Climate Change and the Law
This course examines the problems of climate change and how law and policy and corporate America are responding to them.
The Course begins by describing what is encompassed under the current “climate change” debate; considering what science can tell us about the climate change issue, including the uncertainties in that science and the significance and role of descent from the mainstream view of the science. It then considers, given the current state of the science, how we should assess the actions that should be taken to respond to this problem. That assessment should take account mitigation vs. adaptation.
The course also considers the legal responses to the issue of climate change. This course will discuss the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol, and the likely future of both. This course will discuss the domestic federal legislation with regard to GHGs as well as certain regional initiatives and voluntary commercial GHG reduction schemes.
This part of the course will be examining the “boomlet” in global warming litigation in federal and state courts looking at the administrative and tort actions pending in U.S. courts.
Finally, the course will address sustainability issues for business, including green building, carbon neutral strategies, certain esoteric accounting issues, some carbon trading issues. Lectures will include voluntary and NGO-driven business initiatives (proactive approaches) as well as certain secondary effects caused by climate change that affect businesses.