International and American climate change experts to gather at Widener Law
Public Relations - Published: April 3, 2008
climateicebergWhile awareness of climate change and its impact on the physical landscape of our world – from shrinking glaciers to rising shorelines and beach erosion – is growing, the situation has other, less-tangible effects too. The Widener Law community will spend a day examining its legal aspects in a conference called, “Living with climate change: Legal challenges in a warmer world.”

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The April 18 event on the school’s Delaware campus will bring together academic and legal experts from around the nation and Canada to focus on how the law will need to adapt to a warmer world, as well as how the law can be used to mitigate climate change. The day will be broken into morning and afternoon sessions in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom.

The morning session, starting at 8:45 a.m., will explore how the consequences of climate change will pose far-reaching challenges to numerous areas of the law including water, public health, tort, property and environmental law. Through this discussion, the school hopes to initiate a greater sensitivity to how climate change will alter the legal environment, as it also alters the physical landscape.

The afternoon session, beginning at 1:15 p.m., will continue with a focus on how the law can help reduce the world’s warming. Discussion will focus on legal challenges and opportunities for addressing climate change that come through federal-state relations, tax policy and litigation.

The event is presented by the law school and its student-run Widener Law Review. Organizers have assembled a lineup of distinguished speakers from schools including UCLA School of Law, the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, Florida State University College of Law, University of British Columbia Faculty of Law and the Centers for Law and the Public’s Health collaboration between Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities.

“Climate change will fundamentally alter our world,” said Associate Professor Kenneth T. Kristl, the conference chair and director of Widener’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. “This conference will be one of the first in the nation to examine the impact of climate change on the law itself. The discussion – moderated by Widener professors who are leaders in the environmental and public health fields – should be stimulating and groundbreaking.”

Registration and continental breakfast begin the day of the event at 8 a.m. and opening remarks will start at 8:45 a.m. Six continuing legal education credits, including one ethics credit, are available for Pennsylvania and Delaware attorneys who attend the conference. The conference is free to students and the general public, without lunch service. Attorneys who attend for credit will be charged a $145 registration fee; Widener Law alumni attorneys will be charged a $100 registration fee. The fee includes lunch. For more information, or to register, contact Debbe Patrick at 302.477.2014 or