Lawyers Climate Week: Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization Webinar Wednesday, September 25, 2019


Join us for a special session on Wednesday, September 25th, as Call to the Bar and the Law Firm Sustainability Network co-host a webinar session to discuss the book titled Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States and a unique pro bono project in which lawyers draft model legislation to implement recommendations from the book. Register here.

This book contains key information and recommendations that explain technical and policy pathways for reducing US greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050.  This 80×50 target and similarly aggressive carbon abatement goals are often referred to as deep decarbonization, distinguished because it requires systemic changes to the energy economy. Using these technical and policy pathways, Legal Pathways provides a legal playbook for deep decarbonization in the United States, identifying well over 1,000 legal options for enabling the United States to address one of the greatest problems facing this country and the rest of humanity.

Participants are invited to learn how law firms can help implement the more than 1,000 options identified in a new book, Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States, edited by Professors Michael Gerrard and John Dernbach. More than 20 law firms have already signed up for this work, and more are needed.The legal options identified involve federal, state and local law, as well as private governance. The 34 individual topics addressed by the book relate generally to:

  • Energy efficiency, conservation, and fuel switching in buildings, industry and transportation
  • Electricity and fuel decarbonization
  • Carbon capture and negative emissions
  • Non-carbon dioxide climate pollutants


John Dernbach

Commonwealth Professor of Environmental Law and Sustainability Director, Environmental Law and Sustainability Center @Widener University

John Dernbach is a nationally and internationally recognized authority on sustainable development, climate change, and environmental law. He is the director of the Environmental Law and Sustainability Center, and brings his expertise on property, environmental law, international law, and sustainability. Professor Dernbach writes and lectures widely on climate change, sustainable development, and environmental law. He has written more than 50 articles for law reviews and peer-reviewed journals, and has authored, coauthored, or contributed chapters to more than 20 books  Commonwealth Professor of Environmental Law and Sustainability Director, Environmental Law and Sustainability Center@Widener University


Michael Gerrard
Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice @Columbia Law School
Michael B. Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law School, teaches courses on environmental law, climate change law, and energy regulation, and founded and directs the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. He also chaired the faculty of Columbia University’s Earth Institute from 2015 to 2018. From 1979 through 2008, he practiced environmental law in New York, most recently as partner in charge of the New York office of Arnold & Porter. Upon joining the Law School faculty in 2009, he became the senior counsel. His practice involved trying numerous cases and arguing many appeals in federal and state courts and administrative tribunals; handling the environmental aspects of numerous transactions and development projects; and providing regulatory compliance advice to a wide variety of clients in the private and public sectors. A prolific writer in environmental law and climate change, Gerrard twice received the Association of American Publishers’ Best Law Book Award.

Richard Horsch
Retired Partner of Counsel @White & Case 
Rick Horsch is Retired Partner of Counsel at White & Case LLP, a global law firm. His practice has focused on U.S. environmental law and international environmental law.  He regularly advises on climate change matters. He is a former Co-Chair of the ABA International Environmental Law Committee. Since 2011 he has been an Adjunct with the Columbia University School of Professional Studies where he teaches courses on domestic and international environmental law. He is currently working on a pro bono basis with Professors John Dernbach and Michael Gerrard in managing the Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization implementation project.