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Law professors, students negotiate emissions reductions at Copenhagen summit

December 07, 2009

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    Logo for COP15 U.N. Climate Change Conference 2009
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    Chris Wold, Associate Professor of Law and Director, International Environmental Law Project
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    Erica Thorson, Clinical Professor of Law, International Environmental Law Project
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    Melissa Powers, Assistant Professor of Law

International Environmental Law Project (IELP) students are blogging about their efforts to negotiate reductions in emissions at the Copenhagen climate summit this month. IELP will be focusing on negotiations to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. Five Lewis & Clark Law School students are joining IELP Director and Professor Chris Wold, and Professors Erica Thorson, and Melissa Powers in Copenhagen for the historic world summit.

The school is particularly grateful to Paul Shinkawa, a Lewis & Clark Law School alum, whose contributions through 3P NRGY LLC & BioNRGY LLC made this trip possible. BioNRGY LLC is the developer of biomass systems using cellulosic feedstock to generate electricity and a bio-oil that may be reformed for fuel or used to power turbines for power generation. 3P NRGY LLC develops renewable energy projects in British Columbia, Oregon, and Hawaii.

Through IELP, law students help public interest environmental lawyers in developing countries create new law or strengthen existing law by providing legal memoranda on international and domestic legal issues. The work of students has helped win cases in – among other places – Bangladesh, arguing that fishermen were owed lost wages as a result of the World Bank-sponsored Flood Action Plan, and Colombia, arguing that the discharge of pesticides into the sea created compensable damages.

Read this Chronicle feature to learn more about IELP’s work and leadership, or listen to this podcast interview with Thorson to hear about her recent trip to Morocco to help customs officials understand the laws governing the exportation of Barbary macaques.

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