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Nov. 22, 2021 | 9:00 – 10:00AM CT

featuring Professor Lisa Sachs  
Professor of Law Columbia Law SchoolThe Earth InstituteColumbia University 

On behalf of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources (EENR) Center at the University of Houston Law Center, we are delighted to announce the forthcoming events we’ll host in the frame of our virtual lecture series on Energy Transition and Climate Governance, sponsored by the EU’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, and spearheaded by Dr. Aubin Nzaou.  


As the world intensifies efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, we will see a massive deployment of renewable energy, electric vehicles, and mobile platforms for telehealth and remote education, among a proliferation of new technologies for our carbon-neutral and increasingly digitized future. This leap to the future will increase demand for minerals and metals, and require a rapid phase-out of coal, oil, and gas. This transition presents both tremendous opportunities and overwhelming challenges, especially but not only for countries dependent on these resources for their economic development. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, averting cataclysmic climate and other environmental crises, protecting the rights and interests of local communities, and meeting the material and technological needs of our growing population depend on how our global natural resources are managed and governed. 

Alarmingly, a growing number of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) claims and awards are challenging critical measures states are taking related to climate action and to ensure that the minerals needed for the energy and digital transformations are mined responsibly. This talk will touch on the ways in which our current investment law regime, including the ISDS included in thousands of investment treaties, undermines environmental conservation, governance, rights and justice. 

Professor Sach’s publications are available on 


Lisa Sachs is the Director of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment. Since joining CCSI in 2008, she established and now oversees CCSI’s robust research portfolio in its cross-cutting areas of expertise, and has overseen advisory work in Chile, Guinea, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Paraguay, Tanzania and Timor-Leste, among other countries. She teaches a masters seminar at Columbia Law School and Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development, and lectures at Externado University in Colombia on International Investment Law. She has served on World Economic Forum Global Future Councils on International Governance and on Mining & Metals, and is a co-chair of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s thematic group on the Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources. She is a 2020-2021 Senior Fellow of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and sits on several advisory boards, including of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights and SDGAcademy. Before joining CCSI, she worked at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and at Amnesty USA, in both cases on shareholder engagement. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Harvard University, and earned her Juris Doctor and a Masters degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, where she was a James Kent Scholar and recipient of the Parker School Certificate in International and Comparative Law.   

We have a remarkable series planned for the rest of the year featuring domestic and international speakers.

Dec. 1, 2021 | 10-11 am ET
Troy Rule
Arizona State University—Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Dec. 8, 2021 | 10-11 am ET
Robert Percival
University of Maryland—Carey School of Law

Jan. 20, 2022 | 10-11 am ET
Michael Livermore
University of Virginia—School of Law

Feb. 2022
Jonathan Gilligan
Vanderbilt University—Law School

Feb. 17, 2022
Cymie Payne
Rutgers University—Rutgers Law School

Mar. 10, 2022 | 10-11 am ET
Daniel Magraw
Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Mar. 22, 2022 | 10-11 am ET
Michael Vandenbergh
Vanderbilt University—Law School).

Apr. 2022 | 10-11 am ET
Daniel E. Walters
Penn State Law

May 2022
Don Elliot
Yale University—Yale Law School

Jun. 2022 | 10-11 am ET
Cary Coglianese
University of Pennsylvania—Carey Law School