Following on from the announcement of the confirmed speakers for Plenary Session 3 Climate Change and Vulnerable Communities, the Organising Committee is delighted to profile Distinguished Professor David Hodas, Widener University, who will present a paper on "Sustainable Energy Law for a Climate Change Epoch: A Global Imperative" on Thursday 27 June: 9.00am-11.00am.


David R. Hodas is Distinguished Professor of Law, Widener University School of Law (Delaware). His teaching and scholarship address sustainable energy law and policy, climate change law, environmental, administrative and constitutional law. He co-authored Climate Change Law: Mitigation and Adaptation (West-Thomson Reuters 2009), is a member of the Energy Expert Group of the IUCN Environmental Law Commission, and chairs the State of Delaware Governor's Energy Advisory Council, which drafted the Delaware 2009-2014 Energy Plan. He is an editor of Natural Resources and Environment and the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law E-Journal. Professor Hodas has a B.A. cum laude and with honors in political science, Williams College (1973); a J.D. cum laude , Boston University School of Law (1976); and an LL.M. in Environmental Law (Feldshuh Fellow), Pace University School of Law (1989).

Abstract: Sustainable Energy Law for a Climate Change Epoch: A Global Imperative

Anthropogenic global warming is already changing the global climate and producing more frequent extreme weather events, arctic ice melt, and sea-level rise. Substantial, rapid greenhouse gas emission reductions could limit global warming to 2ºC above pre-industrial age global average temperatures, but the window of opportunity is closing fast. Sufficient renewable energy resources and energy efficient technologies are available for the world to largely end its reliance on greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels. Improved drilling technology, however, has increased the available supply of fossil fuels, which are profoundly subsidized by nature’s ecosystem services that made the fossil fuels, by direct and indirect societal subsidies, by the market’s failure to internalize the external costs of burning fossil fuels into the price of the fuels, and by traditional energy laws that promote the use of fossil fuels. Only well-designed sustainable energy laws and policies that make it more profitable to supply modern energy services through efficient use of renewable energy, rather than by burning fossil fuels, can unleash market forces at the scale needed to limit warming to 2ºC. Successful models of sustainable energy laws and policies must be adopted and implemented globally if the world is to have any realistic chance of avoiding dangerous, if not catastrophic, climate change.

Organizing Committee: 11th IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium 2013