SPRING 2024 Symposium


April 12, 2024
9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Symposium Panels on Zoom
12 – 1 p.m. | Lunch
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. | In-person Roundtable Discussion
Register Here

Panel 1 – Eco-Governance Odyssey: Navigating ESG Waters, Conservation Leases, Sustainable Subsidy Frontiers, and Corporate Law and Environmental Degradation
Achinthi Vithanage,
Associate Director of Environmental Law Programs, Adjunct Law Professor

Ted De Barbieri, Professor of Law at Albany Law School
Mark Ortega, Teaching Assistant, Faculty of Law at National University of Singapore
Jamie Pleune, Associate Professor of Law & Wallace Stegner Center Research Fellow University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law
Stephen Park, Professor of Law at University of Connecticut
Anne-Marie Weber, Professor of Law at University of Warsaw

Panel 2 – Beyond the Boardroom: Corporate Advances in Climate Leadership
Jason Czarnezki,
Gilbert and Sarah Kerlin Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law, Associate Dean of Environmental Law Programs and Strategic Initiatives, Faculty Director of Sustainable Business Law Hub

Surya Deva, Professor of Law at Macquarie Law School and Director of the Centre for Environmental Law at Macquarie University
Averil Edwards, Managing Counsel – Environmental & Sustainability at United Airlines
Roger Martella, Chief Sustainability Officer at General Electric
Roy Shapira, Associate Professor at Reichman University

Lunch will be held in Ottinger 201, followed by a roundtable discussion in Ottinger G01.  

Sustainable Business Law Symposium Summary:
Lawyers, law schools, and corporate entities show increasing interest in sustainable business strategies. This is reflected by the growth in sustainability practice groups, law school courses, and textbooks illustrating the relationship between sustainability and business law; lawyers moving into executive-level sustainability positions in the private sector; and the proliferation of corporate sustainability policies, as well as increased interest in mitigating climate risk and engaging in sustainable finance. But what exactly is “sustainable business law,” and what role do lawyers play in advancing sustainability in the corporate world? And how can we ensure sustainable business strategies, especially those legally required, are truly effective? These are the questions this symposium aims to address.

Given the recent litigation in State of Utah et al v. Walsh et al, 2:23CV00016, where the Northern District of Texas is considering the validity of a Department of Labor rule which allows ESG factors to be considered in retirement fund investments, the EU directives and SEC proposed rules regarding corporate climate and ESG disclosures, and the Biden Administration’s interest in promoting sustainable business more broadly, Pace Environmental Law Review (PELR) believes now is the time to think more deeply about the intersections between law and sustainable business.

The symposium will bring together scholars, advocates, regulators, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss the legal implications of sustainable business. Some possible topics and themes for interested scholars to consider writing include, but are not limited to:

  • Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)
  • The circular economy
  • Sustainability and blockchain technology
  • Environmental start-ups and emerging companies
  • International and comparative law perspectives
  • The role of the insurance industry in responding to climate change

See previous symposiums below:
Thank you to those who contributed to and attended our previous Symposium on October 28, 2022. Attendees enjoyed fascinating dialogue and brought thought-provoking questions for the panelists. You can view the recording below.