, who discussed climate migration. • Korey Silverman-Roati attended the first week of COP26 at Glasgow. He spoke on two panels, one on Ensuring Compliance with Climate Regimes and one on domestic climate litigation. • Michael Gerrard gave numerous talks on climate law and litigation, including at “Mobilizing the Rule of Law in Climate Change,” a side event to COP26 at the University of Glasgow; at “How can climate litigation help fighting climate

change?” a webinar held by the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI); at “Global Trends in Climate Legislation– Lessons for COP26,” held by the London School of Economics; in a virtual lecture for Chinese judges and officials hosted by the Chinese Environmental Protection Foundation and the Environmental Law Institute; and to the Florence (Italy) School of Regulation. Michael Gerrard and Michael Burger both spoke at a conference “Our Future in the Balance: The Role of Courts and Tribunals in Meeting the Climate Crisis,” held by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, and the Hausfeld law firm. Michael Gerrard co-chaired a conference, “Climate Change: Policy, Law and Science,” held online by Law Seminars International. Michael Burger moderated a panel on climate litigation during that conference. Michael Gerrard gave a talk, “Issues conflicts, business conflicts and lawyers’ work against climate change,” to the virtual annual meeting of the American College of Environmental Lawyers. Michael Burger spoke about cities, climate, and tort liability on a panel at the meeting. Michael Burger gave a presentation on the topic of “Strategic Climate Litigation: Insights From Global Experience,” hosted by the Grantham Research Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, London, England; delivered a keynote on global climate litigation at the Asia Pacific


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Judicial Conference on Climate Change; and delivered opening remarks on climate litigation at the C40 webinar, How cities can use the law to advance climate action. • Daniel Metzger spoke on the “Role of Science in Climate Change Litigation” at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. Engagement

• While at COP26 in Glasgow, Korey Silverman-Roati supported the organization Legal Response International to aid low-income developing countries with small delegations in the negotiations. He acted as a liaison to gather legal questions and help connect them with experts. Publications

• U.S. Climate Litigation in the Age of Trump: Full Term, by Korey Silverman-Roati • Taking Climate Change to the World Court, by Michael B. Gerrard, Bloomberg Law Defending Climate Science

The Sabin Center, partnering with the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, has documented 500 attacks on science since the launch of our joint database, the Silencing Science Tracker. Since the Biden-Harris administration has taken office this year, we continue to catalog the new administration’s efforts to undo the Trump administration’s anti-science actions.We are also continuing to track anti-science actions at the state and local levels. Engagement

• The Sabin Center and Climate Science Legal Defense Fund submitted joint comments in response to a White House Office of Science and Technology Policy request for information to improve scientific integrity policies.

Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization (LPDD)

The Sabin Center and Widener University’s Commonwealth Law School’s Environmental Law & Sustainability Center maintains the Model Laws for Deep Decarbonization in the United States website, which provides policy makers at the federal, state and local levels with the legal tools needed to transition away from fossil fuels. More than twenty pro bono law firms are at work drafting additional model laws as part of this project. The Sabin Center is cooperating with legal scholars in Brazil and Australia who are undertaking similar projects in those countries. Talks

• Michael Gerrard spoke about legal pathways to deep decarbonization to numerous audiences, including through a webinar held by the Atlanta Regional Commission; Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, California; Catolica Lisbon School of Business and Economics, on the occasion of the launch of a legal pathways book for Brazil modeled on Gerrard’s U.S. book; and a conference, “International Environmental Law for Carbon Peak and Carbon Neutrality,” at the Tianjin University’s School of Law and its China Green Development Research Institute. Publications

• CAMINHOS JURÍDICOS E REGULATÓRIOS PARA A DESCARBONIZAÇÃO NO BRASIL, by Cácia Pimentel and Maria João Carreiro Pereira Rolim Negative Emissions

Reducing or even eliminating future greenhouse gas emissions will not, by itself, be sufficient to avoid catastrophic climate change. It will also be necessary to remove previously emitted greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and store or utilize them in some way. This can be done using a range of so-called “negative


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

emission technologies.” The Sabin Center conducts research on legal issues associated with the development and use of negative emissions technologies. Talks

