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CLEAR Honors Contributions to Clean Air in North Carolina

The Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation, and Resources (CLEAR) at UNC School of Law formally recognized individuals for their contributions to North Carolina’s success in protecting its citizens’ right to clean and healthful air at a luncheon reception on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013.

The first CLEAR award was given to Attorney General Roy Cooper, as well as Marc Bernstein, Jim Gulick and Allen Jernigan in the N.C. Attorney General’s Office; Laura Boothe (posthumously), George Bridgers, John Evans, Sheila Holman and Brock Nicholson at the N.C. Department of the Environment and Natural Resources; John Suttles and Gudrun Thompson from the Southern Environmental Law Center; Chris Browning, former North Carolina Solicitor General; and Professor Don Hornstein, from UNC School of Law.

“The dedication of these individuals serves as an inspiration to all environmental attorneys and public servants and to our future attorneys,” says Victor Flatt, CLEAR director and Thomas F. and Elizabeth Taft Distinguished Professor in Environmental Law.

With the passage of the strict Clean Air Act in 1970, the federal government tasked all states with playing a role in the provision of clean air. In particular, it was recognized that states should avoid actions that would cause harm to the air in another state. Despite this requirement, much upwind pollution traveled to downwind states like North Carolina, impairing the health of its citizens.

“Since 2002, the North Carolina Attorney General’s office and its allies have fought for clean air in North Carolina,” says Flatt. Their work, spanning over a decade, includes a lawsuit against the EPA for failing to respond to a petition under the Clean Air Act against upwind sources of pollution significantly affecting North Carolina; a lawsuit against the Tennessee Valley Authority, which reduced trans-boundary pollution from sources operated by the TVA; and a successful challenge of the EPA’s Clean Air Interstate Rule in the U.S. Supreme Court and the continued work petitioning for a better program for the future.

“With these actions, these environmental legal heroes have lowered the amount of pollution coming into the state from out-of-state sources by decreasing emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides or eliminating sources completely,” says Flatt.

Christopher Browning; Dean Jack Boger; Professor Victor Flatt; Attorney General Roy Cooper; Tom Taft; James Gulick; Marc Bernstein; Allen Jernigan; Gudrun Thompson; and John Suttles.
Attorney General Roy Cooper

Professor Flatt Speaks on Copenhagen

Victor Flatt, who attended the recent climate change conference in Copenhagen, shared his personal experience at the FedEx Global Education Center on January 19, 2010. A link to download the video is available from iTunesU. Professor Flatt also spoke at Chapman University's Beyond Copenhagen: An International Conference on Climate Change, on the Physical Science, Energy & Law Panel, on April 23, 2010. You can access the webcasts online.

German Ambassador to the United States speaks at UNC School of Law

On November 17, 2010, CLEAR co-hosted Ambassador Klaus Scharioth, the Ambassador to the United States from the Federal Republic of Germany. He presented "Transatlantic Relations for the Next Decade and the Transatlantic Climate Bridge," discussing contemporary issues in international law and policy, and a joint commitment by Germany and the United States to invest in newer, cleaner sources of energy that can create new jobs and world-class industries, clean the environment and protect the climate, improve standards of living and enhance global security.

Video Recording of the Event

EPA Deputy Director of Policy speaks at Carolina Law

In March 2010, CLEAR, in conjunction with Duke University School of Law, presented Rob Verchick, EPA Deputy Director of Policy and Gauthier-St. Martins Professor of Environmental Law, Loyola New Orleans Law School. Verchick addressed new federal initiatives in climate change adaptation.

British Consulate-General visits UNC School of Law

Annabelle Malins

CLEAR hosted a reception in October 2009 to welcome Annabelle Malins to her new position as Her Majesty's British Consul General for the southeast United States. Malins was appointed in September 2009.

Among her duties as Consul General, Malins will focus on issues of climate change and climate change adaptation. The British Consulate-General and the United Kingdom's diplomatic team will be working with CLEAR on advancing our understanding of adapting to climate change and sharing experiences on how our laws can be utilized to lessen the impacts of climate change in North Carolina, the Southeast and throughout the world.

Above, Her Majesty's Consul General Annabelle Malins discusses the British Government's interest in collaboration with UNC and CLEAR on climate change issues while CLEAR Director Victor Flatt and Dean Jack Boger look on.

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