F&ES 847/Law 20620 / 2017-2018
Meeting the COP-21 Targets for US Greenhouse Gas Reductions: Legal, Policy and Technology Choices for the New Administration
The 2015 Conference of the Parties (COP-21) in Paris was a watershed moment in global efforts to address climate change. Over 180 countries committed to emission reduction goals, and several major economies like China agreed to significantly increase their level of ambition. Now, however, we face the challenge of ensuring that the COP-21 pledges are achieved on schedule and that countries are willing and able to agree to deeper reductions in later years. Maintaining and accelerating this progress is critical to provide any hope that global emissions will decline to the level necessary to limit planetary warming to 2o
C, the target affirmed in the Paris agreement.
This seminar will bring into focus the choices facing the new president by examining the
range of policy tools that could be deployed to meet the US COP-21 goals. The objective will be to challenge students to think critically about the constraints and opportunities associated with different strategies and options. The seminar would be broadly interdisciplinary, taking into account the legal, political, economic and technological dimensions of climate policy. With climate a front-burner issue in the waning days of the Obama Administration and the high likelihood that it would be an immediate priority for a new Democratic president, the issues should have great currency and relevance.