Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

Upcoming Environmental Law Events!

There are many exciting panel discussions and conferences on environmental law topics in the next few week!  Below is a sampling of some of the many events that are happening in and around New York City that may be of interest.

Developing Offshore Wind Projects — March 22 from 12:30 – 2:30 PM, The City Bar Association

Already being realized in Europe and elsewhere, offshore wind projects offer the prospect of clean and abundant domestic energy supplies. But unresolved legal, commercial and policy issues pose significant challenges to the development of these projects in the United States. In this program, a diverse group of industry participants will discuss recent developments and offer their perspectives and prescriptions on the outlook for offshore wind projects, both in the State of New York and elsewhere in the U.S.

The program is open to the public, but seating is limited and prior reservations are required. There is no charge for this presentation. A simple lunch will be available.

Kindly RSVP to Ernest Chung at or (212) 885-5447.

Chip Carstensen, Managing Director, NordDeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale AG
Brandi Colander, Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council
Scott Keating, General Manager Sales, North America, Vestas Offshore
KC Sahl, New York State Director Offshore Wind, NRG Bluewater Wind

Panel Co-Chairs:
Joan Bondareff, Blank Rome LLP
Robert M. Vilter, Reed Smith LLP

Climate Change, China and the WTO — March 30 from 6:30-8:30 PM, Columbia Law School

In December 2010, the United States initiated a landmark dispute at the WTO challenging a range of Chinese subsidies to domestic renewable energy manufacturers. Although the dispute is currently still in the consultation phase, it represents a significant step by the United States government and could be a harbinger of things to come as China continues its aggressive push towards clean energy infrastructure and development.  What are the environmental, economic and geopolitical implications of this case?  Join distinguished panelists for a wide-ranging discussion of the dispute and its context within international trade law and economics.


Joseph Stiglitz, University Professor, Columbia University; Chair,
Columbia University Committee on Global Thought; Nobel Laureate in Economics
Robert Howse, Lloyd C. Nelson Professor of International Law, New
York University School of Law
Andrew Shoyer, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP; Former Counsel, Office of
the United States Trade Representative
Michael Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice;
Director, Columbia Center for Climate Change Law

No RSVP required
Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Columbia Law School, 435 W. 116th St. (at Amsterdam Ave.)
Jerome Greene Hall Room 104
New York, New York

Cornell Environmental Law Society Energy ConferenceMarch 31-April 2, Ithaca NY

Gas Drilling, Sustainability & Energy Policy: Searching for Common Ground

The conference will explore the legal, scientific, and business perspectives on Shale Gas Development and hydraulic fracturing (“hydrofracking”). This issue has ignited a fierce battle over energy and the environment in New York State.  Eight fast-paced and interactive panels will use natural gas drilling as a lens to explore national energy policy, the global energy market, and the
integral role the law must play in creating energy security and ensuring a sustainable future.  The conference brings together over 45 distinguished speakers from Cornell University and around the country working in law, science, business, and government from all sides of the energy debate.

Location: Cornell Law School, Myron Taylor & Anabel Taylor Hall,
Ithaca, New York
Dates: Thursday evening, March 31 – Saturday evening, April 2

New York City as a Sustainable City — April 7 from 5-7PM at Columbia Law School

New York City is, to the surprise of many, one of the most energy-efficient places in the United States– the energy consumption and carbon dioxide output of New Yorkers is one-quarter of the national average, and the city is on target to meet a number of sustainability goals in the next 20 years, including planting one million new trees (of which more than 300,000 have been planted in the last three years) and converting an entire fleet of over 10,000 taxicabs to fuel-efficient vehicles and hybrids.  But with close to 20
million people living in the Tri-State area, the continued sustainability of such an environment is still a constant concern.

The panel, moderated by Steve Cohen, Executive Director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University and Director, M.S. Sustainability Management, will feature David Bragdon, Director of the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability for the New York City Mayor’s Office; Cas Holloway, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection; Bill Solecki, Director of the CUNY Institute of Sustainable Cities; and Ester Fuchs, Founder of the Center for Urban Research and Policy and Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.  We invite you to come listen to the panel’s participants as they discuss both signs of progress and deficiencies in the effort of make New York City a sustainable city, touching on government initiatives in this area as well as the role of the private sector.

Though issues of sustainability are being recognized on an increasingly global scale, it is local actions that will likely provide many of the solutions to these large-scale problems.  Find out from the panel’s speakers, decision-makers and experts in urban sustainability, how New York City can play a large leadership role in this transformation.

To RSVP, please contact Andrea Schecter at or 212-851-0772. The event will be held in the Faculty Room in Low Library on Columbia University’s Morningside Campus.




