Introducing Our New Co-Director: Jonas Monast
On July 1st, Jonas Monast joined UNC as the C. Boyden Gray Distinguished Fellow, Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Center on Climate, Energy, Environment & Economics. Prior to joining the Carolina Law faculty, he directed the Climate and Energy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and taught courses on energy and environmental issues at Duke University’s School of Law and Nicholas School of the Environment. Professor Monast has also worked as an attorney in the Corporate Social Responsibility Practice at Foley Hoag LLP, as a congressional fellow for the late Senator Paul Wellstone, and as legislative counsel for the Center for Responsible Lending. Professor Monast earned his law degree from Georgetown University and his B.A. from Appalachian State University. His work focuses on the interaction of federal and state energy policies, aligning energy and environmental policy goals, and regulatory options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Please join us in welcoming him to Carolina Law!
Message From The Directors
The expansion of our programs and mission as CE3 continues. I am very pleased to have Jonas Monast join UNC Law School as an Assistant Professor, C. Boyden Gray Scholar of Energy Law, and the new Co-Director of CE3. With his help, we will continue to produce high quality education and programming. Since the announcement of our Center’s expanded mission, we have undertaken many programs and activities. We co-hosted a very successful workshop on the financing of solar energy in April (look for the white paper in the coming weeks), co-hosted 2 meetings of environmental and energy law academics looking at the future of the electricity sector, presented information about existing climate resilience and hedging programs at the Carolinas Resilience Conference, and learned that we have been asked to make two presentations to the World Bank at their annual Law and Justice week in early December.
The Law, Policy and the Future of Solar Financing Workshop
, which was co-hosted with UNC School of Law’s Center for Banking and Finance, and the UNC School of Government’s Environmental Finance Center, illustrates the engagement with issues that cross climate, energy, environment, and economic development. Solar energy has the potential to produce solid returns for banks and financial institutions, and this financing could grow the industry, thus addressing environmental and climate problems, while also providing well distributed economic development. Our preliminary results indicate that solving financing issues for solar and in fact other renewable sources of energy could lower their cost curve substantially, thus increasing their ability to outcompete traditional fuels in the electricity sector.
Please enjoy this quarter’s newsletter, and as always, we love feedback and ideas for future partnerships and programs.
Panel at the Law, Policy, and the Future of Solar Financing Workshop: Rebecca Rogers, Live Oak Bank; Rob Youngs, Coalition for Green Capital; Steve Levitas, FLS Energy & Kilpatrick Townsend; and Jeff Hughes, UNC Environmental Finance Center.
First CE3 Scholarship Recipient Named
Kristin Brunn has been named CE3's first scholarship recipient. An environmental science and policy major from Duke University, she took UNC School of Law Professor Don Hornstein's environmental law class and determined that environmental law was the correct path for her. In addition to classroom studies, Ms. Brunn wrote policy briefs for Duke’s Marine Lab and worked one summer on environmental projects in South Africa. She is looking forward to exploring the various career paths that the scholarship may enable her to pursue.“I hope to have a few diverse internships/externships that will help me determine exactly what kind of legal career suits me best,” Brunn says. “I expect it to involve the environment in some way.”
New Scholars Profiled!
New Scholars profiled include Craig Johnston (April 2016), Sean B. Hecht (May 2016), Reed Benson (June 2016), Christine Klein (July 2016), Sam Kalen (August 2016), and Brigham Daniels (September 2016). Keep up to date by going to our Scholars page or by liking CE3 on Facebook or following us on Twitter or Instagram (@UNCCE3), where the new profile is posted monthly.
Inaugural Speaker Series
CE3 welcomed Carl Bruch from ELI and Alexandra Klass from the University of Minnesota in late March. Both presentations are available on Vimeo, and slides and photos of Carl Bruch's presentation are also available from the Coastal Resilience Center.
New Certificate Program Offered
The Department of City and Regional Planning in partnership with the Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are co-sponsoring a graduate certificate program in the study of Natural Hazards Resilience. The 10 credit hour certificate program focuses on the nexus between the threats and impacts of natural hazards and disasters on human settlements, including those exacerbated by climate change, and how individuals, organizations, communities, and larger systems of governance prepare for, respond to, mitigate against, recover from, and adapt to these events. Law students earning their J.D. as well as those in a joint degree program with City and Regional Planning are eligible.
CE3 Leads Regional SeaGrant Legal Work
CE3 has teamed with regional partners on a South Atlantic Sea Grant to assess potential damage to communities from problems associated with climate change. The project is funded by Sea Grant, a federal entity that awards grants to states with a completed coastal zone management plan. The goal is to understand how coastal communities are susceptible to sea-level rise and other hazards from climate change, and CE3 will work with several universities to study legal and policy challenges to hazards-planning. Professor Victor Flatt is also co-director of the North Carolina Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center. Also with SeaGrant, UNC students completed a report entitled "The Challenges Posed by Heirs’ Property Ownership to Coastal Resilience Planning."
Professor Don Hornstein Continues Work on Insurance
Professor Don Hornstein continues on his work on coastal-insurance finance and resiliency as an appointed member of the North Carolina Insurance Underwriting Association, sometimes known as the "Beach Plan" -- North Carolina's largest single insurer of property in the State's twenty coastal and beach counties. Professor Hornstein is appointed to this post by Wayne Goodwin, the NC Commissioner of Insurance. Recently, Professor Hornstein published an article evaluating the financial programs followed by the NCIUA in contrast to those followed in Florida and Texas. Even more recently, as a member of the NCIUA's Reinsurance Committee, Professor Hornstein flew to London to interview several Lloyds Syndicates who participate in the NCIUA reinsurance program, and then continued on to Berlin and Munich to interview several reinsurers in Germany who have been instrumental in past years in NCIUA catastrophe-bond financing. And, most recently of all, Professor Hornstein was nominated as a potential member of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Advisory Committee on NIST's National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program.
CE3 Presented at the Carolinas Climate Resilience Conference
The 2016 Carolinas Climate Resilience Conference took place in Charlotte, NC, September 12-14. Don Hornstein (remotely), Victor Flatt, and Heather Payne, along with Dr. Greg Characklis of UNC's Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, presented "Insurance, Hedges, Markets, and Adapting to Climate Change."
Professor Savasta-Kennedy Continues EJ Work
As in previous years, Professor Savasta-Kennedy will be taking a group of interested students to the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network's Annual Summit at Bricks in Engecombe County. This year's theme is Environmental Justice: Moving Beyond Electoral Politics and Toxic Representation.
Coming Soon! Computer-Based Energy CLEs
CE3 is developing a series of computer-based energy CLEs that will offer North Carolina CLE credit. The modules will be available at any time, which can help you meet your CLE requirements at your convenience. It can also be a good complement if you can't make the entire Festival!
Save the Date! The Environmental Law Symposium at the Festival of Legal Learning
UNC School of Law's Festival of Legal Learning will be held February 10-11, 2017. As usual, the Environmental Law Symposium will be from 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Festival of Legal Learning is the law school's premier CLE event with courses on a variety of issues. Participants may select from the broad array of courses available, but we hope you will mark your calendars and join us on Saturday morning. CE3 will be hosting a reception with law students immediately after the Festival ends on Saturday as we have done in previous years; more details to come.