Conference Videos & Webinars

New “Climate Policy Solutions” Website Launch Webinar


November 9th, 2016

To meet the challenge of climate change, California and other governments will need to adopt a suite of policies affecting multiple sectors.  Reducing economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions will take reforms in energy, land use, transportation, and agriculture, to name just a few.

Since 2009, UC Berkeley and UCLA Schools of Law, with the generous support of Bank of America, have been developing policy initiatives for California and other jurisdictions to meet ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets.  In California, these targets are legally mandated and based on what climate scientists tell us is needed to reduce the threat of catastrophic climate change.

We hosted a free webinar to celebrate the launch of the law schools’ new climate policy website, which contains all the recommendations from our work since 2009 on reducing carbon emissions in multiple sectors of the economy.  The policy recommendations result from a series of workshop convenings with key stakeholders from the business, academic, and policy sectors of the affected industries. They are also contained in reports accessible via CLEE or the UCLA Emmett Institute.

The webinar featured:

  • Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board
  • Nancy Pfund, founder and managing partner, DBL Investors


Powering the Savings Webinar


April 25, 2016

Making existing buildings more energy efficient is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce emissions and save building owners money.  Fixes like improved lighting through LED fixtures and more efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning can yield returns relatively quickly, despite higher upfront costs.  Yet California’s energy efficiency efforts to date have not kept pace with increasing demand, primarily because they rely largely on voluntary, consumer-financed programs.

Planting Fuels Webinar


December 14, 2015

Berkeley and UCLA Law released the report Planting Fuels: How California Can Boost Local, Low-Carbon Biofuel Production on December 2, 2015.  The report suggests policies that could boost local production of low-carbon biofuel, which can reduce emissions through shorter feedstock transportation routes, development of carbon reducing co-products like biochar compost, and reduced wildfire risk. Local production can provide jobs and revenue in otherwise economically challenged parts of the state, harvesting biofuel feedstocks from a variety of renewable sources, including corn, sugarcane and food waste, among others. 

On December 14th, from 11am to noon, we hosted a webinar featuring the following expert speakers:

  • Tim Olsen, energy and fuels program manager at the California Energy Commission
  • Lisa Mortenson, chief executive officer at Community Fuels
  • Mary Solecki, western states advocate for Environmental Entrepreneur

Report Release Webinar: How to Boost a Market for Second-Life Electric Vehicles Batteries in California


September 19th, 2014

Repurposed electric vehicle batteries could provide a major new source of inexpensive energy storage, but only if policy makers and businesses invest in that opportunity now. This webinar features representatives from the California Public Utilities Commission and the Governor’s Office as they discuss Berkeley Law and UCLA Law’s report “Reuse and Repower: How to Save Money and Clean the Grid with Second-Life Electric Vehicle Batteries.” The webinar summarizes the key findings from the report, which was released publicly in September 2014.


Ethan Elkind, Berkeley Law and UCLA Law

Adam Langton, California Public Utilities Commission

Randall Winston, Office of Governor Brown 

Stopping High Speed Sprawl: A Fresno Lunch Presentation


A UCLA / UC Berkeley Law event on managing the economic and environmental impacts of high speed rail in the San Joaquin Valley, held on Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 in Fresno.

Keynote Address by the Honorable Ashley Swearengin, Mayor of Fresno

Panel presentation with:

  • Holly King, King-Gardiner Farms, LLC
  • Tom Richards, High Speed Rail Authority
  • Jeff Roberts, Granville Homes

Construction will begin soon in the San Joaquin Valley on “Phase 1” of the $68.4 billion high speed rail system.  What will the impact be on the Valley’s cities, farms, and pocketbooks?  How can Valley leaders ensure that the system maximizes the economic and environmental benefits for residents?  This event discusses these issues and offers policy ideas to address the challenges.

UCLA and UC Berkeley Schools of Law released a joint report at the event on this topic, entitled “A High Speed Foundation.”   The report is part of the UC Berkeley and UCLA Schools of Law “Climate Change and Business Research Initiative.” 

