CLEAR to Participate in U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development

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The Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation and Resources (CLEAR) at UNC School of Law will participate in the civil society side events at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in Rio, Brazil, this June. The Rio+20 conference marks the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. Thousands of participants, including world leaders, policy makers, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders, representing more than 190 U.N. member nations, are expected to attend.

CLEAR director and Thomas F. and Elizabeth Taft Distinguished Professor in Environmental Law at UNC School of Law Victor B. Flatt will speak at the civil society side events during Rio+20. These events are not part of the official negotiations, rather they provide a forum for the discussion and examination of critical issues surrounding the conference.

On June 15, Flatt will discuss the role of law in climate change adaptation at the Worldwide Conference of Environmental Jurists. Flatt's scholarship at UNC School of Law focuses on the legislative and regulatory mechanisms needed to address climate change adaptation in the United States. He recently published a related article in the Florida Law Review entitled "Adapting Laws for a Changing World: A Systemic Approach to Climate Change Adaptation."

In addition, on June 19, CLEAR will co-sponsor a half day program on "Climate Change Adaptation, Law and Sustainability," in collaboration with the Environmental Law Institute and the American Society of International Law. The event will address the importance of law and legal systems for effective climate change adaptation. Flatt will speak at the program, along with Carl Bruch of the Environmental Law Institute and representatives from the United Nations Environment Programme.

The goal of Rio+20 is to secure an international commitment to sustainable development. The discussions will center around two main themes: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and an institutional framework for sustainable development. Rio+20 will focus on seven priority issues: jobs, energy, cities, food, water, oceans and disasters. Participants will review past progress in these areas and consider examples of successful sustainable development to fuel their discussions. The conference is expected to result in a focused political document that will establish goals and outline commitments for implementing sustainable development measures.

Flatt will blog live from Rio. For up-to-date information on Rio+20 as it progresses, as well as news from the civil society side events, follow his blog, Flatt Out Environmental.

-June 1, 2012

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