Global scientific consensus confirms that we are experiencing climate change, human actions are driving that change, and ecosystems and human society must adapt to these alterations. Although questions remain about the timing, location, and severity of the impacts, legal, institutional, and policy responses to mitigate and adapt to climate change need to be crafted and implemented now. At the same time, the connection between energy and environmental harm is ever more clear, both in the context of climate and traditional environmental concerns such as air and water pollution and land use.
ELI is harnessing our 40 years of experience in developing and implementing environmental laws, policies, and institutions to address the threats posed by climate change and the opportunities posed by new energy resources. ELI’s Land & Biodiversity Program, Ocean Program, Invasive Species Program, Industrial Agriculture Law and Policy Center, and International Waters Program are already developing tools and building capacity to respond to climate change. By engaging a broad range of stakeholders in research, capacity building, and technical and legal assistance, we seek to mitigate the causes of climate change and strengthen capacity to adapt to climate change.
Through our climate and energy work, ELI seeks to enhance the resilience of communities and ecosystems around the world and to ensure new energy sources can be exploited while protecting and enhancing ecosystem health. In particular, ELI programs:
- Enshrine countries’ Paris commitments into national policy and law. As the Paris Climate Agreement will only be achieved if national laws underscore country commitments, ELI has developed a straight-forward model framework for a national-level, climate change law. The model law has been translated into the six UN languages (plus Portuguese) to facilitate its use around the world.
- Strengthen Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change. ELI is preparing for climate change impacts by strengthening capacity to adapt to climate change through effective laws, policies, institutions, and management practices.
- Green Our National Energy Transformation. ELI is pressing key legal reforms that will support America’s shift toward new sources of renewable energy and deal with the impacts of new and continuing carbon-intensive energy sources.
- Integrate Climate Change into Invasive Species Strategies. ELI is striving to improve management of invasive species in the context of a changing climate by developing recommendations for robust management and policy decisions under changing conditions.
- Advance Technologies for Climate Change. ELI is improving legal and institutional frameworks governing the development, access, transfer, and use of technologies to meet the challenges of climate change.
- Answer Constitutional Challenges to New Climate Change Initiatives. ELI anticipates, publicizes, and defends against constitutional attacks on emerging laws and initiatives designed to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions and fight the effects of global climate change.