Saving Public Transit: Strategies for an Era of Shrinking Budgets (November 2, 2012)

Part I:

Public transit in California and the nation—including the shuttles, buses, and passenger rail that serve our communities—has been battered by recession and dwindling public sector budgets. At the same time, ridership in many areas has spiked. This conference highlighted the challenges facing transit and explored solutions to overcome them and develop a world-class transit system.

Part 1 featured speakers:

  • Welcome by Cara Horowitz, Andrew Sabin Family Foundation Executive Director, UCLA Law Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment
  • Keynote by Art Leahy, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles Metro
  • Panel on the “Future of Transit Finance,” moderated by Steve Weissman, Energy Director for the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment at the UC Berkeley School of Law

Panelists included:

  • Scott Bernstein, President and Co-Founder, Center for Neighborhood Technology
  • Stuart Cohen, Executive Director, TransForm
  • Annie Nam, Manager of Goods Movement and Transportation Finance, Southern California Association of Governments

Part II: 

Part 2 featured speakers:

Panel on “Improving Transit and Land Use,” moderated by Ethan Elkind, Bank of America Climate Policy Associate at the UC Berkeley / UCLA Schools of Law

Panelists included:

  • Amanda Eaken, Sustainable Communities Deputy Director, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Dan Rosenfeld, Senior Deputy, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
  • Mott Smith, Civic Enterprises Associates & California Infill Builders Association

Panel on “Technology and Transit,” moderated by Sean Hecht, Executive Director of the Environmental Law Center at the UCLA School of Law

Panelists included:

  • Laura Stuchinsky, Sustainability Officer, City of San Jose Department of Transportation
  • Jason Conley, Director of Government Relations,
  • Steve Gutmann, Director of Business Development, Getaround

Conclusion by Ethan Elkind

Washington DC Policy Briefing on Electric Vehicles (September 2012)

Please click here for a video of a Capitol Hill lunch briefing (for the September 10, 2012 release of the Electric Drive by ’25 report)

Featured Speakers:  

  • Jay Friedland, Plug In America
  • Colleen Quinn, Coulomb Technologies
  • Tracy Woodard, Nissan

Local, Clean, and Green Conference at U.C. Berkeley (December 2011)

Innovative Climate Policies for California’s Local Governments

Conference held at UC Berkeley – December 2, 2011

California’s cities and counties can grow local green jobs while promoting initiatives that save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The UC Berkeley and UCLA Schools of Law presented a free public conference at UC Berkeley, where some of the state’s top policy, business, and environmental leaders reported on promising ways to address climate change and clear the path to a local clean energy future.

Conference Simulcast Videos

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Conference PowerPoints

Planning Infill: How to Encourage Sustainable Land Use
Meea Kang, President, California Infill Builders Association & Principal, Domus Development
Jeremy Madsen, Executive Director, Greenbelt Alliance

All Aboard: How to Finance Public Transit Improvements
Steve Kinsey, Supervisor, Marin County
Jessica Zenk, Transportation Policy Director, Silicon Valley Leadership

Saving Energy: Local Policies to Promote Energy Efficiency Retrofits
Annie Henderson, Program Director, Renewable Funding
Virginia Johnson, Executive Director, Ecology Action (Joint Presentation)

Local Clean Energy: Siting Renewables in Our Backyard
Susan Munves, Energy and Green Building Programs Administrator, City of Santa Monica
Seth Israel, Vice President, Site Acquisitions and Permitting, Recurrent Energy

 Sacramento Lunch Discussion on Renewable Energy (May 2011)

Getting to 33%: Policies to Help California Meet the 2020 Renewable Portfolio Standard

Watch this video to see a lunchtime presentation in Sacramento, California, on the future of renewable energy in California.

The event took place on May 23, 2011 and featured a keynote address by Ken Alex, Senior Advisor to Governor Brown and Director, Office of Planning and Research. In addition, a panel presentation included:

  • Obadiah Bartholomy, Sacramento Municipal Utilities District
  • Joe Desmond, Ice Energy (now with BrightSource Energy); former California Energy Commission chair
  • Manal Yamout, Special Advisor to Governor Brown on Renewable Energy (now with NextEra Energy Resources)

Video Duration: 1:23:35



For more information about these workshops please contact Ethan Elkind at