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Five Years After The Adoption Of The Paris Agreement, Are Climate Change Considerations Reflected In Mining Contracts?, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Mara Greenberg Jul 2021

Five Years After The Adoption Of The Paris Agreement, Are Climate Change Considerations Reflected In Mining Contracts?, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Mara Greenberg

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Domestic laws are the ideal legal instrument to regulate the mining sector’s contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Even so, as a stop-gap-measure, governments may consider updating model mining development agreements (MMDAs) or negotiating climate­-related contractual provisions. This CCSI paper explores whether governments are using, and how they can use, investor–state mining contracts to advance climate goals. We synthesize our findings and recommendations for six categories of provisions: integrating renewable energy into mining products, reducing deforestation, requiring a climate risk assessment and community vulnerability assessment, regulating water use, requiring tailings dam design justifications, and integrating climate ...


Establishing State Responsibility In Mitigating Climate Change Under Customary International Law, Vanessa S.W. Tsang Jan 2021

Establishing State Responsibility In Mitigating Climate Change Under Customary International Law, Vanessa S.W. Tsang

LL.M. Essays & Theses

No abstract provided.


Principles Of International Law And The Adoption Of A Market-Based Mechanism For Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Shipping, Hillary Aidun, Daniel J. Metzger, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2021

Principles Of International Law And The Adoption Of A Market-Based Mechanism For Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Shipping, Hillary Aidun, Daniel J. Metzger, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

Emissions from shipping are a significant driver of human-induced climate change. International action to date has not succeeded in setting those emissions on a sustainable trajectory. The International Maritime Organization has committed to implementing an effective, international approach to tackle international shipping’s contribution to climate change.

This paper considers international law principles, exploring whether and how these principles may provide a basis for the IMO to address those contributions. The polluter pays principle, which counsels that whoever produces pollution should cover the costs their pollution imposes on others, is a doctrine of international law that offers strong support for ...


Removing Carbon Dioxide Through Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement And Seaweed Cultivation: Legal Challenges And Opportunities, Romany M. Webb, Korey Silverman-Roati, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2021

Removing Carbon Dioxide Through Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement And Seaweed Cultivation: Legal Challenges And Opportunities, Romany M. Webb, Korey Silverman-Roati, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

This paper explores two ocean-based carbon dioxide removal strategies – ocean alkalinity enhancement and seaweed cultivation. Ocean alkalinity enhancement involves adding alkalinity to ocean waters, either by discharging alkaline rocks or through an electrochemical process, which increases ocean pH levels and thereby enables greater uptake of carbon dioxide, as well as reducing the adverse impacts of ocean acidification. Seaweed cultivation involves the growing of kelp and other macroalgae to store carbon in biomass, which can then either be used to replace more greenhouse gas-intensive products or sequestered.

This paper also examines the international and U.S. legal frameworks that apply to ...


Presidential Progress On Climate Change: Will The Courts Interfere With What Needs To Be Done To Save Our Planet?, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2021

Presidential Progress On Climate Change: Will The Courts Interfere With What Needs To Be Done To Save Our Planet?, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

The Biden Administration is undertaking numerous actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition away from fossil fuels as part of the fight against climate change. Many of these actions are likely to be challenged in court. This paper describes the various legal theories that are likely to be used in these challenges, assesses their prospects of success given the current composition of the Supreme Court, and suggests ways to minimize the risks.


The Legal Framework For Offshore Carbon Capture And Storage In Canada, Romany M. Webb, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2021

The Legal Framework For Offshore Carbon Capture And Storage In Canada, Romany M. Webb, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

Averting catastrophic climate change requires immediate action to prevent additional carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. However, even that may not be sufficient, with many scientists now warning that it will likely also be necessary to reduce the existing atmospheric carbon dioxide load. That could be achieved using negative emissions technologies that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store or utilize it in some way. One promising technology is direct air capture (“DAC”) which uses liquid chemical solutions or solid sorbent filters to capture carbon dioxide from the air and concentrate it into a ...


