UNC School of Law Renames and Expands Environmental Center with Leading Gift from Duke Energy Foundation

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In partnership with the Duke Energy Foundation, UNC School of Law announced today that the Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation and Resources (CLEAR) is now the UNC School of Law Center for Climate, Energy, Environment and Economics (CE3). The new name reflects the center’s expanded mission to become the nation’s first law and policy center specifically devoted to the intersection of climate, energy law, environmental law and economic development.

Duke Energy has committed $200,000 in initial funding and anticipates an additional $400,000 investment over the following two years that will enable CE3 to hire additional staff to assist with planning projects, submitting grants and developing programs, workshops and seminars. Funds will also be used to create new courses and provide scholarships to law students.

“With the quickly evolving energy landscape, it’s critical that law students and attorneys are prepared to balance emerging climate, energy and environmental issues with economic competitiveness,” says David Fountain '94, North Carolina president of Duke Energy. “This requires a collaborative approach. As a graduate of the UNC School of Law, I’m proud Duke Energy is partnering with the school to develop the leading institution on the interplay among these topics.”

CE3 is tasked with engaging stakeholders in government, business and communities to identify concerns and address these concerns through discussions with thought leaders and decision makers from the current energy, environment, climate and economic development fields. The goal for this initiative is to assist in molding future energy, environment, climate and development policies by understanding how they work together and affect the welfare of the public.

“The Duke Energy Foundation’s investment in our school and our law students goes beyond funding and includes a common vision for the cooperative role that the private sector will play in stabilizing our planet’s climate, protecting our environment and providing energy and economic resources to our citizenry,” says Victor Flatt, director of CE3 and Thomas F. and Elizabeth Taft Distinguished Professor in Environmental Law at UNC. “This investment will provide the training for a future generation of leaders in energy law, environmental law, climate, development and innovation at the intersection of these areas.”

CE3 is an educational resource for UNC law students, attorneys, policy makers and others. It provides an enhanced, real-world education on how laws and policies governing energy, environment, climate and economic development interact. Students learn by working alongside UNC law faculty members, academic and nonprofit partners and legal practitioners. The center’s projects and research inform policymakers, industry leaders and practitioners on legal issues surrounding energy provision and environmental protection.

Additionally, funds from the Duke Energy Foundation will provide a full tuition scholarship and summer employment for an incoming law student as well as continuing education opportunities for business, legal and political communities in North Carolina and the nation to discuss the energy, climate and environmental risks and opportunities emerging in the 21st century.


-February 24, 2016

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