Climate Change and the Law Summer Program

This year there will only be one seminar that focuses on climate change and the law.* While the other seminars offered during the Environmental Law Summer Session are not specifically focused on climate change, many (i.e. Environmental Compliance and Enforcement, International Business and Environment, International Institutions and Environmental Protection, Environmental Law and the US Congress, and Fracking Law & Policy) will also touch on climate change issues.

Week One

International Climate Change Law
This seminar taught by Stephen Porter, who is a consultant and the former Director of the Climate Change Program at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), will provide an overview of the international response to climate change through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with a focus on the effectiveness of existing approaches and the current status of negotiations. We will cover the negotiation, structure and implementation of both the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. The seminar will also track current events and news reports that relate to climate change in order to relate these sometimes abstract concepts currently in the news. We will also explore the ongoing effort to negotiate the post-2012 international climate regime and why the effort has proved elusive despite wide agreement that human induced climate change is occurring and risks grave consequences. The seminar will examine examples of how climate change interacts with other bodies of international law (e.g.,  the Ozone Treaty, Human Rights, Law of the Sea). We will conclude by examining selected topics relating to climate law and policy in the United States and considering the role for law in the transition to a low-carbon future.

The seminar will be taught May 27 to May 30 from 6:00 to 9:00pm.


*Previous Years: The Summer Session on Environmental Law frequently has offered a Climate Change and the Law Program consisting of three seminars. Over the course of three weeks, you could study a variety of topics related to climate change and the law. In the past seminars offered have included one that focused on how the European Union addresses climate change, one that focused on U.S. states and their energy policies focused on addressing climate change, and one that focused on the international climate change regime and ongoing negotiations. Taken together these seminars provided an overview of the current state of climate change and the law around the world.

For more information on these seminars and obtaining a certificate or CLE credit, email summerenvironment@wcl.american.edu.