• Romany Webb moderated a panel and Korey Silverman-Roati spoke at a roundtable on “Domestic Legal Frameworks for Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal” at the Annual Conference on Carbon Removal Law and Policy hosted by American University. • Romany Webb participated in a panel discussion on “Setting Standards for Carbon Storage, Duration, and Risk” at the Annual Conference on Carbon Removal Law and Policy hosted by American University. Engagement

• Romany Webb served on a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee developing a research strategy for ocean carbon dioxide removal. The committee’s report was published on December 8. In December 2021, Romany Webb participated in a public webinar at which key results from the report were presented. She also participated in briefings for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Congressional staff, and philanthropic organizations. • Michael Gerrard participated in a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Advisory Committee on Governing Solar Geoengineering. • Romany Webb served on the Project Advisory Council for an Aspen Institute initiative, aimed at developing a code of conduct for ocean carbon dioxide removal practitioners and policymakers. • The Sabin Center continued its participation in the Solid Carbon project exploring the feasibility of capturing and storing carbon dioxide offshore.

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• The Sabin Center hosted workshops for authors contributing to a new book, titled Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal for Climate Mitigation:The Legal Framework, which is being edited by Romany Webb, Michael Gerrard, and Korey Silverman-Roati. Publications

• A Research Strategy for Ocean-based Carbon Dioxide Removal and Sequestration, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, co-authored by Romany Webb • Removing Carbon Dioxide Through Seaweed Cultivation: Legal Challenges and Opportunities, by Korey SilvermanRoati, Romany M. Webb, and Michael B. Gerrard • Removing Carbon Dioxide Through Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement: Legal Challenges and Opportunities, by Romany M. Webb, Korey SilvermanRoati, and Michael B. Gerrard • The need for massive carbon dioxide removal, by Michael Gerrard, SDG Action Cities Climate Law Initiative

This Initiative helps U.S. cities achieve their climate mitigation commitments by addressing critical gaps or obstacles to advancing implementation. Talks

• The Sabin Center co-hosted an event with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability & Climate titled “From Grassroots to Policy: Government Action on Environmental Justice”; co-hosted an event with ICLEI USA on “Cities Climate Law: A Legal Framework for Local Action in the U.S.” • Jacob Elkin spoke about our New York State and City Climate Law Trackers with the New York City chapter of Students for Climate Action.


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Engagement

• Amy Turner worked with several cities on legal questions relating to building decarbonization, natural gas transition issues and state preemption of local climate policy. • Together with ICLEI USA, Amy Turner held the Cities Climate Law Clinic, a series of five closed-door sessions with city personnel to discuss legal questions relating to emerging city climate policy topics. • Amy Turner continued to engage with working groups such as the Smart Surfaces Coalition, a working group on appliance standards and the Renewable Heat Now coalition. • Amy Turner testified before New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection Hearing on Building Electrification and Intro. 2317. Her written testimony is available here. Publications

• Amy Turner and Michael Burger released Cities Climate Law: A Legal Framework for Location, a comprehensive guide for local law and policy-makers in developing climate programs and policies that comport with federal and state law. Renewable Energy Legal Defense Initiative (RELDI)

The Renewable Energy Legal Defense Initiative (RELDI) provides pro bono legal representation to community groups and local residents who support renewable energy development in their communities. Talks

Jacob Elkin gave a talk on “Trends in Policies Promoting and Opposing Renewable Energy in the United States” at Renewable Northwest’s Q3 Webinar Series.

Engagement

• RELDI represents a group of farmers and community organizations as amici in defense of New York Office of Renewable Energy Siting regulations that are being challenged in state court. • RELDI represents Win With Wind, an organization in East Hampton, New York that is supporting an offshore wind farm that is facing local opposition. On behalf of Win With Wind RELDI submitted comments on the Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Sunrise Wind Farm Project. • RELDI has worked with partnering law firms to arrange pro bono representation for landowners across the country who support wind and solar projects on their property. Publications

• The Sabin Center has partnered with Urban Ocean Lab to provide up-to-date research on offshore wind, available here. Initiative on Climate Risk and Resilience Law (ICRRL)

ICRRL is a joint initiative of the Sabin Center, Environmental Defense Fund, the Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU School of Law, and Vanderbilt Law School. The partnership was formed to drive legal solutions that address societal and economic risks from climate change and to improve climate resilience in the electricity sector, and through financial regulation and risk management. The Sabin Center undertakes individual and joint actions related to the Initiative. Talks

• Michael Gerrard spoke about “Climate as an ESG Driver” at the Practising Law Institute’s program, “ESG 2021: What it Means for Boards, Management, and Counsel.”


