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Environmental Law Institute Offers Special Programming This March in Celebration of its 50th Year

March 2019

Washington, DC:  December 22, 2019, will mark the 50th Anniversary of the Environmental Law Institute. Throughout the year, ELI will hold special events, programs, and publications that look back at the last 50 years and look forward to the next. This month, ELI will be “Re-Imagining Environmental Governance.”

ELI 50th logoImproving environmental governance at the international, federal, state, and local levels has been at the core of ELI’s work for nearly 50 years. Through our Environmental Governance program, ELI has developed and fostered innovative government and business approaches to environmental protection. Looking to the future, more needed than ever will be ELI’s core capability to develop effective approaches to new or entrenched environmental problems and to respond with workable approaches that embrace changing technologies, policies, and economies.

In a recent episode from ELI’s People Places Planet Podcast, titled A New Environmentalism, ELI President Scott Fulton and Dave Rejeski, Director of ELI's Technology, Innovation, and Environment Project, discuss how environmental protection could be organized and implemented in the future, tapping into the promise of technology. Their conversation stems from a recent paper they wrote on the topic, available free for download.

With work currently underway in 37 countries, including the United States, ELI is uniquely positioned to catalyze solutions that are global in nature, as illustrated most recently in the First Global Report on the Environmental Rule of Law, which ELI developed in partnership with UN Environment. On March 8, ELI will host a special webinar on G.A. Res. 72/277, Toward a Global Pact for the Environment, which was adopted by the United Nations last year. Developed by an international network of environmental lawyers and legal scholars, the Pact would codify an internationally agreed-upon set of principles of environmental law. While many experts agree that the Pact could help fill the gaps in international environmental law, many questions remain. At this free webinar, leading global experts will explore the obstacles to and benefits of utilizing the Pact, the gaps in current international environmental law, and the principles that could guide environmental law for years to come.

The judiciary plays a central role in environmental governance, providing an independent voice from other branches of government. For decades, judicial educational institutes around the world have sought assistance and training from ELI, to help them ensure that judges are well-equipped to deal with the complexity of environmental cases. Last summer, ELI, in partnership with the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law, conducted a judicial capacity-building project in Indonesia to help judges assert liability against bad actors to become central players in the fight against deforestation and the path toward sustainable development. Watch Enabling the Indonesian Judiciary to Stop Illegal Deforestations to get a closer look at some of the work we do, in partnership with local groups.

Governance tools include not only traditional laws and regulations, but environmental assessments, information disclosure, market mechanisms, economic incentives, and public policies and programs that promote voluntary stewardship. And the number of companies voluntarily committing themselves to using more renewable energy is on the rise. In a new report, Corporate Statements About the Use of Renewable Energy: What Does the “100% Renewable” Goal Really Mean?, ELI demystifies the voluntary world of corporate renewable energy claims, taking a detailed look at voluntary corporate renewable energy goal-setting, reporting, and performance.

ELI traces its origins to a national conference on the emerging field of environmental law held at the Airlie House in Virginia in September 1969. Often described as a one-of-a kind environmental law think-and-do tank, ELI continues to effect change through its work as a premier environmental law educator, convener, publisher, and research engine.

Be sure to visit https://www.eli.org/eli-50th-anniversary throughout the year for details and updates.