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An Action Agenda for Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States


April 25, 2019
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm


Environmental Law Institute
1730 M Street, NW, Suite 700 (Map)

Washington, DC (and webinar)


This event is free and open to the public but you must register.

  • Please register by April 22. Contact mcmurrin@eli.org with questions.
  • For in-person attendance (limited), REGISTER HERE.
  • For webinar/telecon, REGISTER HERE.  Webinar information will be emailed one business day prior to the event. If you are unsure if you can access the webinar via the GoToMeeting platform, please go HERE to view system requirements prior to registering.
  • All times noted are Eastern Time. The webinar will begin at 3:30 PM Eastern, 2:30 PM Central, 1:30 PM Mountain, and 12:30 PM Pacific. There is no CLE for this course.

NOTE: All registrants for ELI events need to have an ELI "account." When you click on the above Register Here link, you will be asked to log in.

  • ELI members and previous registrants have accounts. If you don't remember your password, please click on the "Request new password" tab.
  • Non-members who have previously not set up an ELI account may click on the "Create new account" tab, complete the process, and then return to this page to register. While creating this account does not confer membership, it will allow you to register for this and future events at any appropriate non-member rate that may be required.

An ELI 50th Anniversary Seminar

Last fall, the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. Global Change Research Program released new reports that painted a far worse picture of the consequences of climate change than previously projected. While the overall message was dire indeed, one thing is certain: we need to act now.

While a number of technologies and other methods are available to achieve radical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, there are numerous legal impediments to implementing these activities at the necessary scale and speed. A new book, Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States, identifies these impediments and devises numerous ways to surmount them. Best described as a “playbook” for policymakers and lawyers, the book identifies well over 1,000 options-- legal pathways to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. The legal options identified involve federal, state, and local law, as well as private governance. Chapter authors were asked to include all options, even if they do not now seem politically  likely, giving the book not just immediate value, but also value over time. And with 1,000+ recommendations to choose from, policymakers and lawyers can pick the legal tools that work best for their situations.

On April 25, the book editors, Michael B. Gerrard and John C. Dernbach, and a panel of experts will discuss some of the legal options for deep decarbonization in the United States and offer insight as to efforts already underway to put these recommendations into action.

John C. Dernbach, Commonwealth Professor of Environmental Law and Sustainability, Widener University Commonwealth Law School
Michael B. Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia Law School
Kit Kennedy, Senior Director, Climate and Clean Energy Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
Peter Lehner, Senior Strategic Advisor and Senior Attorney, Earthjustice
Charles (Chuck) Sensiba, Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP

Materials will be posted as they become available...

ELI members will have access to a recording of this session (usually posted w/in 48 hours). If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, go HERE to see the many benefits of membership and how to join.

Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States  Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the US: Summary & Key Recommendations