Making America A Better Place For All: Sustainable Development Recommendations For The Biden Administration, John C. Dernbach, Scott E. Schang, Robert W. Adler, Karol Boudreaux, John Bouman, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Kimberly Brown, Mikhail Chester, Michael B. Gerrard, Stephen Herzenberg, Samuel Markolf, Corey Malone-Smolla, Jane Nelson, Uma Outka, Tony Pipa, Alexandra Phelan, Leroy Paddock, Jonathan D. Rosenbloom, William Snape, Anastasia Telesetsky, Gerald Torres, Elizabeth Ann Kronk Warner, Audra Wilson Jan 2021

Making America A Better Place For All: Sustainable Development Recommendations For The Biden Administration, John C. Dernbach, Scott E. Schang, Robert W. Adler, Karol Boudreaux, John Bouman, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Kimberly Brown, Mikhail Chester, Michael B. Gerrard, Stephen Herzenberg, Samuel Markolf, Corey Malone-Smolla, Jane Nelson, Uma Outka, Tony Pipa, Alexandra Phelan, Leroy Paddock, Jonathan D. Rosenbloom, William Snape, Anastasia Telesetsky, Gerald Torres, Elizabeth Ann Kronk Warner, Audra Wilson

Faculty Scholarship

In 2015, the United Nations Member States, including the United States, unanimously approved 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. The SDGs are nonbinding; each nation is to implement them based on its own priorities and circumstances. This Article argues that the SDGs are a critical normative framework the United States should use to improve human quality of life, freedom, and opportunity by integrating economic and social development with environmental protection. It collects the recommendations of 22 experts on steps that the Biden-Harris Administration should take now to advance each of the SDGs. It is part of ...


America's Zero Carbon Action Plan: Federal Legislative And Administrative Framework, John C. Dernbach, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2021

America's Zero Carbon Action Plan: Federal Legislative And Administrative Framework, John C. Dernbach, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter sets out proposed federal laws and policies for America's Zero Carbon Action Plan, a comprehensive report on how to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This chapter sets forth recommendations for all four pillars of deep decarbonization – electricity decarbonization, energy efficiency and conservation, electrification of transportation and buildings, and carbon capture. It is supplemented with recommendations for significant reductions in emissions of non-carbon dioxide pollutants, as well as for changes in foreign policy. Each set of recommendations is accompanied by an explanation of the underlying strategy for the proposed changes.


Equipping The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation For The Low-Carbon Transition: How Are Other National Oil Companies Adapting?, Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Francisco Javier Pardinas Favela Sep 2020

Equipping The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation For The Low-Carbon Transition: How Are Other National Oil Companies Adapting?, Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Francisco Javier Pardinas Favela

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) persistent governance challenges have both hampered Nigeria’s oil sector development and deprived the country of public resources. The oil, climate, and COVID-19 crises and the ramp-up of the low-carbon transition exacerbate this reality, with the national oil company (NOC) delivering sub-optimal returns to its stakeholders.

Other NOCs have taken meaningful steps to become players in the low-carbon energy transition domestically or in­ternationally – for example, Sau­di Arabia’s Saudi Aramco, Norway’s Equinor, Brazil’s Petrobras, Malaysia’s Petronas, and Algeria’s Sonatrach. These NOCs can serve as sources of inspiration ...


Don’T Throw Caution To The Wind: In The Green Energy Transition, Not All Critical Minerals Will Be Goldmines, Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Solina Kennedy, Howard Mann Jul 2020

Don’T Throw Caution To The Wind: In The Green Energy Transition, Not All Critical Minerals Will Be Goldmines, Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Solina Kennedy, Howard Mann

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The green energy transition will be exceedingly mineral intensive. Manufacturing solar panels, wind turbine and batteries to power cleaner energies is set to significantly increase the demand for co-called “critical” minerals. Such a forecast prompts high expectations in mineral-rich countries and suggests promising opportunities for developing countries.

However, the projects to increase the primary extraction of critical minerals rest on bullish forecasts and uncertain terrain due to a number of factors explored in the paper that threaten to leave these investments obsolete and economically stranded.

Governments, international actors, and mining advocates seeking to optimize the value of green energy mineral ...


A Review Of Sierra Leone’S Mines And Minerals Act, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Perrine Toledano, Sophie Thomashausen Mar 2020

A Review Of Sierra Leone’S Mines And Minerals Act, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Perrine Toledano, Sophie Thomashausen

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

With the support of Oxfam, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment reviewed select provisions in the Mines and Minerals Act 2009 and corresponding policy statements from the Minerals Policy 2018 to provide recommendations for how to best align the anticipated new mining law with international best practice. The 2009 law was reviewed with a focus on the following topics:

  • Fiscal regime;
  • Climate change;
  • Access to and use of land;
  • Community consultations and participation;
  • Human rights; and
  • Community development agreements.

