Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium

 Higher Education connecting, collaborating and taking action


Member Series, Harrisburg University Event #3: Legal Pathways to Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • 15 Mar 2019
  • 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Harrisburg University, 326 Market St, Harrisburg, PA 17101

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology will host a series of six public lectures featuring thought leaders who will speak on a variety of topics related to climate disruption and sustainable development during the spring semester.

Event #3

Friday, March 15, 2019, 11:30AM-1:00PM; 14th Floor Auditorium: Legal Pathways to Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions – John Dernbach, Commonwealth Professor of Environmental Law and Sustainability and DirectorEnvironmental Law and Sustainability Center, Widener University Commonwealth Law School, Harrisburg, PA

Scientific reports on the need to act on climate change are becoming increasingly urgent.  But what do we do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?  This presentation will discuss the findings outlined in a new book that describes and analyzes more than 1,000 legal tools for reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to zero, or nearly zero, by mid-century.  The book, Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States (Michael B. Gerrard & John C. Dernbach, editors, Environmental Law Institute Press) will be released in March.   Federal, state, and local governments, as well as the private sector, have many more choices than they may have known.  The book provides tools for policy makers, lawyers, and the public to address what is easily one of the most challenging problems of our time.

John C. Dernbach is Commonwealth Professor of Environmental Law and Sustainability at Widener University Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He also is Director of the school’s Environmental Law and Sustainability Center.   Professor Dernbach has written on sustainable development, climate change, and other topics in more than 50 articles for law reviews and peer-reviewed journals, and has authored, co-authored, or contributed chapters to more than 20 books.

Professor Dernbach coauthored a successful amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 18 prominent climate scientists in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency.  His scholarship and advocacy helped persuade the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in landmark decisions in 2013 and 2017 to reinvigorate the Environmental Rights Amendment to the state constitution.  He was a member of the National Research Council Committee that, in Sustainability and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2011), made recommendations on how to institutionalize sustainability at EPA.   Before taking his teaching position at Widener Commonwealth, Professor Dernbach worked in a variety of positions at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and served most recently as that agency’s policy director.  He is also the co-author of a widely-used and influential legal writing text, first published in 1981, that is now in a sixth edition and considered a classic in the field.  He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. RSVP online to

PERC - Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium

connect. collaborate. take action  copyright PERC 2021

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software