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2007 Symposium Overview
Friday, February 23, 2007 | 9am-3:45pm

Symposium Description

The Environmental Law Society (ELS) hosts an annual symposium with invited expert panelists to address a current environmental topic that has ramifications for the legal community.

California is pursuing an aggressive approach to establishing greenhouse gas emission standards. This is in large part a reaction to the United States’ refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, despite being one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters. California envisions itself as an example for other states and the world by accepting responsibility and creating a two-tiered approach to reduce the impact of emissions from California.

This year's symposium will have a dual focus on the concept of voluntary “partnerships” as the emerging approach to coping with climate change as well as current and future emissions regulations in California. Partnerships to reduce emissions are voluntary associations, between industry members and oftentimes municipal entities, which adhere to agreed upon emissions levels and other practices to reduce emissions. The first panel will investigate California's role as a partner with other governments and businesses and to explore how this new trend in voluntary self-regulation will impact the traditional legal system and the role of industry in society. Emissions regulations take many forms, ranging from declarations from the governor to assembly bills and standards set by state level agencies. The second panel will then focus on developing an understanding on how California's legislative attempts, specifically Assembly Bills 1493 and 32 and their enforcement through state agencies like the California Air Resources Board will interact with these partnerships.

The aim of this symposium is to explore how a voluntary and mandatory regulation system will coexist sustainably and whether this model will effectively reduce emissions. Two panels of experts in the field will speak to an audience of California lawyers, businesses, and graduate students to discuss this cutting edge issue and to highlight “need to know” information about reporting and compliance in this new frontier of climate change regulation.

This event has been approved for 4.5 hours of MCLE credit.