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Introduction: Climate Change and Consumption

Citation: ELR 10825

Author: Douglas A. Kysar and Michael P. Vandenbergh

Will the response to climate change require environmental lawyers and policymakers to finally confront limits on material consumption by individuals and households? The Articles in this issue are the product of an April 2008 Climate Change and Consumption Conference that addressed this question. In the last several years, numerous scholarly books, articles, and conferences in the natural and social sciences have focused on consumption and the environment. Yet, only a handful of law review articles in the United States have directed sustained attention toward this issue, and none have focused on the nexus between climate change and consumption.

The Climate Change and Consumption Conference began the process of filling this gap by bringing legal scholars to the table with social scientists, philosophers, environmental engineers, and natural scientists. The Articles in this issue are the result. They do not provide a uniform answer to the question, but they present views from a remarkably broad set of disciplinary perspectives. They begin what we hope will be a vibrant debate by academicians and policymakers at the global, federal, state, and local levels regarding the role of consumption as a driver of climate change and as a potential site of regulatory response.

Douglas A. Kysar is Professor of Law, Yale Law School. Michael P. Vandenbergh is Professor of Law, Co-Director, Regulatory Program, and Director, Climate Change Research Network, Vanderbilt University Law School. The authors would like to thank Russell Fraker for excellent research assistance.

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