The Fourth Annual Earth Day Climate Change Symposium – Climate Change: An Accelerating Transformation


The Fourth Annual Earth Day Climate Change Symposium considers the accelerating impacts of climate change and efforts to respond to it.

Presentation Slides:

Zach Friedman: Winning the Win: Maximizing the Environmental, Economic, and Equity Benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)

Richard Yancey: Bulding Energy Exchange

Michael B. Gerrard: Recent Federal Climate and Energy Legislation

Jen Roberton: Transportation Electrification and Decarbonization

The program begins with a panel that discusses aggressive efforts to respond to climate change by New York State and New York City and their global leadership in this regard. Speakers discuss onshore and offshore renewable energy siting and development; groundbreaking NYS legislation and environmental justice; and NYC’s transition to transportation based on renewable energy.

The second panel addresses the effects of climate change and efforts to respond to it at the federal and global levels. We hear from a scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration regarding the state of the climate. We also hear from other speakers about recent landmark federal and other legislation; the momentous draft High Seas Treaty at the United Nations to protect biodiversity in the oceans; corporate efforts to address climate change; and issues related to the supply of critical minerals for renewable energy infrastructure.

Carl Howard
, Past Chair, NYS Bar Association Envtl. and Energy Law Section (NYSBA EELS); Co-Chair, NYSBA EELS Global Climate Change Committee; author, Global Climate Change Blog; Assistant Regional Counsel, U.S. Envtl. Protection Agency, Region 2.

New York City/New York State Panel (8:45 – 10:30)
Richard Yancey
, Executive Director, The Building Energy Exchange. (Decarbonization of NYC’s buildings.)
Jen Roberton, AICP, Transportation Lead, Office of Markets and Innovation, NYS Dept. of Public Service; former Sustainability and Resiliency Lead at Sam Schwartz Eng’g; former Senior Transp. Policy Advisor at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability; former Program Specialist at the City of Toronto’s Envt. and Energy Div. (Transition to transp. based on renewable energy in NYC.)
Houtan Moaveni, Executive Director of the NYS Office of Renewable Energy Siting; former Director of Facility Certification and Compliance at the NYS Dept. of Public Service; former Senior Advisor to the CEO and President of the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority. (Renewable energy development.)
Amanda Lefton, Senior Policy Director at Foley Hoag LLP; former Director, U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Mgmt., U.S. Dept. of the Interior; former First Assistant Secretary for Energy and Environment in NYS. (Off-shore wind development.)
Raya Salter, Founder and Executive Director of the Energy Justice Law and Policy Center; Member of the NYS Climate Action Council; envtl. justice advisor to the U.S. House Oversight Comm. and House Natural Resources Comm.; Adjunct Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. (NYS’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and envtl. justice.)

Federal/Global Panel   (10:40 – 12:30)
Karin Gleason
, Monitoring Section Chief, National Centers for Environmental Information, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (Scientific overview and update.)
Michael B. Gerrard
, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law School; Founder and Faculty Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. (Recent federal and other legislation.)
Cymie R. Payne
, Associate Professor in the Dept. of Human Ecology at Rutgers University and the School of Law – Camden; former Legal Counsel, UNCC/United Nations Security Council. (United Nations High Seas Biodiversity Treaty.)
Zach Friedman
, Director, Federal Policy at Ceres. (Corporate efforts to address climate change.)
Adam Phillips
, Adjunct Professor at New York University and Head of ESG Research for the Americas at Citi. (Critical minerals – supply and related issues.)

Co-Chair: Matthew J. Sinkman, Counsel, Gibbons P.C.
Co-Chair: L. Margaret Barry, Environmental Law Writer, Arnold & Porter

Planning Committee:
Hillary Aidun
, Associate Attorney, Earthjustice
J. Kevin Healy, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Juliette Levin, Juliette S. Levin, P.C.; Reservist, FEMA Environmental Historic Preservation Cadre
Virginia C. Robbins, Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC

Sponsoring Committee:
Environmental Law, L. Margaret Barry and Bethany Davis Noll, Co-Chairs

Co-Sponsoring Organizations:
New York State Bar Association, Environmental and Energy Law Section, Global Climate Change Committee, Michael B. Gerrard, J. Kevin Healey, Virginia C. Robbins, and Carl Howard, Co-Chairs
Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School
Columbia Climate School, Columbia University