Environmental Policy Predictions Under the Trump Administration: A Q&A with Professor Dan Esty and a friendly reminder to “just breathe”

Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy; January 17, 2017

Although President-elect Trump has made his opinions widely known, his plans for acting on those statements remain unclear and undefined—leaving a void filled with speculation and conjecture.

On the environment, Trump has stated his intention to dismantle the EPA, unravel the Clean Power Plan, and cancel the Paris Climate Change Agreement. While Trump will exercise executive power, he will not exercise absolute power, and his actions are limited in several key ways. To clarify some of the lurking unknowns and understand Trump’s limitations regarding environmental policies, I sat down with Professor Dan Esty, Director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy and the Hillhouse Professor at Yale University.   

Professor Esty, many of us are very concerned that exactly when we need to buckle down on climate change, President-elect Trump appears determined to unravel any progress that’s been made. Are we doomed?

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Climate Change Regulations for the 21st Century

RegBlog; November 30, 2015

As the 2015 international climate summit in Paris gets underway, leaders from President Obama to Pope Francis have renewed their appeals for collective action to address climate change. How to create effective climate policies, however, presents a more complicated inquiry.

Daniel Esty, a professor at Yale Law School, offered a unique perspective during a recent seminar at the University of Pennsylvania. Drawing from his own experience negotiating international climate agreements in the 1990s, Esty argued that the underlying international legal framework for the upcoming negotiations is strategically flawed.

Esty opened the Risk Regulation Seminar, hosted by the Penn Program on Regulation, by reflecting on tactical errors – top-down approaches and a focus on procedure over substance – he perceived in environmental policies developed in the 1990s. Esty then proposed regulations based on results and innovation as the “core elements” of environmental regulation for a sustainable future.

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