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Tracy Hester
Climate Change Law
LAW 5397
Spring 2012



LAW 5397

Spring 2012
215 TUII



No. Date Topics Guest Speaker(s) Readings Comments
1. Jan. 16, 2012 Martin Luther King Holiday - no class      
2. Jan. 18, 2012 Introduction - Orientation and Overview  

No readings, but begin review of briefs for mock U.S. Supreme Court oral argument


3. Jan. 19, 2012

SPECIAL CLASS: Mock U.S. Supreme Court oral argument on climate change tort liability

The Honorable Ken Starr

The Honorable Tom Phillips

President John Cruden, Environmental Law Institute

Kivalina Appellants' Brief

Kivalina Utilities' Brief

Kivalina Amicus Brief

American Electric Power v. Connecticut

AEP Commentary

Skim only -- background for oral argument review
4. Jan. 23, 2012 Climate Science - background   Osofsky and McAllister, Climate Change Law and Policy (draft 2012), Chapter 1, pp. 1-4 to 1-22 ("Osofsky")

Climate Outlook Looking Much the Same, or Even Worse, 334 Science 1616 (Dec. 23, 2011)

EPA Greenhouse Gas Emission Mapping System (just explore; we'll use it in class)


5. Jan. 25, 2012

Climate Science - communication and policy implications


D. Kahan et al, Cultural Cognition of Scientific Consensus, Cultural Cognition Project Working Paper No. 38 (Feb. 7, 2010), pp. 1-28

Where did global warming go?, New York Times news analysis, Oct. 16, 2011

Class PowerPoint

Background reference material:

1. J. Schmandt (ed.), The Impact of Global Warming on Texas, chap. 10 (Policy Options) (June 2011)

2. D. Kahan et al., Geoengineering and the Science Communication Environment: A Cross-Culture Experiment, Cultural Cognition Project Working Paper No. 92 (draft; Jan. 9, 2012)

6. Jan. 30, 2012 Climate Science - guest discussion on climate science challenges and future directions Prof. Barry Lefer, University of Houston

No Need to Panic About Global Warming, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 27, 2012 (opinion article)

Trends in America's Climate and Environmental Attitudes: 2011, ecoAmerica (2011)


NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA Finds 2011 Ninth Warmest Year on Record (Jan. 19, 2012) and temperature animation

Climate Science Legal Defense Fund

5. Feb. 1, 2012

Responding to Climate Change - Mitigation


Osofsky, Chapter 1, pp. 1-22 to 35


R. Socolow and S. Pacala, A Plan to Keep Carbon in Check, Scientific American at p. 50 (Sept. 2006)

McKinsey GHG Cost Abatement Curve (see page 8)

McKinsey & Co., Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy, Executive Summary (July 2009)

R. Socolow, Wedges Reaffirmed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Sept. 27, 2011)

6. Feb. 6, 2012

Responding to Climate Change - Mitigation


Exercise - review of Texas wedge strategies

Executive Summary of N. Stern, The Economics of Climate Change (2006)

Texas No-Regrets Strategies Report (2010)

J. Williams, et al.
The Technology Path to Deep Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050: The Pivotal Role of Electricity, 335 Science 53 (Jan. 6, 2012)

7. Feb. 8, 2012 No class - jury duty  



8. Feb. 13, 2012 Responding to Climate Change - Adaptation  

Osofsky, Chapter 1, pp. 35-56

9. Feb. 15, 2012

International law - Montreal Protocol and UNFCCC


Osofsky, Chapter 2, pp. 1-16, 33-37

Excerpts from Louis Henkin, Foreign Affairs and the United States Constitution (1998)

Full text of U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change

10. Feb. 20, 2012 International law - Kyoto Protocol, Other International Legal Regimes  

Osofsky, Chapter 2, pp. 16-32, 37-46

Full text of Kyoto Protocol (skim)

Powerpoint on Introduction to Kyoto Protocol


Feb. 22, 2012 International law - Complete review of Kyoto Protocol, Cancun Agreements, and Looking Towards Rio+20


Cancun Agreements (skim only for general sense of coverage)

Report of Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments by Annex I Parties to Kyoto Protocol, Durban COP17 (Dec. 2011) (skim)

U.S. Pushes to Cut Emissions of Some Pollutants That Hasten Climate Change, The New York Times, Feb. 15, 2012

United Nations, The Future We Want, Jan. 10, 2012 (planning document for Rio+20 conference)

R. Kerr, A Quick (Partial) Fix For An Ailing Atmosphere, 335 Science 156 (Jan. 13, 2012) and study
12. Feb. 27, 2012

International law - Impact of Kyoto Protocol and international climate change conventions on U.S. citizens and companies


