Climate Change

Climate change is among the most important sustainable development issues facing humanity. It is not just an environmental issue. It also has profound social, economic, and security dimensions. Dernbach has been active on client change in both litigation and academic writing. He co-authored an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of 18 prominent climate scientists in the landmark climate change case, Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency.

In book chapters and numerous articles, Dernbach discusses climate change from a legal and policy perspective and suggests ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that also create jobs, foster the development of new technologies, provide economic opportunities, and improve national security.  All of those below can be downloaded by clicking on the title.

  • The Sustainable Relationship: What the United States and the United Kingdom Can Teach Each Other About Climate Change and Sustainable Development at the National Level, (Environmental Forum, May-June 2013, at 30 (with Andrea Ross)). This article describes and compares key U.S. and U.K. laws and policies on sustainable development and climate change, and suggests what each could learn from the other.
  • Achieving Early and Substantial Greenhouse Gas Reductions Under a Post-Kyoto Agreement, 20 Georgetown International Environmental Law Review 573 (2008). This article explains why policy makers should seriously consider substantial early reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as a part of any post-Kyoto framework, and sets out suggested elements of a framework for early action in a post-Kyoto agreement.
  • Climate Change Law: An Introduction, 29 Energy Law Journal 1 (2008) (with Seema Kakade). This article explains the basic elements of climate change law, with a particular focus on those issues that promise to be important for a considerable time as well as the major factors that are driving the development of this law.
  • Harnessing Individual Behavior to Address Climate Change: Options for Congress, 26 Virginia Environmental Law Journal 107 (2008). This article attempts to answer a question about the design of national climate change legislation that has not received significant attention: How should Congress engage individuals in the effort to address climate change?
  • Developing a Comprehensive Approach to Climate Change Policy in the United States: Integrating Levels of Government and Economic Sectors, 26 Virginia Environmental Law Journal 227 (2008) (with Thomas D. Peterson, Robert B. McKinstry, Jr.). This article explains and justifies an approach to federal climate legislation that uses and builds on the Clean Air Act's various tools, including air quality standards, technology-based limitations, and state implementation plans.
  • Federal Climate Change Legislation as if the States Matter, Natural Resources & Environment, Winter 2008, at 3 (with Robert B. McKinstry, Jr. & Thomas D. Peterson). This article identifies the key state/federal issues that should be addressed in any comprehensive national comprehensive climate change legislation, and also provides recommendations for resolving these issues.
  • Stabilizing and Then Reducing U.S. Energy Consumption: Legal and Policy Tools for Efficiency and Conservation, 37 Environmental Law Reporter 10,003 (2007) (with the Widener University Law School Seminar on Energy Efficiency). This article evaluates the evidence from a handful of legal and policy tools for energy efficiency and conservation, and argues that greater use of these and other tools may allow us to stabilize U.S. energy consumption and then reduce it.
  • Overcoming the Behavioral Impetus for Greater Energy Consumption, 20 Pacific McGeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal 15 (2007). Drawing on the work of social scientists and behavioral researchers, this article concludes that many opportunities exist to influence individual behavior to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption
  • Toward a Climate Change Strategy for Pennsylvania, 12 Penn State Environmental Law Review 181 (2004). This article explains why Pennsylvania should address climate change and outlines the need for a comprehensive strategy that looks at all economic sectors and all sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Federal Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A Case Study of Increasing Transparency for Fiscal Policy, 26 Annual Review of Energy and Environment 361 (2001) (with Doug Koplow). This paper reviews existing studies of fossil fuel subsidies within the United States, as well as assessments of the potential impact of subsidy reform on greenhouse gas emissions, and argues that subsidies should be subject to the same public disclosure and public review requirements as U.S. environmental laws.
  • Moving the Climate Debate from Models to Proposed Legislation: Lessons from State Experience, 30 Environmental Law Reporter 10,933 (2000) (with the Widener University Law School Seminar on Global Warming). Using considerable evidence from state laws that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, this article argues that national laws based on these state laws would not only reduce emissions but would also create jobs, reduce the impact of fuel price increases on the poor, improve security, and foster the development of new technologies.