The policy brief aims to support the Government of Sierra Leone in the ongoing law reform process.


Electric Utility Alignment With The Sdgs & The Paris Climate Agreement, Perrine Toledano, Aniket Shah, Nicolas Maennling, Ryan J. Lasnick Feb 2020

Electric Utility Alignment With The Sdgs & The Paris Climate Agreement, Perrine Toledano, Aniket Shah, Nicolas Maennling, Ryan J. Lasnick

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda poses a unique and critical challenge to the energy sector: how to scale access to clean energy to power sustainable, economic development for a growing population, while simultaneously decarbonizing global energy supply. Expanding access to clean energy will play a crucial role in achieving nearly every one of the Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to agricultural production, health outcomes, educational performance, water systems, access to infrastructure, and reducing inequalities. However, practices by some actors in the energy sector, and continued over-reliance on greenhouse gas-intensive fossil fuels also undermine global efforts to mitigate climate change ...


Preparing Legal Frameworks For Environmental Disasters: Practical Considerations For Host States, Brooke Guven, Perrine Toledano, Lise Johnson Feb 2020

Preparing Legal Frameworks For Environmental Disasters: Practical Considerations For Host States, Brooke Guven, Perrine Toledano, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Projects in the extractives sector carry risks of lasting, and sometimes irreversible, damage to the environment. Nonetheless, these projects are important for accelerating the economic development of host countries. Governments seeking to mitigate the adverse effects of foreign investment often face pushback from investors that are unwilling to change their practices in order to avert environmental disaster. This report sets forth certain steps that host-governments can take during the pre-investment, operation, and enforcement phases of extractives projects to provide financial and other protection in the context of environmental disasters associated with private sector investments.

Upon comparative review of five Case ...


Global Investor-Director Survey On Climate Risk Management, Kristin Bresnahan, Jens Frankenreiter, Sophie L'Helias, Brea Hinricks, Nina Hodzic, Julian Nyarko, Sneha Pandya, Eric L. Talley Jan 2020

Global Investor-Director Survey On Climate Risk Management, Kristin Bresnahan, Jens Frankenreiter, Sophie L'Helias, Brea Hinricks, Nina Hodzic, Julian Nyarko, Sneha Pandya, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

Changes in the global climate are having profound impacts on business operations, governance, and organizational management around the world. Boards of directors are searching for ways to account for these changes as they help guide their organizations, and investors are increasingly concerned about how these changes might impact their portfolios. This global survey, conducted by a team of researchers at the Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School and experts at LeaderXXchange, seeks to understand how – if at all – institutional investors and board directors incorporate climate-related issues in their investment decision making and ...


Outcome Report On The Climate Crisis, Global Land Use And Human Rights Conference, Mateusz Kasprowicz, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Nov 2019

Outcome Report On The Climate Crisis, Global Land Use And Human Rights Conference, Mateusz Kasprowicz, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

On September 27th, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Landesa, the New York City Bar Association International Environmental Law Committee, and Wake Forest Law School hosted a day-long conference on the intersection between land use, the climate crisis and clean energy transition, and human rights.

Held at the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, the conference brought together individuals from civil society organizations, governments, and academia, as well as lawyers, climate scientists, land-rights experts, indigenous representatives and other stakeholder groups. The panelists analyzed the critical role that land plays in achieving ...


