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Founded in 2008, the Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation and Resources (CLEAR) provides UNC Law students with an opportunity to engage in cutting edge issues in environmental law and climate change. The Center hosts and co-hosts numerous symposia related to climate change and climate change adaptation, welcomes leaders in climate change policy to campus, publishes legal and policy analyses and opinion pieces concerning the environment and climate change, and conducts research related to these areas. Together with the law school's co-extensive programs and centers touching on environmental issues, CLEAR is the backbone of UNC Law's renowned environmental program.

Over the next 20 to 30 years, global communities will be confronting an increasing number of environmental law issues that will affect more and more of the economy. Because of its well-studied complex natural environment, focus on property, resource and business issues, and the academic and scientific research centered in the area, North Carolina will provide answers to many of these questions.

CLEAR provides a focus for the cutting edge research of UNC Law's environmental, property, coastal and climate change scholars, and brings together scholars from other disciplines and institutions to address all facets of environmental law, environmental justice, climate change, legal adaptation, coastal issues and risk.

Message from the Director

Victor Flatt

Dear CLEAR Friends and Supporters:

It is an exciting time to be working with the Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation, and Resources (CLEAR) at UNC School of Law. Thanks to new environmental enforcement initiatives, new understanding of the science of pollution and resources, and the growing impact of climate change, environmental law is undergoing its most radical change and restructuring since its inception.

CLEAR is a part of that change by continuing faculty research on air and water pollution, coastal resources and impacts, and environmental justice, while moving into the new fields of climate change adaptation, business and mitigation. CLEAR is providing a focal point for law's role in environmental problems as they are studied across campus and throughout the university system. Most importantly, CLEAR is providing unparalleled educational opportunities for Carolina Law students in the study of emerging issues in environmental law, and providing research support and solutions for some of society's most vexing environmental problems. In the last 8 months alone, CLEAR has worked on issues concerning existing laws and climate change adaptation, climate change mitigation under the Clean Air Act, and interagency cooperation on climate change adaptation.

With UNC's strengths in public health, disaster response and management, water and coastal resources, insurance and banking, and with the coordination support of the UNC Institute for the Environment, CLEAR will avail itself of the most cutting-edge research on the impacts of climate change on the environment and society and what can be done to lessen and adapt to its impacts. Our students will be prepared for the new world of environmental law with courses in climate change, carbon trading, insurance and environmental risk regulation, and interagency environmental cooperation. CLEAR has emerged because of the vision of the state of North Carolina, the UNC administration, the law faculty, the environmental law students and law alumni, and in particular Tom and Elizabeth Taft, who have recognized the need for and potential of environmental law and provided some of the funding that will make our work possible. We hope that you will be a part of our exciting journey.

Victor B. Flatt
Tom & Elizabeth Taft Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law
Director, Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation, and Resources

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106


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