People Places Planet Podcast

Welcome to ELI’s People Places Planet Podcast. Here, listeners can gain insight on some of the thinking behind ELI's work. Below you will find our most recent episodes. Be sure to tune into our special series on Environmental Disruptors.

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Environmental Justice (EJ) has gained new momentum in recent years, amplified by a global focus on social justice, climate, and equity. Yet this new-found energy and focus on environmental is best understood through the lens of those who have been working toward EJ for decades. In this episode, John Cruden, a Principal at Beveridge & Diamond, talks to renowned EJ leader and advocate Benjamin F. Wilson. Ben, who recently retired after serving years as Chairman of Beveridge & Diamond, has deep experience with EJ representations and is a recognized leader on diversity, equity and inclusion issues in the legal profession.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment & Natural Resources Division (ENRD) is tasked with enforcing the United States’ civil and criminal environmental laws. In this episode, Nicole Noelliste, a managing associate in the environmental practice at Sidley Austin LLP, talks with John Cruden, former Assistant Attorney General of the ENRD (2015-2017), and David Buente, former Chief of the ENRD’s Environmental Enforcement Section (1985-1990). John and David share insights on the organizational development of the Environmental Crimes Section and Environmental Enforcement Section of ENRD and discuss key landmark cases such as Love Canal. The episode is part of The Enforcement Angle series, featuring conversations about state and federal enforcement of environmental laws and regulations with senior enforcement officials and thought leaders on environmental enforcement in the United States and globally.

Sharks play an essential role in the marine ecosystem. But many species of migratory sharks and rays have become endangered due to overfishing and excessive bycatch in industrial fisheries. And given their migratory nature, sharks and rays are “beyond the national jurisdiction” of any one nation and therefore difficult to protect and regulate. Greta Swanson, a Visiting Attorney at ELI, offers insight on key international agreements that regulate the conservation and management of migratory sharks and rays.
Environmental justice embraces the principle that all people deserve equal access to environmental protection and enforcement while acknowledging the fact that, both historically and still today, this fails to play out in reality. Recognizing that the legal system has contributed to an unequal distribution of environmental burdens and benefits, ELI is committed to providing research and educational tools to help alleviate the harm faced by environmental justice communities across the nation. In this episode, Arielle King, ELI’s Environmental Justice Staff Attorney, shares with listeners some of the tools ELI is developing to eliminate the harmful impacts of environmental injustice. 

Last November, as the world focused its attention on the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, high school students in Dane County, Wisconsin, co-sponsored and moderated a climate action conference of their own that connected COP26 to local climate initiatives and progress. Rebecca Kihslinger, a Senior Science and Policy Analyst at ELI, talks to four of the student organizers — Daphne Wu, Claire Neblett, Kirshna Elwell, and Felicia Zheng — to learn more. 
Interest and urgency in advancing environmental justice has gained new momentum. The Biden-Harris Administration has placed an unprecedented federal focus on environmental justice using a whole of government approach. Meanwhile, a growing list of states continue to develop, implement, and enforce EJ-focused legislation, accelerated by the intensity at the federal level. Will this momentum carry into the new year? In this episode, Stacey Halliday of Beveridge & Diamond talks to two EJ leaders at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Charles Lee, Senior Policy Advisor, and Matthew Tejada, the Director of the Office of Environmental Justice – to find out  what’s in store for 2022. This episode is part of the Groundtruth series created in partnership with Beveridge & Diamond, one of the nation’s leading environmental law firms. 
Land use climate bubbles are popping up all over the nation at an alarming rate, and they could very well lead to an economic crisis that will be more damaging than that of the housing bubble of 2008. What can we do to respond? Land Use Law expert John Nolon describes how the local land use legal system can leverage state and federal assistance to reduce per capita carbon emissions as an important and now recognized component of global efforts to manage climate change. The podcast is being released in tandem with CNN’s Call to Earth Day, an initiative to share the stories of those dedicated to conservation, environmentalism, and sustainability. 
As investor demand for climate and other environmental, social, and governance (ESG) products soars, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has formed a climate and ESG task force and taken other steps. 

In this episode, Justin Savage, a Partner at Sidley Austin LLP, talks with Kelly Gibson, Director of the SEC’s Philadelphia Regional Office who also leads the Climate and ESG Task Force within the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, and Ranah Esmaili, a partner at Sidley who recently joined the firm from the SEC’s Asset Management Unit within the Division of Enforcement. The panel discusses a wide range of SEC developments, including potential rulemaking, risk alerts, investor bulletins, and the task force. 
Environmental Justice has gained new momentum in recent years, amplified by a global focus on social justice, climate, and equity. Shortly after taking office, President Biden released Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crises at Home and Abroad. The Executive Order includes a new initiative, Justice40, which states that 40% of the overall benefits from specific federal investments—including energy efficiency, clean energy, clean water infrastructure, and training and workforce development—will be directed toward disadvantaged communities. In this episode, Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming, a partner at Van Ness Feldman, and Mustafa Santiago Ali, Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation, discuss the Justice40 initiative. This episode is part of the Groundtruth series created in partnership with Beveridge & Diamond, one of the nation’s leading environmental law firms. 
Environmental Justice (EJ) has gained new momentum in recent years, amplified by a global focus on social justice, climate, and equity. The Biden-Harris Administration has brought EJ to the federal spotlight, and even before 2021, states were starting to implement ambitious, history-making EJ-focused legislation. But what about corporate America? In this episode, Roy Prather, a Shareholder at Beveridge & Diamond who advises clients on corporate social responsibility and environmental justice, interviews Chonda Nwamu, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary for Ameren Corporation, and Roger Martella, Chief Sustainability Officer for General Electric. This episode is part of the Groundtruth series created in partnership with Beveridge & Diamond, one of the nation’s leading environmental law firms.