Law, Politics & Government

Advanced Introduction to Environmental Law

Providing a comprehensive overview of the current and developing state of environmental governance in the United States, this Advanced Introduction lays out the foundations of US environmental law.

E. Donald Elliott and Daniel C. Esty explore how federal environmental law is made and how it interacts with state law, highlighting the important role that administrative agencies play in the creation, implementation, and enforcement of US environmental law.

A Better Planet inspires climate action from "no" to "go"

Friday, July 15, 2022

In an interview with The Economist, Center Director Dan Esty, highlights how policy “red lights” must be trasformed to “green lights” that drive innovation with incentives that engage the world’s entrepreneurs, financial markets and creative spirits in the pursuit of a net-zero future. This philosphy is expanded upon and highlighted in the recently released book “A Better Planet: 40 Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future”. 

Read the interview here

Buy A Better Planet: 40 Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future here

EPI finds that only UK and Denmark on track for climate goals

Friday, July 15, 2022

The recently released 2022 EPI highlights the leaders and laggards in the fight against climate change. Denmark and the UK, taking the #1 and #2 spot in the ranking, have emerged as the only leaders on track for net-zero emissions by 2050. The U.S. has tumbled in the ranking, largely due to the climate inaction of the Trump Administration. For the first time, India has secured the last spot in environmental performance. 

Read New York Times coverage: Trump Policies Sent U.S. Tumbling in a Climate Ranking. 

Read Washington Post coverage: Denmark, U.K. on track for net-zero emissions by 2050 as U.S. lags

Read Hindustan Times coverage: India’s lagging sustainability performance

Center Director Dan Esty and Professor Don Elliott Discuss Their Book on U.S. Environmental Law

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Center Director Dan Esty and Professor Don Elliott provide a brief description of their collaborative book, Advanced Introduction to U.S. Environmental Law (2021), in the above video. In the words of Professor Esty, this text “provides an opportunity to retrospectively review where U.S. environmental law’s come from, what strategies and policy options have been deployed, and… a pretty clear-eyed view of what we think has worked and what hasn’t worked so well.” The book is interactive and structured to facilitate input, and we encourage readers to share their thoughts here.

Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance informs the SEC climate risk disclosure rule

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

In their proposed rule on climate-related risk disclosure, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) referenced the Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance (YISF) 2020 White Paper Toward Enhanced Sustainability Disclosure: Identifying Obstacles to Broader and More Actionable ESG Reporting,  which was written with support from the Climate Works Foundation.

Based on a survey of executives from more than 100 public companies, the YISF White Paper deepens the understanding of corporate ESG reporting practices, challenges, and thinking about how best to track and scorecard corporate sustainability performance. By highlighting the shortcomings that plague the existing patchwork of sustainability metrics, and suggesting a pathway toward a more robust framework for gauging corporate sustainability performance, this White Paper seeks to make it easier for investors to identify corporate sustainability leaders and laggards. Considering the need for more clarity and guidance around ESG disclosure and formats, the YISF White Paper calls for the creation of a standardized ESG reporting framework with mandatory disclosure by all public companies. Assurance requirements and an initiative to harmonize disclosure requirements at international level are also proposed to help ensure the quality of data reported and a commitment to continuous improvement in the information available to investors. 

By establishing a mandatory reporting framework for climate-related risks, the SEC rule realizes a longstanding demand of YISF. It concurs with our findings that the proliferation of reporting framework has made ESG reporting more difficult, not simpler. This new proposed rule by the SEC would bring more consistency, as well as transparency, to the corporate sustainability world. However, by focusing on the disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risks, the SEC’s proposed rule would only mandate transparency against a narrow set of ESG issues, despite investors’ wider demands. The YISF aims to comment on the proposed rule by May 20, 2022.

Read the SEC proposed rule here.

Check out the YISF White Paper here (an updated version of the YISF White Paper is forthcoming in the Virginia Law & Business Review).

Recap of "Oil & Water: The Role of Natural Resources in Peacekeeping and Conflict in Ukraine"

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine drew towards a seventh week, the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy (YCELP), the Yale School of the Environment Alumni Association Board, and the Yale Center for Business and the Environment convened a panel on “Oil & Water: The Role of Natural Resources in Conflict and Peacebuilding in Ukraine.” This most recent installment of the Yale Environmental Dialogue a forum for discussion across divides focused on the intersection between regional a

Center Director talks carbon pricing and the sustainability imperative on The Climate Show Podcast

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Center Director Dan Esty took part in the first episode of The Climate Show from the University of Copenhagen. The Climate Show talks to international climate change experts and researchers to highlight their experience in the field.  Listen to the podcast, check out their website, and find more info here.  

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