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

Engagement

• The Sabin Center submitted comments in response to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission request for information on whether current disclosures adequately convey climate change information to investors, registrants, and other market participants. • Romany Webb spoke at a technical conference hosted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on climate change, extreme weather, and electric system reliability. The Sabin Center, in collaboration with Environmental Defense Fund, submitted comments in response to two requests for information issued by FERC before and after the technical conference. • Romany Webb testified before the Massachusetts State Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change at a hearing on “Climate Resilience of Transportation and Electric Infrastructure.” (A copy of the testimony is available here.) • The Sabin Center and ICRRL submitted joint comments to the New York Public Service Commission in support of a petition to require utilities to study the impacts of climate change on their infrastructure. • The Sabin Center, the Institute for Policy Integrity, and ICRRL submitted joint comments to the Michigan Public Service Commission in response to request for information on whether existing electric utility planning processes adequately account for the impacts of climate change. Environmental Justice

Climate change has made clear that diversity increases the power of potential solutions and the resilience to adverse impacts—for ecosystems, social systems, economic systems and their various hybrids and combinations.As part of our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Plan, the Sabin

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Center is committed to developing content and engaging in environmental issues faced by vulnerable communities. Talks

• Michael Gerrard spoke about state-level environmental justice legislation to a conference, “Environmental justice in Oregon,” held by Law Seminars International. • Hillary Aidun spoke at an event titled “Can New York’s Climate Law Advance Equity in TCI?” hosted by WE ACT for Environmental Justice. • Maria Antonia Tigre moderated a panel discussion on “Protecting Indigenous and Impacted Communities in a Global Energy Transition,” hosted by the Columbia Society of International Law. • Maria Antonia Tigre organized and spoke at a workshop on Climate Litigation in the Global South: A Transnational Global South Perspective, organized by the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment and the Sabin Center. Engagement

• Michael Gerrard, Hillary Aidun and Ama Francis worked with WE ACT (West Harlem Action for Environmental Justice) on a project concerning using the equity and EJ provisions of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and Environmental Conservation Law Article 48 in advancing the Transportation Climate Initiative. Publications

• Using New York Law to advance equity in the transportation & climate initiative program, by Hillary Aidun, Ama Francis and Michael Gerrard (August 2021) • Renewables are key to a just energy future for Puerto Rico, op-ed in The Hill, by Ruth Santiago and Michael B. Gerrard, June 26, 2021


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Environmental & Land Use Law

Natural Resources

Decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing resilience to climate impacts involve use of existing environmental, natural resource, and land use laws.They also demand creation of new approaches. Our current efforts focus on federal, state, and local laws and regulations related to air pollution; environmental impact assessment; public lands management; and zoning and land use controls.

Climate change is already affecting natural resources, with observed effects on the biophysical characteristics of habitats, the health and distribution of species, and the timing of critical biological events such as spring bud burst. Natural resource management decisions can also have implications for greenhouse gas emissions. The Sabin Center conducts work aimed at ensuring that decision-makers consider these effects when managing lands and resources.

Adaptation & Resilience

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. Talks

• Michael Gerrard spoke about legal issues and heat waves to the annual training symposium of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Office of Chief Counsel. Engagement

• Michael Burger serves on the Steering Committee of the Smart Surfaces Coalition. • Michael Gerrard serves on Con Edison’s Climate Change Implementation Plan Working Group. Publications

• Killer Heat Waves Warrant FEMA Action Under New Authority, by Michael Gerrard, Bloomberg Law. Bloomberg also interviewed Gerrard about the article for a podcast here. • Extreme weather is a climate change inevitability; our responses shouldn’t worsen the problem, op-ed by Romany Webb and Michael Panfil, The Hill

Talks

• Jennifer Danis presented at the 5th Annual Watershed Conference: Important Court Decisions and Regulations and Regulatory Actions. Publications

• Climate Attribution Science and the Endangered Species Act, by Jessica Wentz Environmental Assessment

One of our programmatic goals is to advance the use of environmental impact assessment (EIA) as a tool for climate change mitigation and adaptation planning. We monitor how decision makers account for climate changerelated considerations in EIA documents and develop recommendations on how to evaluate a proposal’s greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change on the proposal. Engagement

• Submitted comments on the South Battery Park City Resiliency Project Environmental Impact Statement Draft Scoping Document. • Submitted comments on the Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Hackberry Storage Project.