Corporate Governance For Sustainability, Andrew Johnston, Jeroen Veldman, Robert G. Eccles, Simon Deakin, Jerry Davis, Marie-Laure Djelic, Katharina Pistor, Blanche Segrestin, William M. Gentry, Cynthia A. Williams, David Millon, Paddy Ireland, Beate Sjåfjell, Christopher M. Bruner, Lorraine E. Talbot, Hugh Christopher Willmott, Charlotte Villiers, Carol Liao, Bertrand Valiorgue, Jason Glynos, Todd L. Sayre, Bronwen Morgan, Rick Wartzman, Prem Sikka, Filip Gregor, David Carroll Jacobs, Roger Gill, Roger Brown, Vincenzo Bavoso, Neil Lancastle, Julie Matthaei, Scott Taylor, Ulf Larsson-Olaison, Jay Cullen, Alan J. Dignam, Thomas Wuil Joo, Ciarán O'Kelly, Con Keating, Roman Tomasic, Simon Lilley, Kevin Tennent, Keith Robson, Willy Maley, Iris H-Y Chiu, Ewan Mcgaughey, Chris Rees, Nina Boeger, Adam Leaver, Marc T. Moore, Leen Paape, Alan D. Meyer, Marcello Palazzi, Nitasha Kaul, Juan Felipe Espinosa-Cristia, Timothy Kuhn, David J. Cooper, Susanne Soederberg, Andreas Jansson, Susan Watson, Ofer Sitbon, Joan Loughrey, David Collison, Maureen Mcculloch, Navajyoti Samanta, Daniel J.H. Greenwood, Grahame F. Thompson, Andrew R. Keay, Alessia Contu, Andreas Rühmkorf, Richard Hull, Irene-Marie Esser, Nihel Chabrak Jan 2019

Corporate Governance For Sustainability, Andrew Johnston, Jeroen Veldman, Robert G. Eccles, Simon Deakin, Jerry Davis, Marie-Laure Djelic, Katharina Pistor, Blanche Segrestin, William M. Gentry, Cynthia A. Williams, David Millon, Paddy Ireland, Beate Sjåfjell, Christopher M. Bruner, Lorraine E. Talbot, Hugh Christopher Willmott, Charlotte Villiers, Carol Liao, Bertrand Valiorgue, Jason Glynos, Todd L. Sayre, Bronwen Morgan, Rick Wartzman, Prem Sikka, Filip Gregor, David Carroll Jacobs, Roger Gill, Roger Brown, Vincenzo Bavoso, Neil Lancastle, Julie Matthaei, Scott Taylor, Ulf Larsson-Olaison, Jay Cullen, Alan J. Dignam, Thomas Wuil Joo, Ciarán O'Kelly, Con Keating, Roman Tomasic, Simon Lilley, Kevin Tennent, Keith Robson, Willy Maley, Iris H-Y Chiu, Ewan Mcgaughey, Chris Rees, Nina Boeger, Adam Leaver, Marc T. Moore, Leen Paape, Alan D. Meyer, Marcello Palazzi, Nitasha Kaul, Juan Felipe Espinosa-Cristia, Timothy Kuhn, David J. Cooper, Susanne Soederberg, Andreas Jansson, Susan Watson, Ofer Sitbon, Joan Loughrey, David Collison, Maureen Mcculloch, Navajyoti Samanta, Daniel J.H. Greenwood, Grahame F. Thompson, Andrew R. Keay, Alessia Contu, Andreas Rühmkorf, Richard Hull, Irene-Marie Esser, Nihel Chabrak

Faculty Scholarship

The current model of corporate governance needs reform. There is mounting evidence that the practices of shareholder primacy drive company directors and executives to adopt the same short time horizon as financial markets. Pressure to meet the demands of the financial markets drives stock buybacks, excessive dividends and a failure to invest in productive capabilities. The result is a ‘tragedy of the horizon’, with corporations and their shareholders failing to consider environmental, social or even their own, long-term, economic sustainability.

With less than a decade left to address the threat of climate change, and with consensus emerging that businesses need ...


Heat Waves: Legal Adaptation To The Most Lethal Climate Disaster (So Far), Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2019

Heat Waves: Legal Adaptation To The Most Lethal Climate Disaster (So Far), Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

Globally, the ten warmest years on record have all been since 1998, with the four warmest years occurring since 2014. In the contiguous United States, average annual temperatures are about 1.8°F higher than they were over the period from 1895-2016. This is expected to increase by about 2.5°F before mid-century, regardless of what happens to greenhouse gas levels. If, at the end of this century, greenhouse gas emissions are at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s high scenario (termed “RCP 8.5”), average U.S. temperatures could go up by as much as 11.9 ...


The Last Refuge Of Scoundrels: The Problem Of Truth In A Time Of Lying, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2019

The Last Refuge Of Scoundrels: The Problem Of Truth In A Time Of Lying, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

This essay addresses the problem of truth today in light of the common belief, especially among progressives, that we have entered a post-truth age, as well as of the frequent claim that our post-truth society is the fault of postmodernists and their challenge to the objectivity of truth. The essay does not resolve the strategic question whether the post-truth argument is, as a purely tactical political matter, an effective approach to respond to the onslaught of misrepresentations and lies by President Donald Trump and the New Right. Instead, it explores the post-truth argument from a more synoptic perspective regarding the ...


