University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Energy Transition Lab

The Road to Paris: Multidimensional action to address climate change

October 22, 2015Hari OsofskyETL Blog, EventsComments Off on The Road to Paris: Multidimensional action to address climate change

All eyes are on Paris as the deadline for negotiation of a new climate change agreement under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Conference of the Parties approaches at the end of this year. Whatever those international negotiations deliver, it is unlikely to be a panacea for the problem of climate change. Climate change is increasingly recognized to be a multiscalar, multidimensional problem that will require concerted action across many levels of government and by a range of actors, public and private. Federal action under the newly released Clean Power Plan, local action by cities and states, engagement of corporations and the private sector, and litigation and advocacy by civil society, are all likely to be part of the puzzle in developing effective climate change regulation.

This event, to be held at the University of Minnesota Law School, on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 27-28, 2015, will seek to take stock of multidimensional action to address climate change and its interaction with international efforts to reach a new climate agreement in December in Paris. The workshop is being organized by the Energy Transition Lab and Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, together with the International Environmental Law Interest Group of the American Society of International Law.

The workshop is designed to encourage production of innovative, new scholarship on questions of climate change regulation, with a particular focus on supporting new professionals and young or emerging scholars. Participants will be required to prepare a working draft of their paper for intensive discussion and comment at the workshop.


Day 1: October 27, 2015

8:30 – 9:00 am Registration and Breakfast
9:00 – 9:15 am Welcome and Introduction to the Workshop
Hari Osofsky, Professor, University of Minnesota Law School; Faculty Director, Energy Transition Lab; Co-Chair, ASIL International Environmental Law Interest Group
9:15 – 10:15 am Where We Are on the Road to Paris
Group discussion: participants each give brief (2 min or less) views on most important questions and then group brainstorms key issues in negotiations and the broader climate change context.
10:15 – 10:45 am Break
10:45 – 11:35 am State and Local Action to Address Climate Change
Moderator: Kathryn Milun, Associate Professor, Sociology/Anthropology Department, University of Minnesota, Duluth; Founder and Director of the Solar Commons Project

  • Uma Outka, Associate Professor, University of Kansas School of Law
    • Cities and the Low-Carbon Grid
  • Paolo D. Farah, Assistant Professor, West Virginia University, Department of Public Administration & College of Law
    • A Multiscalar and Multilevel Approach to the Role of Non-State Actors and Sub-State Actors in International Environmental Governance and in the Climate Change and Energy Security Discourses
11:40 – 12:30 pm Federalism and the Clean Power Plan
Moderator: Ira Feldman, President & Senior Counsel, greentrack strategies; Lecturer, Masters in Environmental Studies (MES) Program, University of Pennsylvania

  • Melissa Powers, Associate Professor of Law, Lewis & Clark Law School and Amelia Schlusser, Staff Attorney, Green Energy Institute, Lewis & Clark Law School
    • The Risks and Opportunities of a State Measures Approach under the Clean Power Plan
  • Hari Osofsky, Professor, University of Minnesota Law School; Faculty Director, Energy Transition Lab; Co-Chair, ASIL International Environmental Law Interest Group
    • Regional Energy: Bridging the Energy-Environment Divide in the Clean Power Plan
12:30 – 1:35 pm Lunch
1:35 – 2:25 pm U.S. Climate Change and Energy Politics, and the Domestic/International Interface
Moderator: Elizabeth Wilson, Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy and Law, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

  • Juscelino F. Colares, Schott-van den Eynden Professor of Law, Case-Western Reserve University School of Law
    • Climate Change Mitigation and Trade Rules: The Opportunities and Limitations of Neutral Border Tariffs
  • David A. Wirth, Professor of Law and Director of International Programs, Boston College Law School [remotely at 2pm CST/3pm EDT]
    • The International and Domestic Law of Climate Change: A Binding International Agreement Without the Senate or Congress?
2:30 – 3:20 pm Climate and Energy Federalism
Moderator: Ellen Anderson, Executive Director, Energy Transition Lab

  • David Adelman, Harry Reasoner Regents Chair in Law, Texas Law and David Spence, Professor of Law, Texas Law
    • Cost-Benefit Politics in U.S. Energy Policy
  • Felix Mormann, Associate Professor, Miami School of Law
    • Constitutional Challenges and Regulatory Opportunities for State Climate Policy
3:20 – 3:50 pm Break
3:50 – 4:40 pm Adaptation at Multiple Scales
Moderator: Randel (Randy) D. Hanson, Co-Director, Program in Environment and Sustainability Studies and Coordinator, Sustainable Agriculture Project @ UMD, University of Minnesota, Duluth

  • Jessica J. Hellmann, Russell M. and Elizabeth M. Bennett Chair in Excellence, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior; Director, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota
    • Measuring the “Adaptation Gap” to Inform Adaptation Investment and Track Adaptation Progress Globally
  • Sarah Reiter, Ocean Policy Research Analyst, Monterey Bay Aquarium and Adjunct Faculty, Vermont Law School
    • A Changing Climate, A Coast in Conflict
4:45 – 5:35 pm Transnational Action to Address Climate Change and Its Limits
Moderator: Steve Kelley, Senior Fellow, Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy, Director of Graduate Studies, Master of Science in Security Technologies, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

  • Carlisle Ford Runge, Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Applied Economics and Law, University of Minnesota and James Dorsey, Partner, Frederickson and Byron, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • Disrupting the Climate in Paris: Creative Destruction and the Global Environmental Logjam
  • Jacqueline Peel, Professor of Law, University of Melbourne; Co-Chair, ASIL International Environmental Law Interest Group
    • A Rights’ Turn Climate Change Litigation?

Day 2: October 28, 2015

8:30 – 9:00 am Breakfast
9:00 – 9:15 am Introduction to Day 2
Jacqueline Peel, Professor of Law, University of Melbourne; Co-Chair, ASIL
International Environmental Law Interest Group
9:15 – 10:05 am Corporate Action to Address Climate Change
Moderator: Jennifer Gunn, Associate Professor, History of Science, Technology & Medicine; Director, Institute of Advanced Studies

  • Shi-Ling Hsu, John W. Larson Professor of Law, Florida State University College of Law
    • Capital Transitioning: The Race from the Bottom and an Alternative Approach to Climate Policy
  • Brett McDonnell, University of Minnesota Law School
    • Energy Divestment/Investment
10:10 – 11:00 am Corporate Action to Address Climate Change
Moderator: Winthrop A. Rockwell, Executive Director, Green Minneapolis

  • Paul M. Vaaler, John and Bruce Mooty Chair in Law & Business Law School & Carlson School of Management
    • Do Stronger Employee Protections in the National Workplace Lead to Higher Rates of Green-Tech Innovation in the Global Marketplace?
  • Lisa Benjamin, Assistant Professor, College of the Bahamas
    • Companies and Climate Change – An Analysis of Five Carbon Major Emitters’ Activities
11:00 – 11:30 am Break
11:30 – 12:20 pm Rethinking Institutional Responses
Moderator: Brad Karkkainen, Henry J. Fletcher Professor in Law, University of Minnesota Law School

  • Todd Aagard, Vice Dean and Professor of Law, Villanova University School of Law [remotely at 11:30 am CST; 12:30 pm EST]
    • Smart Climate Primacy
  • Gabriel Chan, Assistant Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota and Joern Huenteler, Associate, Energy Technology Innovation Policy Research Group, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
    • Financing Wind Energy Deployment in China through the Clean Development Mechanism
12:20 – 1:30 pm Lunch and Discussion of Next Steps
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