This panel, moderated by Professor John Mutter, will feature a discussion among three experts on recent international developments in climate change law, policy, and litigation. In 2019, for example, the Dutch Supreme Court ruled that The Netherlands’ emission of greenhouse gasses in 2020 must be reduced by at least 25% compared to 1990 in the Urgenda case. Never before has a judicial court ordered a State to comply with its (inter)national climate obligations and ruled that failing to do so is in breach of several human rights. Is ‘climate litigation’ a trend that is noticeable worldwide or mostly in Europe? What are the differences between the legal framework that addresses climate change in the US and elsewhere? How does climate change relate to broader topics such as inequality, poverty, human rights and environmental refugees?
John Mutter is Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences and of International and Public Affairs. He is the Director of Graduate Studies for the PhD program in Sustainable Development at SIPA and the director of the Earth Institute’s post-doctoral Fellows program. His research focuses on the role of natural disasters in reducing or enhancing development opportunities for poor and emerging societies.
Michael Gerrard is the Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law School, and the founder and faculty Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. Before joining Columbia Law School, he was an environmental lawyer at Arnold & Porter for three decades, where he continues to serve as senior counsel. Professor Gerrard has authored and edited multiple publications including the 12-volume Environmental Law Practice Guide, which was awarded the “Best Law Book of the Year” by the Association of American Publishers - a distinction he has received twice for works on environmental law.
Maria Antonia Tigre is the Director of Latin America for the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment and the Global Climate Litigation Fellow at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. Prior to joining the Sabin Center, she was a senior attorney of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice. Currently, she is also an S.J.D. candidate in international environmental law at Pace University. Her research focuses on climate litigation, global environmental crises and the development of potential new legal solutions through philosophical, religious and legal arguments.
Jeffrey Sachs is a University Professor at Columbia University and the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development. Widely recognized as a leading expert on the fight against poverty, his focus areas also include public health, the battle against human-induced climate change and more. Professor Sachs was President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and has served as a Special Advisor to three UN Secretaries-General. In 2015 he was awarded the Blue Planet Prize, a global prize for environmental leadership and he has been featured in the Time’s 100 most influential world leaders twice.
Program is hosted by The Columbia Law & Political Economy Society