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Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States

Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States

Authors: 

Michael B. Gerrard and John C. Dernbach, Editors
Price: $64.95

Release Date: 

March 2019

ISBN: 

978-1-58576-197-5

Pages: 

1200

About

Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States provides a “legal playbook” for deep decarbonization in the United States, identifying well over 1,000 legal options for enabling the United States to address one of the greatest problems facing this country and the rest of humanity.

The book is based on two reports by the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) that explain technical and policy pathways for reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. This 80x50 target and similarly aggressive carbon abatement goals are often referred to as deep decarbonization, distinguished because it requires systemic changes to the energy economy.

Legal Pathways explains the DDPP reports and then addresses in detail 35 different topics in as many chapters. These 35 chapters cover energy efficiency, conservation, and fuel switching; electricity decarbonization; fuel decarbonization; carbon capture and negative emissions; non-carbon dioxide climate pollutants; and a variety of cross-cutting issues. The legal options involve federal, state, and local law, as well as private governance. Authors were asked to include all options, even if they do not now seem politically realistic or likely, giving Legal Pathways not just immediate value, but also value over time.

While both the scale and complexity of deep decarbonization are enormous, this book has a simple message: deep decarbonization is achievable in the United States using laws that exist or could be enacted. These legal tools can be used with significant economic, social, environmental, and national security benefits.

About the Author

Michael B. Gerrard is the Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law School, where he teaches courses on environmental and energy law, and founded and directs the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. He is also a member and former Chair of the Faculty of Columbia’s Earth Institute. Since 1986, Professor Gerrard has written an environmental law column for the New York Law Journal. He is author or editor of 13 books, two of which were named Best Law Book of the Year by the Association of American Publishers: Environmental Law Practice Guide (12 volumes, 1992) and Brownfields Law and Practice (four volumes, 1998). 

John C. Dernbach is the Commonwealth Professor of Environmental Law and Sustainability at Widener University Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Director of its Environmental Law and Sustainability Center. Professor Dernbach has written on sustainable development, climate change, and other topics in more than 50 articles for law reviews and peer-reviewed journals, and has authored, coauthored, or contributed chapters to more than 20 books.