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Workshop Goals

What: Workshop/ Public Presentation on Law and Climate Change Adaptation - What can be done under existing laws and what might be necessary in a comprehensive climate change adaptation bill? - Part 1 - Natural Resources

Who: UNC Center for Law Environment Adaptation and Resources (CLEAR), the Duke Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Center for Progressive Reform (CPR)

Where: Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

When: April 12, 2010; 9:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., Boardroom

The changing climate and efforts to mitigate the changing climate are affecting and will continue to affect the nation for the foreseeable future. We have some knowledge gained from science, economics and public health about what those effects might be, and what can be done to adapt to those effects. From this, we can formulate best climate change adaptation policies. The question is how best to implement such policies. Are they best implemented through existing law or through new comprehensive legislation or both? The current comprehensive climate change bills address some adaptation issues primarily through funding mechanisms to affected states and populations and authorizing federal agencies to undertake new policies for climate change, in the areas of natural resources, water provision and public health. For instance, with respect to natural resources, the Boxer-Kerry proposal and the ACES Waxman Markey bill identically state that:

It is the policy of the Federal Government, in cooperation with State and local governments, Indian tribes, and other interested stakeholders to use all practicable means and measures to protect, restore, and conserve natural resources to enable them to become more resilient, adapt to, and withstand the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification.

If this portion of the bill passes in this or similar way, are these statutory proposals sufficient to meet "adaptation" policy objectives or should they be enhanced or altered? This may mean a discussion about what we want federal "adaptation" to look like. What about capacity building to state and local government?

If some form of these bills do not pass, can these policy goals still be accomplished and how? (conserving resources, capacity building for local and state government, legal authority for state and local actions)

Statutes that will be examined include NEPA, CZMA, NFMA, possibly tribal trust relationship

This is the first in a series of three workshops that will examine this question. The forthcoming workshops will address responses to public health and to funding and direct relief for states and the private sector for climate related losses.

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