International climate change conference to examine roles of China, United States

Distinguished environmental law and policy scholars and scientists from around the country will gather at Washington University to discuss “International Climate Change: Post-Kyoto Challenges,” from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 30 in Anheuser-Busch and Seigle halls.

“This is a crucial time regarding international climate change agreements,” said Maxine Lipeles, J.D., director of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic and senior lecturer in law.

“The international community is aiming to complete negotiations by the end of 2009 on a new climate change agreement to take effect when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. This conference will address the critical question of what roles the world’s two largest emitters — the U.S. and China — will play under the new agreement,” Lipeless said.

The conference, hosted by the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute, is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

“The mission of the Harris Institute is to bring together policymakers, lawyers and the public to deliberate upon and find solutions to some of the pressing, intractable and complex problems of our time,” said Leila N. Sadat, J.D., the Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law and director of the Harris Institute.

“This colloquium does just that by addressing the very difficult problem of global climate change from a legal and practical perspective,” Sadat said.

Joyce Penner, Ph.D., the Ralph J. Cicerone Distinguished University Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Michigan, and Jonathan Wiener, J.D., the William R. & Thomas L. Perkins Professor of Law at Duke University, will give conference keynote addresses.

Penner will speak about the “Current Status in Understanding Climate Change and Climate Change Prediction.” She is a member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Wiener, who teaches environmental policy and public policy studies at Duke, will discuss “Climate Change in a Multipolar World.”

Conference panel discussions in the morning will focus on the “Challenges and Opportunities in Bringing U.S. & China into a Post-Kyoto Agreement.”

The keynote address luncheon at noon will be followed by a 2 p.m. session on climate-related career opportunities.

For more information or to register for the conference, contact Linda McClain, assistant director and conference coordinator for the Harris Institute, at 935-7988 or visit