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Global Climate Change Policy Without the United States: Thinking the Unthinkable

Yale Law School, Yale Climate and Energy Institute, Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy

Friday, November 9, 2012 at 4:30 PM - Saturday, November 10, 2012 at 5:30 PM (EST)

Global Climate Change Policy Without the United...

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Global Climate Change Policy Without the United States: Thinking the Unthinkable

On November 9-10, 2012, Yale Law School, the Yale Climate & Energy Institute, and the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy will host a conference in New Haven, Connecticut, entitled “Global Climate Change Policy Without the United States: Thinking the Unthinkable.

Lawmakers, diplomats, academics, and other interested parties have traditionally discussed global climate change policy on the assumption that formal U.S. participation is necessary to achieve meaningful success – an understandable view given the substantial share of annual and historic greenhouse gas emissions that are attributable to the United States. Yet, for the better part of two decades, fracture and confusion regarding the U.S. position on climate change policy have complicated development of a robust international regime. At this juncture, increasing numbers of observers are asking whether it makes sense to continue to wait for the United States to come to the table. In response to mounting frustration over the U.S. role in international climate talks, former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Frank Loy noted last year that “some are asking something even more fundamental: Is the U.S. governable?”

This conference will bring together leading experts from a variety of disciplines to consider how climate change might be addressed assuming a lack of formal, cohesive participation by the United States. Subject areas to be addressed by participants could include:

•  the comparative effectiveness of different policy instruments when a major developed country emitter is assumed to be on the sidelines;

• the use and GATT/WTO permissibility of trade sanctions against non-participants of a multilateral climate change agreement;

• the role of science in climate policy in the absence of United States participation;

• the potential of intellectual property law, development assistance, and other economic or market-based programs to spur clean energy innovation outside the United States;

• the prospects for and implications of geoengineering techniques to slow global warming and its impacts irrespective of greenhouse gas emissions by the United States;

• the possibility for new international bargaining strategies, linked negotiation opportunities, or geopolitical alliances to be opened up by the exclusion of the United States from proceedings; and

• the likelihood of subnational climate change efforts within the United States being integrated into a global climate regime.

In forcing confrontation of a political constraint that most observers assume is simply fatal to climate progress, this conference offers potential to further the intellectual development of climate policy as a field as well as to open an important new strand of practical discourse, one with potentially global and historic ramifications.

Details on the agenda are availabla at t http://envirocenter.yale.edu/climate2012/conference.

Have questions about Global Climate Change Policy Without the United States: Thinking the Unthinkable? Contact Yale Law School, Yale Climate and Energy Institute, Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy

When & Where


Yale Law School
127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Friday, November 9, 2012 at 4:30 PM - Saturday, November 10, 2012 at 5:30 PM (EST)


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Organizer

Yale Law School, Yale Climate and Energy Institute, Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy

Located in New Haven, Connectiruct, Yale Law School is one of the world’s premier law schools. It offers an unmatched environment of excellence and educational intimacy in the form of world renowned faculty, small classes, limitless opportunities for clinical training, and strong encouragement of public service. The Law School is small by design; its impact on the world is measured by its accomplished graduates and its ongoing scholarship and outreach through numerous centers and projects. 

The Yale Climate & Energy Institute (YCEI) seeks to understand Earth’s climate system, ecological and social impacts of climate change, the strengths and weaknesses of current political and economic system’s ability to respond to climate change, and to provide realistic, implementable solutions to societies and communities around the world. YCEI is an umbrella organization within Yale University, composed of all relevant departments, centers and faculty.  Its mission promotes a multidisciplinary approach to learning, research, and the development of strategies that help societies contribute to solutions and adapt to the challenges of local and global climatic changes.

The Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy seeks to advance fresh thinking, ethical awareness, and analytically rigorous approaches within environmental decision making.  A longstanding, joint initiative between the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (FES) and the Yale Law School (YLS), the Center aims to serve as a locus for connection and collaboration by all members of the Yale University community who are interested in environmental law and policy issues.

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