Climate Change & Energy

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grass Climate Change—the effects of a warming world on the physical, biological, ecological, and social systems of our world—is emerging as the preeminent issue of the 21st century. Our ability lessen its impacts by effective policies, laws, and treaties that reduce the introduction of greenhouse gases (commonly referred to as mitigation), and our ability to adjust to the impacts which will occur regardless of mitigation or because mitigation is not as complete or effective as it needs to be (commonly referred to as adaptation), will largely dictate how severe and widespread climate change will be in this century and for centuries to come.

Center faculty members have long and extensive involvement in the articulation, exploration, analysis, and advocacy of issues related to climate change and energy. Professors Dernbach, Hodas, Kristl, May, and Strauss have each written and lectured extensively on topics across the spectrum of climate law. Professor Dernbach has written a leading introductory article on climate change law, and co-authored an amicus brief in the landmark climate case of Massachusetts v. EPA.  Professor Hodas has examined the constitutional dimensions of state action to address climate change, is a co-author of CLIMATE CHANGE LAW:  MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION (West, 2009)–a new textbook for teaching the increasingly complex law of climate change and its impacts.  Professor Kristl published ASSESSING THE LEGAL TOOLBOX FOR SEA LEVEL RISE ADAPTATION IN DELAWARE:  Options and Challenges for Regulators, Policymakers, Property Owners and the Public in 2014, chaired a 2008 symposium at Widener on adaptation and mitigation to climate change, and has published an article examining how climate change can affect the “Act of God” defense under tort, admiralty, and federal environmental law. Professor May has examined whether common law causes of action for climate change are barred by either the political question doctrine or the Supremacy Clause. Professor Strauss has examined the extent to which international forums can redress the adverse impacts of climate change.  Widener’s law school is also enrolled in the ABA-EPA Climate Challenge program.

Our faculty has regularly taught the subject of climate change law for nearly a decade, and will continue to be at the center of the policy, legal, and legislative debates designed to tackle these enormously important issues.

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