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

As the impacts of climate change develop and intensify throughout California, the insurance sector will play an increasingly important role in the state’s response. Policymakers, industry  leaders, and local communities are all beginning to face a new paradigm of risk, resilience, and financial sustainability that insurers are uniquely positioned to help manage.

In July 2019, CLEE and UCLA Law’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, together with the California Department of Insurance and UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance, convened a symposium to discuss this evolving new role for the insurance sector. Our new synthesis report, co-authored by UCLA’s Sean Hecht and CLEE’s Ted Lamm, summarizes the key findings and next steps identified at the symposium, and adds new material and analysis reflecting recent developments in the field. 


Upcoming Events

Fall 2020 Curriculum Rollout (Virtual)
Thursday, April 9, 12:50-2:00pm

See all events here.


In the News

Eviction moratoriums, emergency grants: What it means to be affected by COVID-19
(4/3/20) Dan Farber quoted in The Daily Californian

Bernie Sanders’ and Joe Biden’s Transportation Plans Still Need Some Major Work
(3/10/20) Ethan Elkind quoted in Gizmodo

From border security to climate change, national emergency declarations raise hard questions about presidential power
(3/9/20) Dan Farber writes in The Telegraph

Ocean protection plan charts course for defending California coast
(2/28/20) Jordan Diamond quoted in The San Diego Union-Tribune

Trump Spins California’s Water Conservation Rules
(2/28/20) Nell Green Nylen quoted on Factcheck.org

See our complete list of media mentions here.


December 2019

California Climate Risk: Insurance-Based Approaches to Mitigation and Resilience 

As the impacts of climate change develop and intensify throughout California, the insurance sector will play an increasingly important role in the state’s response. Policymakers, industry  leaders, and local communities are all beginning to face a new paradigm of risk, resilience, and financial sustainability that insurers are uniquely positioned to help manage.

In July 2019, CLEE and UCLA Law’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, together with the California Department of Insurance and UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance, convened a symposium to discuss this evolving new role for the insurance sector. Our new synthesis report, co-authored by UCLA’s Sean Hecht and CLEE’s Ted Lamm, summarizes the key findings and next steps identified at the symposium, and adds new material and analysis reflecting recent developments in the field.


November 2019

Electric Vehicles and Global Urban Adoption

California and France have taken leading steps in supporting the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), but each has substantial progress ahead to reach full adoption. What can these jurisdictions learn from each other’s successes and challenges to make EVs convenient and accessible to urban residents?

To explore these questions, speakers at our June 2019 international conference at UC Berkeley on electric vehicles and global urban adoption, co-sponsored by CentraleSupélec and Florence School of Regulation (FSR) in France, described lessons learned for electric vehicle deployment in France and California.

Based on the discussion, UC Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) released the symposium brief: Electric Vehicles and Global Urban Adoption: Policy Solutions from France and California.


AUGUST 2019

FROM BRUSSELS TO THE BAY: CLIMATE RISK AND SUSTAINABLE FINANCE IN THE EU AND CALIFORNIA

The global financial system faces structural risks from the worsening impacts of climate change and the various policy responses to it. As jurisdictions like the European Union (EU) and California seek to address these risks, they face significant questions about what actions will be necessary and how financial regulators and industry members across the globe will need to coordinate decision-making and resource-sharing.

To address these concerns, we hosted experts and leaders in sustainable finance from California and the EU in May 2019 for a conference to discuss climate-related financial risks and key regulatory developments in the US and Europe. These include the EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan and Green Taxonomy efforts that seek to drive sustainable investment through innovative regulatory incentives and US industry partnership in implementing new disclosure and accounting standards. Our conference brief highlights the key insights delivered at the conference.


June 2019

Low Income, High Efficiency: Policies to Expand Low-Income Multifamily Energy Savings Retrofits

Improving the energy performance of existing buildings will be key to achieving California’s efficiency and greenhouse gas emission goals. But owners and residents of low-income, multifamily buildings face some of the greatest obstacles, including difficult access to capital, complex financing arrangements, competing renovation needs, and a split incentive problem that limits owners’ financial interest in upgrades that primarily reduce residents’ utility bills.

To address these challenges, UC Berkeley and UCLA Schools of Law convened two stakeholder groups to identify 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. The law schools are now releasing a policy report, Low Income, High Efficiency that details the solutions developed in these convenings.


JUNE 2019

POLICY BRIEF: ENHANCING LOCAL LAND USE DATA

As California’s housing affordability crisis persists, understanding which laws or regulations might impede housing construction in high-cost areas is of vital importance. Entitlement data is necessary to inform how local and state land use regulatory tools are being applied in practice and to identify which types of proposed housing developments tend to move faster or slower through the planning review process. Analysis of entitlement data can identify issues of inequity or inefficiency in the first step of the residential development process.

This policy brief details what our research team has learned about current data accessibility and provides recommendations on how to improve local data reporting and data maintenance to facilitate compliance with state housing laws and long-term planning strategies.


Recent Publications

CLIMATE & ENERGY

LAND USE

OCEANS


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