UN3355: Climate Change and Law | M. Gerrard

Sustainable Development
Undergraduate Lecture
MW Th 9-10:30AM

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a broad introduction to the field of climate law in the United States and at the international level. The course begins with an overview of the causes and effects of global climate change and the methods available to control and adapt to it. We then examine the negotiation, implementation and current status of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Copenhagen Accord. The focus then turns to the past and proposed actions of the U.S. Congress, the executive branch and the courts, as well as regional, state and municipal efforts. The Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act will receive special attention. We evaluate the various legal tools that are available to address climate change, including cap-and-trade schemes; carbon taxation; command-and-control regulation; litigation; securities disclosures; and voluntary action. The roles of energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, carbon capture and sequestration, and forestry and agriculture each receive close attention. Implications for international human rights, international trade, environmental justice, and international and intergenerational equity are discussed. The course concludes with examination of the special challenges posed by China; proposals for adaptation and geoengineering; and business opportunities and the role of lawyers.

Students must register via waitlist.

Link to Vergil
Note: only courses offered during the two previous semesters have active Vergil links.