Center for Law, Energy & the Environment


The Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE) channels the expertise of the Berkeley Law community – faculty, staff, and students – into pragmatic, creative policy solutions to critical environmental and energy challenges.


New Report

The California Roadmap

The increasingly clear impacts of climate change, the growing urgency of social justice movements, and the COVID-19 pandemic are all demonstrating how environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues shape local and international economies. California, as one of the largest economies in the world and a hub of innovation in business as well as climate policy, is uniquely poised to lead the push for greater consideration of ESG issues.
 
CLEE’s Climate Risk Initiative, led by Dave Jones, has partnered with the Principles for Responsible Investment on a policy roadmap to spark this effort. The California Roadmap includes recommendations for state policymakers, public pension funds, and private investors to better integrate ESG issues in their investment decision-making.
 
The recommendations, ranging from corporate reporting of climate-related risks to ESG-related disclosure for publicly financed projects, promote financial health and stability for California governments, companies, public employees, and private investors. They also offer California public and private sector leaders an opportunity to lead the nation in another urgent area of public policy.
 
 

In the News

Demystifying the Green New Deal with Ethan Elkind and Betony Jones
(10/16/20) Ethan Elkind discusses on 94.1 KPFA

Pollution Prosecutions Plummet to Lowest Level in Decades Under Trump
(10/14/20) Ethan Elkind quoted in EcoWatch

A roadmap to a sustainable economy through responsible investment in California
(10/6/20) Dave Jones wrote an op-ed in CalMatters

Road map for California ESG integration unveiled
(9/29/20) Dave Jones quoted in Pensions & Investments

What Trump’s Supreme Court pick could mean for science
(9/28/20) Dan Farber quoted in Nature

See our complete list of media mentions here.


September 2020

The California Roadmap

The increasingly clear impacts of climate change, the growing urgency of social justice movements, and the COVID-19 pandemic are all demonstrating how environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues shape local and international economies. California, as one of the largest economies in the world and a hub of innovation in business as well as climate policy, is uniquely poised to lead the push for greater consideration of ESG issues.
 
CLEE’s Climate Risk Initiative, led by Dave Jones, has partnered with the Principles for Responsible Investment on a policy roadmap to spark this effort. The California Roadmap includes recommendations for state policymakers, public pension funds, and private investors to better integrate ESG issues in their investment decision-making. The recommendations, ranging from corporate reporting of climate-related risks to ESG-related disclosure for publicly financed projects, promote financial health and stability for California governments, companies, public employees, and private investors. They also offer California public and private sector leaders an opportunity to lead the nation in another urgent area of public policy.
 

 
September 2020

Civic Engagement and Water Data: How Can California Make Data Work for Decision Makers?

As California water resources continue to face pressing challenges, such as climate change and population growth, data will play a critical role in empowering decision makers to adapt quickly. Building on our 2018 work with stakeholders to improve the usefulness of water data, this new issue brief focuses on the role of civic engagement in water data availability and system design. Based on interviews with public, private, nonprofit, and community thought leaders, the research identifies different approaches to civic engagement in water data and how it can be part of solving pressing problems.
 

July 2020

Sustainable Drive, Sustainable Supply: Priorities to Improve the Electric Vehicle Battery Supply Chain

The global transition from fossil fuel-powered vehicles to battery electric vehicles (EVs) will require the production of hundreds of millions of batteries. This massive deployment frequently raises questions from the general public and critics alike about the sustainability of the battery supply chain, from mining impacts to vehicle carbon emissions.

To address these questions, CLEE and the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) are conducting a stakeholder-led research initiative focused on identifying strategies to improve sustainability and governance across the EV battery supply chain. The new report “Sustainable Drive, Sustainable Supply: Priorities to Improve the Electric Vehicle Battery Supply Chain” identifies key challenges and possible responses that industry, government and nonprofit leaders could take to ensure battery supply chain sustainability.


June 2020

Clean and Resilient: Policy Solutions for California’s Grid of the Future

California’s electrical grid is both at the core of the state’s aggressive decarbonization goals—with targets of 60 percent renewable power by 2030 and 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045—and a major source of community vulnerability. Technologies like distributed renewable generation, microgrids, energy storage, building energy management, and vehicle-grid integration will be essential to promote community safety and resilience while advancing the effort to decarbonize the grid. But these investments will require significant policy and financial support to achieve these dual state goals over the coming decade.

To address this need, CLEE and the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA Law convened a group of California state energy regulators, local government leaders, grid experts, and clean energy advocates for a convening on California’s electrical grid of the future. Our report, Clean and Resilient, is based on this expert group’s findings.


April 2020

Legal Grounds: Law and Policy Options to Facilitate a Phase-out of Fossil Fuel Production in California

California is the seventh-largest oil producing state in the country, with a fossil fuel industry that is responsible for billions of dollars in state and local revenue and other economic activity each year. Yet continued oil and gas production contrasts with the state’s aggressive climate mitigation policies, while creating significant air and water pollution, particularly for disadvantaged communities in areas where much of the state’s drilling occurs.

As a result of these risks, many advocates and policymakers seek ways to enhance regulation of and eventually phase out oil and gas production in California. To provide legal options for policy makers to facilitate this transition, CLEE’s report Legal Grounds outlines steps California leaders could pursue on state- and privately-owned lands to achieve this reduction.


April 2020

Building a Sustainable Electric Vehicle Battery Supply Chain: Frequently Asked Questions

As California and other leading jurisdictions accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, questions are arising about the long-term sustainability of the battery supply chain. CLEE and the Natural Resource Governance Institute are collaborating on a research initiative to identify governance solutions to these questions. Our new FAQ document describes the structure of the supply chain and addresses key sustainability risks. A full policy report will follow later this year.


Recent Publications

CLIMATE & ENERGY

LAND USE

OCEANS

Notice – Latest updates on COVID-19 policies and resources for the UC Berkeley campus community. — View Details