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Rethinking Sustainability to Meet the Climate Change Challenge

16 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2012 Last revised: 18 Aug 2014

Michael Burger

Columbia University - Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Elizabeth Burleson

BurlesonInstitute.org; London School of Economics (LSE)

Rebecca M. Bratspies

City University of New York - School of Law

Robin Kundis Craig

University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

Alexandra R. Harrington

Albany Law School; CISDL

Keith H. Hirokawa

Albany Law School

Sarah Krakoff

University of Colorado Law School

Katrina Fischer Kuh

Pace Law School

Stephen R. Miller

University of Idaho College of Law - Boise

Jessica Owley

University at Buffalo Law School

Patrick A. Parenteau

Vermont Law School

Melissa Powers

Lewis & Clark Law School

Shannon Roesler

Oklahoma City University - School of Law

Jonathan D. Rosenbloom

Drake University Law School

Date Written: December 14, 2012

Abstract

This article presents a preliminary effort to capture the dialogue at the Environmental Law Collaborative’s inaugural Workshop. Attendees engaged in the re-conceptualization of sustainability in the age of climate change, premised on evidence that climate change is forcing changes in the norms of political, social, economic, and technological standards. As climate change continues to dominate many fields of research, sustainability is at a critical moment that challenges its conceptual coherence. Sustainability has never been free from disputes over its meaning and has long struggled with the difficulties of simultaneously implementing the “triple-bottom line” components of environmental, economic, and social well-being. Climate change, however, suggests that the context for sustainable decision-making is shifting.

The event produced an intensive and collaborative conversation on how to assess sustainability in the age of climate change. The essays appearing here examine the process of adapting the principles and application of sustainability to the demands of climate change, including (but not limited to) framing the term “sustainability” in climate change discussions; coordinating sustainable practices across disciplines such as law, economics, ethics, and the hard sciences; and conceptualizing the role of sustainability in formulating adaptation and resiliency strategies. These essays also contemplate the role of law and legal systems in crafting effective climate change adaptation strategies and consider feasible strategies in the context of specific examples.

Keywords: sustainability, climate change, adaptation, resiliency

Suggested Citation

Burger, Michael and Burleson, Elizabeth and Bratspies, Rebecca M. and Craig, Robin Kundis and Harrington, Alexandra R. and Hirokawa, Keith H. and Krakoff, Sarah and Kuh, Katrina Fischer and Miller, Stephen R. and Owley, Jessica and Parenteau, Patrick A. and Powers, Melissa and Roesler, Shannon and Rosenbloom, Jonathan D., Rethinking Sustainability to Meet the Climate Change Challenge (December 14, 2012). 43 Environmental Law Reporter 10342-10357; SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-023; Hofstra Univ. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-05; Lewis & Clark Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-1; University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 22; Roger Williams Univ. Legal Studies Paper No. 153. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2189530

Michael Burger

Columbia University - Sabin Center for Climate Change Law ( email )

Jerome Greene Hall
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Elizabeth Burleson

BurlesonInstitute.org ( email )

London School of Economics (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Rebecca M. Bratspies

City University of New York - School of Law ( email )

2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101
United States

Robin Kundis Craig

University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 South University St.
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States
801-585-5228 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://faculty.utah.edu/u0793211-ROBIN_KUNDIS_CRAIG/biography/index.hml

Alexandra R. Harrington

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

CISDL ( email )

Canada

Keith H. Hirokawa

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

Sarah Krakoff

University of Colorado Law School ( email )

401 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

Katrina Fischer Kuh

Pace Law School ( email )

78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States

Stephen R. Miller

University of Idaho College of Law - Boise ( email )

514 W. Jefferson St
Boise, ID 83702
United States
208-364-4559 (Phone)
208-344-2176 (Fax)

Jessica Owley (Contact Author)

University at Buffalo Law School ( email )

School of Law
528 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States
716-645-8182 (Phone)
716-645-2064 (Fax)

Patrick A. Parenteau

Vermont Law School ( email )

68 North Windsor Street
P.O. Box 60
South Royalton, VT 05068
United States
802 831 1305 (Phone)
802 831 1158 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.vermontlaw.edu

Melissa Powers

Lewis & Clark Law School ( email )

10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, OR 97219
United States

Shannon Roesler

Oklahoma City University - School of Law ( email )

2501 N. Blackwelder
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
United States

Jonathan D. Rosenbloom

Drake University Law School ( email )

27th & Carpenter Sts.
Des Moines, IA 50311
United States

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