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

Biden Administration Policy

Talks

• Michael Gerrard spoke on a program, “President Biden’s Climate Change Agenda and the UN Climate Change Conference” held by Detroit Mercy Law School. • Michael Gerrard spoke about how the Biden administration is re-setting the U.S. environmental and energy agenda at the Center for Global Energy Policy’s Energy Journalism Initiative. Publications

• Legal Pathways to Biden’s Climate Goals, by Michael B. Gerrard

Energy Law The Sabin Center seeks to advance the decarbonization of the energy sector and to encourage a more rational accounting of climate change-related impacts of energy use in the U.S. and elsewhere. Our current efforts focus on federal, state, and local laws and regulations related to clean energy development and integration, public utility regulation, and the extraction, transport, and consumption of fossil fuels. Talks

• Michael Burger organized and moderated a panel on carbon accounting for the Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment conference, Corporate Alignment to the Paris Agreement: From Ambition to Action. • Michael Gerrard spoke about legal aspects of the energy transition to a program of the New York Chapter of Energy Related Arbitration Practitioners. • Hillary Aidun spoke at an event titled “Mobilizing Support: Standing Up to Clean Energy Misinformation and Front Groups,” at the American Clean Power Siting Virtual Summit.

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Engagement

• Romany Webb served on the Advisory Panel for an Institute for Market Transformation project, looking at opportunities to expand state public utility commissions’ mandates to include decarbonization and social equity. • The Sabin Center hosted a meeting of the International Regulatory Futures Forum, bringing together energy regulators from Australia, France, Germany, the U.S., and the UK to discuss issues relating to electricity transmission planning. • Jennifer Danis served as an expert for FERC’s technical conference on GHG emissions mitigation and filed comments to the docket as well.

International & Foreign Law Climate change is a global problem that demands a global response. The Sabin Center provides legal support for and participates in international efforts to address the causes and effects of climate change. We also track how foreign jurisdictions are addressing climate change through legal reforms and litigation. Human Rights and Climate Change

Climate change poses a very real threat to the enjoyment of human rights: sea level rise, heat waves, floods, drought, and other effects can cause death and injury, displace people from their homes, undermine food and water security, and otherwise interfere with the lives, health, and well-being of millions of people. The Sabin Center’s research explores how international human rights law can be used to enhance mitigation ambition and protect people from these effects. Talks

• Michael Gerrard spoke about the Sabin Center’s online databases at the launch event of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ Disaster Law Database.


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• Maria Antonia Tigre spoke at a webinar on Perspectives from Latin America, International Law and Climate Change – Where do we stand After COP26? organized by the African Institute of International Law. • Maria Antonia Tigre spoke at an event titled Living in Harmony with Nature in post-pandemic scenario: Comparative Lessons from Nature,Towards a Global Legal Framework in Harmony and Peace with Nature, organized by ICEL and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. • Maria Antonia Tigre spoke on a panel about Developing a Right to a Healthy Environment in LAC: Compliance through the Inter-American System and the Escazú Agreement, at the PluriCourts Research Conference on Compliance Mechanisms, University of Oslo. • Michael Gerrard gave a video talk to the Columbia Global Center in Tunis about the causes and impacts of climate change, especially in North Africa, and relevant international agreements. • Michael Gerrard was the keynote speaker at the 49th Annual Conference for Science and the Environment of the Israel Society of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, based in Tel Aviv. Publications

• Maria Antonia Tigre, Indigenous Communities of the Lhaka Honhat (Our Land) Association v. Argentina, 115(4) Am. J. Int’l L. 706 (2021) • Victoria Lichet & Maria Antonia Tigre, Historic Breakthrough for Environmental Justice: The UNHRC Recognizes the Right to a Healthy Environment as a Human Right, OpinioJuris (October 13, 2021)


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

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Events From June 2021 – December 2021, the Center sponsored, co-sponsored and participated in numerous online events and conferences. Here are some highlights: mechanisms, and private sector initiatives may contribute to protecting the Amazon. Maria Antonia Tigre was a speaker.

