Fall 2018
6338 Climate Change Law - HESTER- 21712

Professor(s): Tracy Hester (DIRECTOR/SUPERVISOR )

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law 

Time: 2:30p-4:00p  MW  Location: 111  TUII

Course Outline: Between the election of Donald Trump, a more skeptical viewpoint by U.S. federal agencies and newly elected governments in other nations, and the enormous challenges created by physical reality of unabated global climate change, climate change law and litigation is poised for an explosion of activity over the next several years. Climate change law is already one of the most important fields of environmental law that affects virtually every major industry, civil and criminal enforcement action, large corporate deals, and international relations. Climate change lawsuits may also play a vital role in forcing action by reluctant governments and corporations as well as assigning liability for climate change damages created by past and current emissions of greenhouse gases.

This course will focus on the use of international and domestic law to address climate change and to identify the obligations or liability of parties who allegedly contribute to it. We will review the current state of the science underlying climate change findings and predictions, examine how environmental and tort laws have responded to earlier novel environmental threats and risks, explore the fate of the Paris Accords and the future of other international agreements, weigh attempts to roll back federal regulations or to buttress state laws that address emissions of greenhouse gases and climate change effects, and assess how courts have responded to climate liability lawsuits and their specific legal challenges and evidentiary issues. We will focus on practical, real-world problems and solutions in this fast-growing field of law and how it will affect daily permitting decisions, lawsuits and corporate transactions.

This class will use a dynamic combination of lectures, discussions, in-class exercises, sample problems and case studies. We will also bring several guest speakers to address aspects of climate change law and liability management that they encounter in their daily jobs and careers. Of course, all students should come to class prepared and able to join in discussions.

Course Syllabus: The syllabus is still under construction, but when it is ready you can access it at This Link. The syllabus will update as the class progresses.

Course Notes:   


First Day Assignments: First class assignment (along with links to relevant readings) is posted on the syllabus (8/8/2018).

Final Exam Schedule: Take home exam      

This course will have:

Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No

Experiential Course Type: No

Bar Course: No

DistanceEd ABA 306:

Pass-Fail Student Election:

Course Materials (4/5/2018 8:38:57 AM)

Special Case

No textbook will be assigned. Given the fast-moving pace of recent legal changes and political events, we will rely on handouts and materials posted to the class website.