May 28, 2020

ELI Member Breaking News Event

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grind global activity to a halt, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have plummeted. Experts estimate global GHG emissions will decline 5%-8% in 2020, which would be the largest annual decrease since 1945. But even this drop may not allow us to meet our Paris Agreement commitments. In any case, once shuttered commercial travel and business operations resume, emissions are predicted to rebound by 2021.

The damage to the U.S. economy, however, may not be so easy to restore. As governments and the private sector struggle to identify how to recover economic stability, some experts are concerned that it may become a zero-sum game against reducing emissions, resulting in an increase in GHG emissions over the medium-term. Conversely, other experts believe economic stimulus may present an opportunity to transform our economy, infrastructure, and ways of doing business that would be necessary to reduce and remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting private and public initiatives to reduce GHG emissions? How might the coronavirus and the economic fallout alter sustainability in the global economy? How can companies respond? Can economic stimulus be used to accelerate decarbonization? Our panelists explored these questions and dove into the impact of the coronavirus on climate change.

Sandra Nichols Thiam
, Associate Vice Present, Research & Policy; Director, Judicial Education Program, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
Timothy C. Brightbill, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
Alan B. Horowitz, Principal and Managing Director, Trusted Companies LLC
Casey Talon, Associate Director, Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure, Guidehouse
Michael Vandenbergh, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair of Law; Director, Climate Change Research Network; Co-Director, Energy, Environment and Land Use Program, Vanderbilt Law School

There are no speaker materials for Breaking News events.

Additional reference materials:
Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States
(ELI Press, March 2019, 1120 pgs)

 ELI members will have subsequent access to any materials/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.