Framing The Global Pact For The Environment: Why It’S Needed, What It Does, And How It Does It, Teresa Parejo Navajas, Nathan Lobel Dec 2018

Framing The Global Pact For The Environment: Why It’S Needed, What It Does, And How It Does It, Teresa Parejo Navajas, Nathan Lobel

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

We face a critical environmental crisis. Humanity consumes unsustainably; we use resources at a rate fifty percent faster than they are reproduced by the planet. The population is growing exponentially and climate change, the most important challenge of this century, is already wreaking havoc around the world. Despite numerous existing international environmental treaties, the Earth, and, therefore, human safety and prosperity, is in peril. According to a recent study by scientists from Stanford University and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the ongoing “sixth mass extinction” threatens to cause an “assault on the foundations of human civilization.” In November 2017 ...


Il Contributo Delle Compagnie Oil & Gas Nel Raggiungimento Degli Obiettivi Energetici E Climatici (How Oil And Gas Companies Can Help Meet The Global Goals On Energy And Climate Change), Lisa E. Sachs, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano Mar 2018

Il Contributo Delle Compagnie Oil & Gas Nel Raggiungimento Degli Obiettivi Energetici E Climatici (How Oil And Gas Companies Can Help Meet The Global Goals On Energy And Climate Change), Lisa E. Sachs, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Nel settembre 2015, i governi di tutto il mondo hanno adottato17 Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile (Sustainable Development Goals – SDG) e, pochi mesi dopo – a dicembre – hanno firmatol’Accordo di Parigi. Queste azioni sono la riprova delrafforzamento del consenso globalecirca la necessità di frenare il cambiamento climatico indotto dalle attività antropiche e dipromuovere uno sviluppo sostenibilesu scala mondiale. I due concetti sono infatti strettamente legati: l’urgenza di affrontare il cambiamento climatico va inquadrata nella cornice degli sforzi globali tesi a ridurre la povertà, promuovere la crescita economica, rispettare i diritti umani e di inclusione sociale.

On September 2015, governments around ...


Climate Change And Human Trafficking After The Paris Agreement, Michael Gerrard Jan 2018

Climate Change And Human Trafficking After The Paris Agreement, Michael Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

At least 21 million people globally are victims of human trafficking, typically involving either sexual exploitation or forced labor. This form of modern-day slavery tends to increase after natural disasters or conflicts where large numbers of people are displaced from their homes and become highly vulnerable. In the decades to come, climate change will very likely lead to a large increase in the number of people who are displaced and thus vulnerable to trafficking. The Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 established objectives to limit global temperature increases, but the voluntary pledges made by nearly every country fall far short of ...


Preemption And Commandeering Without Congress, Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2018

Preemption And Commandeering Without Congress, Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

In the “age of polarization” this Symposium addresses, states may introduce salutary pluralism into an executive-dominated regime. With partisan divisions sidelining Congress, states are at once principal implementers and principal opponents of presidential policies. As polarization makes states more central to national policymaking, however, it also poses new threats to their ability to act. This Essay cautions against recent efforts to preempt state control over state officials and to require states to follow other states’ policies, using sanctuary jurisdictions and the pending federal Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act as examples


How Oil And Gas Companies Can Help Meet The Global Goals On Energy And Climate Change, Lisa E. Sachs, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano Jun 2017

How Oil And Gas Companies Can Help Meet The Global Goals On Energy And Climate Change, Lisa E. Sachs, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement lay out a global consensus on the need to curb human-induced climate change and to achieve sustainable development. These concepts are linked. The urgency of addressing climate change is critical for global efforts to reduce poverty and advance sustainable development, but also climate-change mitigation must be pursued in a manner consistent with ending poverty, promoting economic development, respecting human rights, and ensuring social inclusion. CCSI and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) have published a briefing note summarizing the ways in which international oil and gas companies can help expand ...


