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Beyond Politics: The Private Governance Response to Climate Change

December 2018

Citation: 48 ELR 11049

Issue: 12

Author: Cassie Phillips, Jonathan Gilligan, Stephen Harper, Jackie Roberts, and Michael P. Vandenbergh

When the United States withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, 100 private corporations reaffirmed their commitment to fighting climate change. While governments are often tasked with facing climate change, many major private institutions are taking steps to significantly reduce carbon emissions, reaping the benefits of favorable public image and reduced operational costs from energy and other savings. On September 5, 2018, ELI held an expert panel discussing the role of private institutions in climate change mitigation, the incentives for private actors pursuing carbon reduction initiatives, key factors in successful case studies, and methods for developing and evaluating successful private climate initiatives. This article presents a transcript of the discussion, which has been edited for style, clarity, and space considerations.

Cassie Phillips (moderator) is Director of the Private Environmental Governance Initiative at the Environmental Law Institute. Jonathan Gilligan is an Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University, and co-author of Beyond Politics: The Private Governance Response to Climate Change. Stephen Harper is the Global Director of Environment and Energy Policy at Intel Corporation. Jackie Roberts is the Chief Sustainability Officer at The Carlyle Group. Michael P. Vandenbergh is Director of the Climate Change Research Network, Co-Director of the Energy, Environment, and Land Use Program and a Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University, and co-author of Beyond Politics: The Private Governance Response to Climate Change.

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