The Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, a joint undertaking between the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Yale Law School, seeks to incorporate fresh thinking, ethical awareness, and analytically rigorous decision-making tools into environmental law and policy.
In addition to its research activities, 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. The Center supports a wide-ranging program of teaching, research, and outreach on local, regional, national, and global pollution control and natural resource management issues. These efforts involve faculty, staff, and student collaboration and are aimed at shaping academic thinking and policymaking in the public, private, and NGO sectors.
The Center is focused on three program areas and an environmental protection clinic: the Environmental Performance Measurement program aims to encourage environmental policy making that uses data-driven indicators and statistics. The program’s primary product is the biennial Environmental Performance Index, which ranks countries on performance indicators tracked across policy categories covering both environmental public health and ecosystem vitality. The Environmental Law and Governance program seeks to reinvigorate environmental law and policy discussions by offering novel theoretical and empirical insights on cost-benefit analysis, the precautionary principle, sustainable development, and other foundational concepts and tools of environmental regulation. The Innovation and Environment program explores creative public policy tactics for addressing environmental issues, with a focus on policy incentives that drive private-sector innovation in renewable energy development, energy efficiency, and other areas critical to sustainability.
The Center coordinates an Environmental Protection Clinic that undertakes long-term projects for clients (environmental groups, government agencies, community organizations, and private sector enterprises) and is staffed by interdisciplinary teams of law and environmental studies students. Projects include legislative drafting, litigation, multiparty negotiation, and policy development, and focus on topics including environmental justice, sustainable agriculture, and global warming.