About NDEL

Environmental law addresses some of the most complex challenges of our time, from clean air and water, to endangered species conservation, to environmental justice and climate change. As a relatively new field, it is constantly expanding and evolving, reflecting our increased focus on the impact of human activities on the natural world.
In 2010, Yale’s New Directions in Environmental Law conference was inaugurated as a space to discuss novel approaches to the practice of environmental law and the creation of environmental policy. By combining academics and practitioners under one roof, NDEL brought together a new community to together discuss – and solve – environmental challenges.
New Directions in Environmental Law is an annual student-run conference organized jointly between the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Yale Law School. It is an ongoing conversation between high-level practitioners, academics, and the next generation of environmental and policy leaders.

News and Notes

At Yale’s New Directions in Environmental Law conference, the ‘International Agreements and Domestic Implementation’ panel centered on actions taken at international levels in response to climate change. The main themes addressed within the entirety of this panel were state accountability, and the issue of transparent environmental information and its important role in shaping international agreements.

“Climate change is an ‘all hands on deck’ problem,” said Mark Nevitt. His marine reference was no surprise, as Nevitt is a Navy Commander. Nevitt is preparing for our war on climate change and making sure the navy, military, and the United States are prepared.

Moderator Michael Oristaglio, executive director of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute, framed the conversation around two major topics: the role that fossil fuels play in U.S. military operations and defense strategy, which in turn raises questions of environmental impacts and human rights; and the military’s ongoing plan to move away from fossil fuel use for strategic reasons.

In the “How to Incorporate Climate Uncertainty into Policy Frameworks” panel at Yale’s 2017 New Directions in Environmental Law conference, environmental policy analysts closely examined the strategic possibilities for climate modeling, particularly within coastal communities facing increased risks of natural disaster. Beginning with a high-level view of climate modeling throughout history and then drilling down into specific implications, the conversation ultimately turned to practical ways that local policymakers can incorporate climate modeling into their urban planning decisions.