D. Goldberg, The Impact of the Kyoto Protocol on U.S. Business (2007) (excerpts)

D. Bodansky, Implications for U.S. Companies of Kyoto's Entry into Force Without the United States (2002)

13. Feb. 29, 2012 International law - international human rights and climate change law; lawsuits before international courts and agencies  

Compliance and Dispute Settlement in Multinational Agreements -- focus on pp. 322-333

Revisit the prior readings on Human Rights from our Feb. 20, 2012 class on Other International Agreements (Osofsky, Chapter 2, pp. 46-49)

Petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Seeking Relief From Violations Resuling From Global Warming Caused by Acts and Omissions of the United States (Dec. 7, 2005)

Agreement in Principle for Submission to Doha Conference of Parties

14. March 5, 2012

Comparative law - responses by other nations

Guest lecture: the Honorable Justice Swatanter Kumar of the Supreme Court of India

Justice Kumar's guest lecture


T. Hester, Private Claims for a Global Climate: U.S. and Indian Litigation Approaches to Climate Change and Environmental Harm (July 2011)

R. Lord ed., Climate Change Liability: Transnational Law and Practice (2012) (chapter on India)

15. March 7, 2012

Comparative law - responses by other nations -- conclusion


Osofsky, Chapter 4, pp. 1-62

Atlas of Pollution: World in CO2 Emissions, The Guardian, Jan. 31, 2011

Estimated 2010 Greenhouse Gas Emissions


16. March 19, 2012

U.S. law and policy - statutory initiatives and the Clean Air Act


Osofsky, Chapter 3, pp. 1-11 and 46-63

Final Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule

17. March 21, 2012

U.S. law and policy - clean air act regulations and permitting


Osofsky, Chapter 3, pp. 11-45

Final Tailoring Rule (read only pp. 31516-522)


18. March 26, 2012 U.S. law - climate change litigation overview

Matt Paulson, Baker & Botts

Matt Paulson's PowerPoint

D. Markell and J.B. Ruhl, An Empirical Assessment of Climate Change in the Courts

Letter from Bryan Shaw, TCEQ, and Greg Abbott, Texas Attorney General, to EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz (Aug. 2, 2010)

U.S. Climate Change Litigation Chart (Columbia Law School)

19. March 28, 2012

U.S. law - climate change litigation and tort liability


American Electric Power v. Connecticut

Comer v. Murphy Oil Co. panel opinion (5th Cir.)

Kivalina v. ExxonMobil

20. April 2, 2012 U.S. law - climate change tort liability  

Comer v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc. (district court decision on re-filing)

Bonser-Lain v. TCEQ (201st Dist. Ct., Travis Co., filed July 22, 2011)

Kivalina Oral Argument in 9th Circuit

A New Front Blowing In: State Law and the Future of Climate Change Nuisance Litigation, T. Hester (draft)

21. April 4, 2012 U.S. law - NEPA  

Wold, Climate Change Under Existing Federal Statutes (chap. 13 excerpt)


22. April 9, 2012 U.S. law - ESA and Clean Water Act  

Wold, Climate Change Under Existing Federal Statutes (chap. 13 excerpt)


23. April 11, 2012

State and local initiatives -- California, NY, Houston

Regional Initiatives -- RGGI, WCI and compacts


Osofsky, Chapter 5, pp. 6-32, 38-46, 50-58

Chart of states with renewable portfolio standards

Rocky Mountain Farmer's Union v. Goldstene

24. April 16, 2012

Climate Adaptation law


Osofsky, Chapter 5, pp. 32-38, 46-50

V. Flatt, Adapting Laws for a Changing World: A Systematic Approach to Climate Change Adaptation, 64 Fla. L. Rev. 269 (2012)


25. April 18, 2012 Climate Adaptation law Prepare to draft an outline of Texas climate adaptation plan in class

Climate Adaptation Clearinghouse

Washington State Climate Adaptation Strategy:

     -  Executive Summary

     -  pp. 25-31

Climate Engineering Concepts PowerPoint

SPICE Opposition Letter

26. April 23, 2012 Climate engineering and other technology-based proposals  

Osofsky, Chapter 7, pp. 21-47


27. April 25, 2012 Role of non-governmental organizations and corporate initiatives; voluntary commitments and actions; disclosure-based initiatives  

Osofsky, Chapter 6, pp. 1-31

SEC Guidance on Climate Change Disclosure

AES Annual Report 2011, pp. 65-72 (disclosure on climate risk)


27. April 30, 2012 Final wrap-up class (optional)






  May 11, 2012 Final Exam - Eight-hour take-home examination. You can check out the exam at the reference desk of the UHLC library, and you must submit your exam answers by 5:00 p.m. on May 11.