Center for Law, Energy & the Environment

Congratulating our 2019 E&E Certificate Recipients
2019 Environmental Awards Banquet
Thank you to all who attended our banquet celebrating environmental leadership.

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.

Welcoming Former California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones

Berkeley Law is pleased to announce that former California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has joined the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE). Jones’ work will focus on the risks posed by climate change to the insurance and other financial sectors and how public policy can help these sectors better identify, evaluate, and address that risk. He will also examine the role that the financial sector can play in aligning capital with the Paris Agreement and the role of financial regulators in addressing climate related risks. In addition to his position with CLEE, Jones has also been appointed a Distinguished Fellow with the ClimateWorks Foundation and the Senior Director for Environmental and Social Risk with The Nature Conservancy.

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

See all events here.

In the News

As Water Scarcity Increases, Desalination Plants Are on the Rise
(6/11/19) Mike Kiparsky quoted in YaleEnvironment360

Climate Warriors
(Spring, 2019) CLEE Featured in Transcript Magazine

As EV Sales Soar, Transportation Emissions Continue to Increase
(5/20/19) Ethan Elkind quoted by Planetizen

Landmark California Housing Bill Clears Key Hurdles, Heads to Appropriations Committee
(5/14/19) Ethan Elkind quoted by KQED News

Can SANDAG solve traffic woes with 100 MPH commuter rail, rush-hour pricing?
(5/12/19) Ethan Elkind quoted by the San Diego Union-Tribune

See our complete list of media mentions here.

March 2019

Insuring California in a Changing Climate: Adapting the Industry to New Needs, Risks, and Opportunities

Climate change poses significant risks to the insurance industry, even as the industry has the opportunity to help California residents and businesses mitigate their own risks. As disaster events become more common and complex, markets transition away from fossil fuels, and climate litigation accelerates, the industry will need to adapt rapidly while Californians will need continued access to robust protection. Our new symposium brief highlights the key concerns and top policy and market solutions available to protect insurers and consumers alike.

February 2019

Examining the Local Land Use Entitlement Process in California to Inform Policy and Process

California’s housing affordability crisis has rightly received a great deal of attention by state lawmakers, the press, academics, and ordinary Californians. To better understand the legal mechanisms behind housing development, this phased research project joins legal research with qualitative research methods to examine land-use entitlement processes in selected high cost cities over a four-year period (2014-2017). This work explores the obstacles to increasing infill development—a necessary strategy to address the housing supply crisis while being sensitive to health and environmental concerns.

January 2019

Policy Brief: Low-Income Multifamily Energy Savings Retrofits: Solutions to Increase Access to Incentives and Unlock Benefits 

Improving the energy performance of existing buildings will be key to achieving California’s efficiency and greenhouse gas emission goals. But owners of low-income, multifamily buildings face some of the greatest obstacles, including difficult access to capital, complex financing arrangements, and competing renovation needs. While California’s energy regulators and electric utilities fund and operate a number of incentive and rebate programs, structural barriers have hampered progress, including strict income qualification criteria, energy data opacity, and the complexity of combining multiple incentives into one project.

To address these challenges, UC Berkeley and UCLA Schools of Law are issuing a new policy brief based on two stakeholder convenings that identified policy solutions to address key barriers, increase access to energy efficiency incentives, and unlock environmental, financial, and quality-of-life benefits for owners and residents alike.

December 2018

Streamlining Sustainability: Regulatory and Permitting Improvements to Achieve California’s Freight Goals

Freight is responsible for hundreds of thousands of jobs in California and feeds commerce and agriculture throughout the state and the entire nation. But the trains, trucks, aircraft, and ocean vessels that ship goods throughout California are responsible for a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gas emissions and harmful air pollutants.

California’s freight system leaders will need to maximize its efficiency to retain this position of prominence while protecting California residents and workers. The recommendations outlined in Streamlining Sustainability can help California achieve its ambitious emission reduction, public health, and economic competitiveness goals.

November 2018

Priority Policy Solutions for California’s Next Governor

Climate change will exacerbate the droughts, floods, and wildfires that Californians already regularly experience, making them even more extreme and unpredictable. Gavin Newsom, California’s next governor, must prepare for these inevitable disasters while minimizing the greenhouse gas emissions of a society of nearly 40 million people.

CLEE, together with Resources Legacy Fund (RLF), has prepared three sets of actions Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom could take immediately to address wildfire; drought, flood, and drinking water safety and affordability; and the stubbornly high carbon pollution from our transportation systems.

Recent Publications