Symposium: Climate Change and Global Justice: Crafting Fair Solutions for Nations and Peoples

March 5, 2009

Thanks to all the participants for making this event so stimulating and successful. Click here to watch a recording of the entire proceedings [quicktime required]. We also published papers from many of the participants in our Summer 2009 issue. Download the event program with a fuller description of the event and information about the participants and their talks by clicking here.


Global climate change will have tremendous impacts on all people, but its effects will not be felt evenly. Those who feel the most serious impacts may be in the worst position to address them – and may have done the least to create them. This disparity raises challenges both of national and international institutional design and of basic human rights.

A just response to global climate change must come to grips with climate change’s disparate consequences and consider how best to craft legal frameworks that are sensitive to distributive concerns among both nations and groups. The Harvard Environmental Law Review will bring together scholars and practitioners from a variety of backgrounds to discuss legal mechanisms for dealing with the distributive ramifications of climate change for different nations and peoples.

This symposium will consist of two consecutive panels. One panel will focus on methods of allocating the costs of addressing climate change among nations and the second will focus on how the international community’s human rights obligations could, or should, affect policy responses.

March 5, 2009
3:30 p.m.: Panel 1 — Allocating Costs Among Nations
5:00 p.m.: Panel 2 — International Human Rights Obligations
6:30 p.m.: Reception (in Harkness Commons, 2nd floor)

Harvard Law School
1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138

Langdell North

The Harvard Environmental Law Review with the generous support of the Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy Fund Sponsorship


  • Jason Scott Johnston, Robert G. Fuller, Jr. Professor of Law and Director, Program on Law, the Environment, and the Economy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Michael P. Vandenbergh, Professor of Law, Co-Director, Regulatory Program and Director, Climate Change Research Network at the Vanderbilt University Law School
  • Brooke A. Ackerly, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director, Global Feminisms Collaborative, Vanderbilt University
  • Jonathan B. Wiener, William R. and Thomas L. Perkins Professor of Law at the Duke University School of Law
  • John H. Knox, Professor of Law at the Wake Forest School of Law
  • Counsellor Marc Limon, Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Maldives to the United Nations in Geneva
  • Tyler Giannini, Lecturer on Law and Clinical Director, Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School
  • Bonnie Docherty, Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School


  • Siobhán McInerney-Lankford, Counsel, Environment and International Law (Human Rights), The World Bank
  • David A. Wirth, Professor, Boston College Law School