What happened at COP21 in Paris? What’s next?

Feb. 19, 4:10 pm, Weinmann Hall, Room 251

In December 2015, the most comprehensive environmental protocol ever negotiated was consummated in Paris, with unprecedented unanimity among the parties in response to climate change. What does it call for? What happens next?

This panel is sponsored by the Tulane International Law Society!

CLE: COP21 Nguyen CLE

Wil Burns, Co-Director, Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment

Dr. Wil Burns is the founding Co-Director of the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, a scholarly initiative of American University; he is based in its western office in Berkeley, California. He previously served as the Director of the Master of Science, Energy Policy & Climate program at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. He also serves as the Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association. He is the former President of the Association for Environmental Studies & Sciences and former Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law interest group of the American Society of International Law and Chair of the International Wildlife Law Interest group of the Society. He has published over 75 articles in law, science, and policy journals and has co-edited four books. He holds a Ph.D. in International Environmental Law from the University of Wales-Cardiff School of Law.  Prior to becoming an academic, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs for the State of Wisconsin and worked in the non-governmental sector for twenty years, including as Executive Director of the Pacific Center for International Studies, a think-tank that focused on implementation of international wildlife treaty regimes, including the Convention on Biological Diversity and International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. His current areas of research focus are: climate geoengineering; international climate change litigation; adaptation strategies to address climate change, with a focus on the potential role of microinsurance; and the effectiveness of the European Union’s Emissions Trading System.


May Nguyen, Esq., M.A., Community Outreach Director, Tulane Environmental Law Clinic

May Nguyen is the Community Outreach Director at the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic where she provides environmental legal information to the public, manages intake, and consults on clients’ environmental campaigns.  Previously, Ms. Nguyen was a social justice strategy consultant for environmental campaigns, most notably helping coastal Louisiana fishing communities successfully demand recognition and calculate damages for their lost subsistence use due to the BP Oil Spill. For her contribution, Nguyen received the Rishwain Social Justice Entrepreneurship Award. At UCLA School of Law, Nguyen studied Critical Race Theory and was selected into the Epstein Program in Public Interested Law and Policy where she studied problem solving in the public interest – the practice of law, policy advocacy, organizing and communications. May received her B.A. from Amherst College, her M.A. in International Economics and Southeast Asia Studies from Johns Hopkins University, and her J.D. from UCLA School of Law.


Vicky Arroyo, Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center

Vicki ArroyoVicki Arroyo is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center where she oversees the Center’s work on climate change mitigation and adaptation at the state and federal level. She is also a Professor from Practice, teaching classes on climate change law and policy and serves as Assistant Dean for Centers & Institutes. For the last two years (July 2013-‘15) she also served as Georgetown Law’s environmental program director where she launched a new Environmental Law LLM degree program. Arroyo previously served for over a decade at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, most recently as Vice President for Policy Analysis and General Counsel where she oversaw the Center’s work on domestic policy, economics, science and impacts, and adaptation to climate change and was managing editor of the book on Climate Change Science, Strategies, and Solutions. She has worked at all levels of government and in the private sector on environmental issues, including serving in two offices of EPA and as Policy Director for Louisiana’s Department of Environmental Quality and Environmental Advisor to Governor “Buddy” Roemer and working as an attorney in private practice in Washington, D.C.  She is currently serving her second three-year terms on the Executive Committee of the National Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences and on the Advisory Committee to the National Science Foundation’s Geosciences and Polar Directorate. She also serves on editorial boards of the Journal Climate Policy and Georgetown Environmental Law Review. In the past, she served on boards of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and its parent organization the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, and on advisory boards to the California Air Resources Board in the design of their cap-and-trade program and to the federal Energy Information Administration. She is a New Orleans native and proud graduate of Ben Franklin High School. She holds degrees with high honors in biology with a double major in philosophy (B.S., Emory University), public administration (Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government where she received the Don K. Price award for Academic Achievement and Commitment to Public Service) and law (Georgetown Law, where she graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif). She served as Editor in Chief of the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review from 1993-’94 and has taught at Catholic University, George Mason University, and a mini-course at Tulane Law. Her TED talk on preparing for climate change impacts has been viewed roughly 1 million times and translated into 27 languages.


Gregor Trumel (moderator), Consul General of France in New Orleans



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