• Cities Climate Law: A Legal Framework for Location Action in the U.S.: This webinar, co-hosted by the Sabin Center and ICLEI USA discussed a new Sabin Center report, Cities Climate Law: A Legal Framework for Local Action in the U.S. as well as city climate action planning.

• Unpacking High Performance Leases:

• The Grande-Synthe Decisions: A Conversation with the Judges of the French Council of State: This webinar,

co-sponsored by the Sabin Center and the Conseil d’Etat, the Chief Justice of the Conseil d’Etat, Bruno Lasserre, and Justice Stéphane Hoynck discussed the impact of the two groundbreaking cases in France. Michael Burger delivered opening remarks and Maria Antonia Tigre moderated the panel discussion.

Decarbonizing Commercial Office Spaces:

This event, co-hosted by the Sabin Center and the NYC Climate Action Alliance, delved into high performance leases. Amy Turner moderated the panel discussion.

• The Legal Protection of the Amazon: Current and Future Trends: This webinar co-organized by the Sabin Center, Western Sydney University School of Law, Cardiff School of Law and Politics School, and Griffith University’s Tropical Primary Forests and Climate Change Project, discussed how legislation, domestic and international litigation, market-based

• Fair Winds and Following Seas: The Past, Present, and Future of Offshore Wind: This webinar, co-sponsored by the Sabin Center, the Columbia Climate School, and Columbia Law School’s Environmental Law Society, delved into the history of offshore wind law, policy, and permitting to see what conflicts have arisen and what lessons can be learned, and looked forward to future frameworks for siting and permitting offshore wind facilities at the scale needed to meet this critical moment. Michael Burger moderated the panel discussion.


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• From Grassroots to Policy: Government Action on Environmental Justice: This event, co-hosted by the Sabin Center, the New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability and the Columbia Climate School as a part of Climate Week NYC, highlighted government approaches to advancing environmental justice across the United States, as well as the grassroots activism that brought us to where we are. Representatives from city and state governments and environmental justice advocates shared their experiences and perspectives on advancing equity and climate justice at the local level.

• Key Environmental Issues in U.S. EPA Region 2: On June 23 and 24, Michael Gerrard chaired the 14th biennial EPA Region 2 conference, co-sponsored by EPA Region 2; the American, New York State, New Jersey State, and New York City bar associations; the Sabin Center; and the Columbia Climate School. A video of the conference, and the slides presented, are available here.

Other events

• The Sabin Center, the Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment, and the International Institute for Sustainable Development co-hosted an online/ in-person 90 minute long interactive expert panel on Carbon Border Adjustments in the EU, the US, and Beyond: Economic, Legal, Political, and GHG Accounting Aspects.

• Climate Change: Policy, Law and Science: Michael Gerrard co-chaired this online program held by Law Seminars International, co-sponsored with Arnold & Porter and Exponent Inc.


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Publications The Sabin Center produces papers, surveys and other legal resources, and its members edit and co-author books with other climate law and energy experts from around the globe. Our website at climate.law.columbia.edu contains landing pages for each of our program areas, which include links to relevant projects, publications, and other resources. In addition, the Center publishes the Climate Law Blog and maintains a growing presence on social media, including on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, as well as a YouTube channel. Highlights Law Journal Articles

• Michael Burger, Jessica Wentz and Radley Horton, The Law and Science of Climate Change Attribution, 51 ELR 10646 (August 2021) • Michael B. Gerrard and Edward McTiernan, Potential Tensions Between New York’s Climate Change Laws and Historic Preservation Laws New York Law Journal (November 10, 2021) • Michael B. Gerrard and Edward McTiernan, Review of 2020 Cases Under SEQRA, New York Law Journal (September 9, 2021)