Climate in the News

As world leaders gather in Cancun for the UN Climate Change Conference (the sixteenth Conference of the Parties on climate change), climate change has been in the news lately. First, scientists are predicting that by the end of the century, global temperatures could rise by FOUR degrees (not just two) due to climate change. At the same time, the percentage of Americans who believe that increases in the Earth’s temperature are caused by human activities has dropped to just 50% (down from 63% in 2003). A recent study correlates the economic downturn with American skepticism about climate change. Meanwhile, yesterday the Times had a good article on how Indonesia’s attempts to receive payments from Norway to reforest as a way of mitigating climate change are receiving sharp criticism from Greenpeace. Faced with international (and domestic) stagnation on climate change action, there are always individuals steps: the Philadelphia Eagles are planning to have their new stadium run completely on self-generated electricity. Here’s to hoping Cancun does better than Copenhagen.

Climate Change and Human Rights: New Imperatives for Action, 11/8/10

Wagner Environmental Policy and Action Presents:

Climate Change and Human Rights: New Imperatives for Action

Brown Bag Lunch with Professor Lisa DiCaprio

Monday, November 8th from 12-1pm
Puck Building, Mulberry Conference Room
Bring your own lunch. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Please RSVP to

Professor Lisa DiCaprio will present her new research and lead discussion on how climate change will affect basic human rights, such as right to food security, clean water and air, and health.

She will also give a brief overview of her course ‘Green Design for a Living World,’ including its focus on sustainability awareness and urbanism, as well as  climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Dr. Lisa DiCaprio, Associate Director of Curriculum
Clinical Associate Professor of Social Sciences, Paul McGhee Division
School of Continuing and Professional Studies

Dr. DiCaprio obtained her Ph.D. from the Department of History at Rutgers University in 1996. She is the author of The Origins of the Welfare State: Women, Work, and the French Revolution (University of Illinois, 2007). This is the first study to examine women and the welfare state in its formative period when modern concepts of human rights were elaborated. Dr. DiCaprio is also co-editor with Merry E. Wiesner of Lives and Voices: Sources in European Women’s History (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001). She has held faculty positions at Smith College, the City University of New York (CUNY), Washington and Lee University, and Boston College. She is the director of the photographic exhibit project, “The Betrayal of Srebrenica: A Ten-Year Commemoration.”

Questions about this event? Please email Adriane at

Environmental stories in the news today…

Putting the heat on UBS to stop financing mountain-top removal. Pressuring investors to take action on environmental issues by making the “business case” for environmental protections is strategy that has met with some success.  Today, World Radio Switzerland had a story about mounting pressure on UBS to stop financing mountaintop removal mining (no pun intended).  If you love mountains, be sure to check out the story.

Mercury exposure lawsuit begins in New Jersey. A day care that was built in a former thermometer factory in Franklin Lakes, NJ resulted in over 100 children being exposed to high levels of mercury.  A trial will start tomorrow that will determine whether or not defendants are liable for long-term health monitoring costs.   More details are available in the full story.

Outlook not so good for next month’s climate change summit in Cancun. The last pre-convention meeting of the delegates to the UN Climate Change Summit (taking place in November in Cancun) concluded this past Saturday in China.  Unfortunately, with disagreement among countries still running rampant, the outlook for any concrete steps coming out of the Cancun summit is bleak.  Read more from the WSJ by clicking here.

And don’t forget to check out the videos from yesterday’s Global Work party!

10-10-10 Global Work Party

This Sunday is’s Global Work Party a worldwide effort to get global leaders to commit to 350 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere (what scientists consider to be a safe level) by completing sustainable projects all around the world.

The White House is doing its part by installing solar panels and a solar water heater.

What’s your plan?

Heating your home with biogas from a brewery?

Converting your DeLorean into an electric car?

Supporting hydroelectric power in the East River?

Moving to Denmark (where they heart bikes) and hugging a cyclist??

Congressional inaction and climate change, October 11


Comprehensive U.S. climate legislation passed the House of Representatives in June 2009 but has stalled in the Senate.  What does this mean for U.S. companies, for EPA, for the states, and for the international negotiations?  On Monday, October 11 from 7-9 PM, check out this discussion on how the US and the states will move forward given Congressional paralysis.

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Climate Change Week NYC cap-and-trade discussion

If you are not in Climate Change, Development and Human Rights this Monday night, Carbon Credit Capital is hosting what promises to be an interesting conversation about cap-and-trade, the EPA and the role of market-based-solutions and legal mechanisms in combating climate change.

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