The Growing Importance of Sustainability to Lawyers and the ABA

Sustainable development has its origins in the conservation and environmental movements in the United States and other countries, and in the laws that were adopted because of those movements. Lawyers in the public and private sectors drafted these laws and worked with clients to implement them. Sustainable development is becoming increasingly important to lawyers and their clients in a world with a growing economy and population in some places, widespread poverty in others, and growing environmental degradation and greenhouse gas emissions. And the ABA, including the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER), is keeping step.  This article describes past and projected future ABA activities regarding sustainable development   It was published in the July/August 2013 issue of Trends, and coauthored with Lee DeHihns, a member of the Environmental & Land Development Group at Alston & Bird in Atlanta, Georgia,  and Ira Feldman, president and senior counsel for greentrack strategies in Bethesda, Maryland.