Conference Report: Climate Change And Sustainable Investment In Natural Resources: From Consensus To Action, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Sabin Center For Climate Change Law Nov 2016

Conference Report: Climate Change And Sustainable Investment In Natural Resources: From Consensus To Action, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Sabin Center For Climate Change Law

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment has produced this conference report on CCSI’s Conference on Climate Change and Sustainable Investment in Natural Resources: From Consensus to Action. A shorter outcome document, which was disseminated at COP22, is also available. These documents summarize the discussions at the eleventh annual Columbia International Investment Conference, which took place on November 2-3, 2016, at Columbia University. The Conference offered a high-level opportunity to discuss how countries can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement, while also advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular the important implications for the ...


International Investment Agreements: Impacts On Climate Change Policies In India, China And Beyond, Lise Johnson, Brooke Güven Nov 2016

International Investment Agreements: Impacts On Climate Change Policies In India, China And Beyond, Lise Johnson, Brooke Güven

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Mitigating and adapting to climate change will require a fundamental reorientation of our global economy as we move away from fossil fuels and transition to a low carbon and climate-resilient world. This reorientation depends on government actions to help catalyze and channel financial flows in new directions and away from business-as-usual practices.

International investment agreements (IIAs) – treaties that now number over 3,000 and have the objective of promoting and protecting cross-border investment flows_could potentially play a key role in these efforts to scale up and (re)direct investments to meet climate change mitigation and adaptation needs. As presently drafted ...


Legal Pathways To Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under Section 115 Of The Clean Air Act, Michael Burger, Ann E. Carlson, Michael Gerrard, Jayni Hein, Jason A. Schwartz, Keith J. Benes Jan 2016

Legal Pathways To Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under Section 115 Of The Clean Air Act, Michael Burger, Ann E. Carlson, Michael Gerrard, Jayni Hein, Jason A. Schwartz, Keith J. Benes

Faculty Scholarship

Under President Barack Obama the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has promulgated a series of greenhouse gas emissions regulations, initiating the necessary national response to climate change. However, the United States will need to find other ways to reduce GHG emissions if it is to live up to its international emissions reduction pledges, and to ultimately lead the way to a zero-carbon energy future. This paper argues that the success of the recent climate negotiations in Paris provides a strong basis for invoking a powerful tool available to help achieve the country’s climate change goals: Section 115 of the ...


When Extrinsic Incentives Displace Intrinsic Motivation: Designing Legal Carrots And Sticks To Confront The Challenge Of Motivational Crowding-Out, Kristen Underhill Jan 2016

When Extrinsic Incentives Displace Intrinsic Motivation: Designing Legal Carrots And Sticks To Confront The Challenge Of Motivational Crowding-Out, Kristen Underhill

Faculty Scholarship

The rise of “nudges” has inspired countless efforts to encourage individual choices that maximize personal and collective welfare, with a preference for less restrictive tools such as setting default options or reordering choice sets. As part of this trend, there has been renewed interest in the behavioral impacts of incentives – namely, rewards or penalties for shaping individual choices, including but not limited to financial incentives. Explicit incentives are pervasive in the law, including carrots offered by governments (for example, tax deductions for charitable contributions, rebates for recycling, sentence reductions for prisoners who complete drug rehabilitation programs, and incentives for criminal ...


Exploring The Link Between Food Security And Climate Change, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Nov 2015

Exploring The Link Between Food Security And Climate Change, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Our growing global population is demanding a more resource-intensive and so-called “Western” diet. And that change in demand has drastic impact on how we must change our supply.


Wrong Direction On Climate, Trade And Development, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson Jun 2015

Wrong Direction On Climate, Trade And Development, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In pushing for Trade Promotion Authority, the Obama administration argues that the agreements it is negotiating (including TPP and TTIP) are true 21st century agreements that correct the failings of past agreements and will promote trade and investment that can both re-launch America as the key economic player and promote broad-based sustainable development at home and abroad.


The Responsible Investor’S Guide To Climate Change, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Lisa E. Sachs Jan 2015

The Responsible Investor’S Guide To Climate Change, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Around the world, institutional investors – including pension funds, insurance companies, philanthropic endowments, and universities – are grappling with the question of whether to divest from oil, gas, and coal companies. The reason, of course, is climate change: unless fossil-fuel consumption is cut sharply – and phased out entirely by around 2070, in favor of zero-carbon energy such as solar power – the world will suffer unacceptable risks from human-induced global warming. How should responsible investors behave in the face of these unprecedented risks?