• Michael Gerrard and Edward McTiernan, Next Mayor Will Inherit Job of Implementing 2019 Law Setting Building Emissions Caps, New York Law Journal (July 7, 2021) • Maria Antonia Tigre, Indigenous Communities of the Lhaka Honhat (Our Land) Association v. Argentina, 115(4) Am. J. Int’l L. 706 (2021) • Victoria Lichet & Maria Antonia Tigre, Historic Breakthrough for Environmental Justice:The UNHRC Recognizes the Right to a Healthy Environment as a Human Right, OpinioJuris (October 13, 2021)

Sabin Center Papers

• Cities Climate Law: A Legal Framework for Local Action in the U.S., by Amy E. Turner and Michael Burger • Climate Attribution Science and the Endangered Species Act, by Jessica Wentz

• Removing Carbon Dioxide Through Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement: Legal Challenges and Opportunities,

by Romany M. Webb, Korey SilvermanRoati, and Michael B. Gerrard

• U.S. Climate Litigation in the Age of Trump: Full Term, By Korey Silverman-Roati

• Climate Attribution Science and the Endangered Species Act, by Jessica Wentz

• Removing Carbon Dioxide

• Using New York Law to Advance Equity in

Through Seaweed Cultivation: Legal Challenges and Opportunities,

by Korey Silverman-Roati, Romany M. Webb, and Michael B. Gerrard

the Transportation & Climate Initiative Program, by Hillary Aidun, Ama Francis

and Michael Gerrard • Legal Pathways to Biden’s Climate Goals, by Michael B. Gerrard


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Highlights from the Climate Law Blog

• Four Important Points about EPA’s Proposed

• The contribution of automakers to climate

Methane Emissions Controls for Oil and Natural Gas Facilities, by Romany Webb

change: broadening the reach of private sector defendants in climate litigation,

• Carbon Storage in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, by Romany Webb • A New Climate Litigation Claim in Brazil Raises the Pressure for Increased Climate Action and Protection of the Amazon Rainforest, by Maria Antonia Tigre

• Major developments for global climate litigation: the human rights council recognizes the right to a healthy environment and the committee on the rights of the child publishes its decision in an international youth climate case,

by Maria Antonia Tigre

by Maria Antonia Tigre • Extreme Heat Protections Should Protect Incarcerated Workers, by Jacob Elkin • California Restaurant Association V. Berkeley and Local Natural Gas Restrictions,

by Amy Turner • Week one at COP26: Developments and Takeaways, by Korey Silverman-Roati


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

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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 approximately 85 media and news items. Highlights • Attorneys Eye Glasgow Talks for Progress on Many Climate Issues, Bloomberg Law Michael Gerrard points out that the success of COP26 and the Paris Agreement hinges on climate decisions that “are made in national capitals.” • As Biden Heads to Climate Talks, Supreme Court Move Could Stymie EPA Regulation, Scientific American

In this article, Michael Burger weighs in on the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a challenge to the EPA’s authority to restrict greenhouse gas emissions stating, “it’s possible that what the court is seeking to review here is Section 111(d) itself.”

• Litigation Increasingly the ‘Only Option’ When Big Emitters Fail to Address Climate Change, Energy Monitor

In this article, both Korey SilvermanRoati and Michael Gerrard comment on the growing trend of activists and courts compelling governments to properly address the climate crisis. • Analysis: As countries wrangle over climate pledges, how enforceable are they? Reuters

In this article, Michael Burger comments on how courts and jurisdictions around the world “have read the Paris Agreement to set legally enforceable targets.”

• Climate Crisis Catches Power Companies Unprepared, The New York Times In this article, Romany Webb discusses utilities’ lack of adequate vulnerability planning; her report, Climate Risk in the Electricity Sector, is also referenced.

• Gas Projects Reveal Ferc’s Environmental Justice Conundrum, E&E News In this article, Jennifer Danis calls for federal agencies to ensure that communities have accurate information on the range of impacts resulting from proposed gas projects.

• New York City Council Requires Climate Resilience Plan, QUARTZ This article mentions Amy Turner’s paper on Legal Tools for Achieving Low Traffic Zones.

• Fearing Liability, U.S. Resists U.N. Fund for Climate Damages, Scientific American In this article, Michael Gerrard comments on the U.S.’ reluctance to join a dedicated UN fund for loss and damage.

• UN Environment Rights Bolster Case for Global Climate Litigation, Bloomberg Law In this article, Maria Antonia Tigre weighs in on a UN resolution recognizing the right to a stable environment as a human right, claiming “[i]t really brings environmental concerns to human rights law.”


