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Transnational Regulatory Governance address: Cracking the American Climate Negotiators' Hidden Code: United States Law and the Paris Agreement

SW1.17 Somerset House East Wing
04/05/2016 (18:00-19:30)

Speaker: Professor David A. Wirth, Boston College

The United States is unusual in the extent to which its municipal law constrains the creation of international commitments – producing a last-minute fiasco that threatened to hold up the Paris Agreement over one word. This presentation disaggregates US climate policy and analyses how those dynamics played out on the multilateral stage, influencing the shape of the Paris Outcome even to the name of the instrument. Among the subjects analysed are (1) executive powers in foreign relations; (2) existing federal legislation as domestic legal authority for the Paris Agreement; (3) domestic implementation of the US INDC; (4) executive agreements as vehicles for undertaking internationally legally binding commitments on climate; and (5) the role of the courts.

David A. Wirth is Professor of Law at Boston College Law School in Newton, Massachusetts, where he has served as Director of International Programs. Professor Wirth teaches primarily in the field of public international law. He has a particularly strong research interest in international environmental law, an area in which he has worked and practiced for more than two decades.  In addition to Boston College, he has taught at Harvard, M.I.T., Oxford, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the University of Virginia. Professor Wirth was Senior Attorney and Co-Director of the International Program at the Washington, D.C. office of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and has served as Attorney-Adviser for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., where he had principal responsibility for all international environmental issues.

To RSVP please contact Transnational Regulatory Governance research group convenor Stephen Minas 

This event will be followed by a wine reception.

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