Economic Summit

November 16, 2006


Bren Professor Presents at Multidiscplinary Climate Change Symposium


Philadelphia, Penn. – Bren professor of environmental economics Charlie Kolstad was one among a group of distinguished economists, legal scholars, atmospheric scientists, and political scientists from the United States and Europe who presented at “Responses to Global Warming: the Law, Economics, and Science of Climate Change, ” a major symposium hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

Kolstad provided commentary at a session titled “Responding to and Insuring Against Catastrophic Climate Change.” Other sessions at the event, held Nov. 16-17 at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia, were titled “Alternative Global Warming Policies: Potential, Problems, and Pitfalls”; “Decentralized Responses to Climate Change: Atomospheric and Poltical Science Perspectives”; and “Climate Change: Common Law Duties and Damages.”

“This was a remarkable gathering of law scholars addressing the climate change problem from very different perspectives,” said Kolstad. “The possibility of more lawsuits against emitters of carbon dioxide for perceived damage from weather events could shake up the regulatory world.”

The intention of the symposium, which was billed as “a uniquely international and interdisciplinary event,” was to address in a timely manner recent changes and initiatives in policy related to global warming, and to look at possible legal-, political-, economic-, and science-based approaches to climate change in the future.

“In the United States, the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions has recently moved from theory to reality,” read the introduction to the symposium. “This has occurred not through centralized, federal law and regulations, but rather through decentralized action: state regulation and lawsuits brought by state and non-governmental organization plaintiffs seeking to compel federal regulation or, alternatively, to attach common law liability to firms whose processes or products generate greenhouse gas emissions. This symposium brings together some of the world’s leading scholars to critically analyze the law, economics, and science of these recent decentralized responses to global warming.”