Graham Sustainability Institute

Climate Change and the Law

LAW 671

Climate change will emerge in the decades ahead as one of the most significant challenges facing our Nation and the world.  The evidence that human activity is altering the climate--with potentially catastrophic effects--is largely unchallenged in the scientific community, yet remains the source of significant controversy from a legal and policy perspective.  This course will consider the evidence that the climate is changing, through readings and guest lectures, and then will focus on legal efforts to address climate change both in the United States and through international treaties.  We will consider recent Supreme Court cases, regulatory efforts under the Clean Air Act, regional cap and trade programs, and efforts through citizen suits to compel government action using nuisance law and the public trust doctrine.  We will examine the role of the United Nations process, culminating in the Paris Accords, and how corporate sustainability efforts contribute to climate change mitigation and adaption efforts.

Fall 2017
Winter 2020