Published: Aug. 14, 2017

Climate Change Climate Change Law & Policy Works-in-Progress Symposiumand Policy SymposiumIn an effort to find legal solutions to climate change’s most pressing challenges, two University of Colorado Law School professors hosted the Climate Change Law & Policy Works-in-Progress Symposium August 10 and 11, 2017.

Professors Sarah Krakoff and William Boyd started the symposium in 2009 because at the time there was a shortage of scholarship on climate law and policy, despite its importance in the world.

“Now, of course, there are mountains and mountains of scholarship, but still not enough solutions, legal or otherwise,” Krakoff said.

Law professors at all career stages attended the symposium to discuss climate change, renewable energy, and environmental protection.

“Most of us are engaged in these topics as advocates, as well as academics, and the need for serious discussion and feedback about what we are writing is critical."
- Professor Sarah Krakoff

During the symposium, each attendee presented a work-in-progress, and each was also responsible for reading all of the scholars’ papers. The symposium focused less on presentation and more on in-depth discussion of the drafts.

“Most of us are engaged in these topics as advocates, as well as academics, and the need for serious discussion and feedback about what we are writing is critical,” Krakoff said.

Krakoff said the objective was to leave participants feeling rejuvenated and “with a renewed commitment to making their work the best it can be.”

“Several of our colleagues tell us this is their favorite academic gathering of the year,” Krakoff said. “Its small size and structure lend themselves to serious discussion, instead of just Q and A, and of course, it is in Boulder in the summer.”

The symposium is not all work and no play. On the Saturday after the conference, organizers took participants on a hike in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Krakoff said the hike is usually everyone’s highlight, and this year included sightings of pikas, high-altitude creatures threatened by climate change.

Krakoff’s areas of expertise include American Indian law, natural resources and public land law, and environmental justice. She also runs the Colorado Law Acequia Project, which provides free legal services to low-income farmers in the San Luis Valley.

Boyd is a professor of law and John H. Schultz Energy Law Fellow at Colorado Law. His areas of expertise include energy law and regulation, climate change law and policy, and environmental law.

Conference participants included:

  • Alex Camacho, University of California, Irvine
  • Ann Carlson, UCLA
  • James Coleman, Southern Methodist University
  • Brigham Daniels, Brigham Young University
  • Greg Dotson, University of Oregon
  • Sara Gosman, University of Arkansas
  • Sanne Knudsen, University of Washington
  • Douglas Kysar, Yale
  • Sharon Jacobs, University of Colorado
  • Alex Pearl, Texas Tech University
  • Jed Purdy, Duke University (co-host)
  • Noah Sachs, University of Richmond
  • Jim Salzman, University of California, Santa Barbara (co-host)