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Awards and Recognition On August 4, Michael Burger, Jessica Wentz and Radley Horton were featured as the winning authors in the 2021 Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review for their paper The Law and Science of Climate Change Attribution. On July 31, the South Fork Natural History Museum awarded Michael Gerrard its “Environmental Education Visionary Award” at its 32nd annual summer gala. Online Resources

• New York City Climate Law Tracker The New York City Climate Law Tracker monitors New York City’s progress in implementing the Climate Mobilization Act, a suite of local laws that were enacted in 2019. The most prominent of these is Local Law 97, which places limits on the amount of greenhouse gases that large buildings may emit.

• New York State Climate Law Tracker The New York State Climate Law Tracker monitors New York’s progress in implementing its path-breaking Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, Environmental Justice Law, Community Risk and Resiliency Act, and Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act.

• Climate Attribution Database The Climate Attribution Database, developed in collaboration between the Sabin Center and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, is a repository of scientific infomation relevant to climate litigation and policy-making. Climate attribution science plays a central role in climate litigation and policy-making. The science is central to legal debates on the causal links between human activities, global climate change, and impacts on human and natural systems

• Carbon Dioxide Removal Law Database The Sabin Center and the Center on Global Energy Policy maintain the Carbon Dioxide Removal Law Database, an annotated bibliography of legal materials related to carbon dioxide removal and carbon sequestration and use..


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

• Climate Change Litigation Databases The Center maintains U.S. and global climate litigation charts. (The U.S. database is maintained in collaboration with Arnold & Porter.) To subscribe to the Center’s monthly update, contact: columbiaclimate@gmail.com.

• Climate Change Laws of the World The Sabin Center and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment have collaborated to create an online database of the laws, regulations, policy statements, and other directives issued by national governments, with links to the Sabin Center litigation charts

• Climate Reregulation Tracker The Sabin Center launched the Climate Reregulation Tracker to follow the Biden administration’s progress reinstating and expanding on climate policies that had been rolled back under the previous administration.

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• Model Laws for Deep Decarbonization in the United States

The Model Laws for Deep Decarbonization in the United States website provides policy makers at the federal, state and local levels with the legal tools needed to transition away from fossil fuels. The website is based on the book, Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States, co-edited by Michael Gerrard and John C. Dernbach.

• Silencing Science Tracker The Silencing Science Tracker is a joint initiative of the Sabin Center and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund. It tracks government attempts to restrict or prohibit scientific research, education or discussion, or the publication or use of scientific information, since the November 2016 election.


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Summer/Fall 2021

Earth Institute /Columbia Climate School The Sabin Center is a member center of the Earth Institute/Columbia Climate School, and frequently collaborates with Earth Institute scientists on cutting edge interdisciplinary research. Center faculty and staff are deeply involved in the development of the Climate School at multiple levels.


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

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Who We Are

Michael B. Gerrard Faculty Director

Michael Burger Executive Director

Amy Turner Senior Fellow Cities Climate Law Initiative

tel: 212-854-3287 mgerrard@law.columbia.edu

tel: 212-854-2372 mburger@law.columbia.edu

Romany Webb Senior Fellow

Jennifer Danis Senior Fellow

Jessica Wentz Non-Resident Senior Fellow

tel: 212-854-0080 rwebb@law.columbia.edu

tel: 212-854-4585 jdanis@law.columbia.edu

tel: 212-854-0106 jess.wentz@gmail.com

Ama Francis Non-Resident Fellow

Korey Silverman-Roati Climate Law Fellow (2020–22)

Tiffany Challe Communications Associate

tel: 212-854-0106 arf2167@columbia.edu

tel: 520-906-1359 kgs2133@columbia.edu

tel: 212-854-0594 tc2868@columbia.edu

Kemi Adetayo Program Coordinator

Jacob Elkin Climate Law Fellow (2021–22)

Maria Antonia Tigre Global Climate Litigation Fellow

tel: 212-854-8213 aadetayo@law.columbia.edu

tel: 212-854-7794 jacob.elkin@columbia.edu

mb4913@columbia.edu

tel: 212-854-3268 aturner@law.columbia.edu


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


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