Cutting-Edge Climate Law: Eugene Is Ground Zero

Oct 19, 2015

City Club of Eugene. Recorded on: October 16th, 2015

City Club of Eugene. Air Date: October 19th, 2015

Oregon is on the front lines when it comes to compelling science-based government responses to the climate crisis. Both scientific consensus and widespread public opinion agree on the need for action. Two of Oregon’s leading climate policy experts, both based in Eugene, will discuss their efforts to improve local, state, federal, and international responses to climate change. They contend that current policies are failing to preserve a habitable climate system for our children and future generations.

Tom Bowerman is the author of the Climate Stability and Justice Act of Oregon, which was introduced as HB 3470 in the 2015 legislature. He will describe the Act that would, when passed, require a comprehensive declining limit on greenhouse emissions based on the best available science. He will also discuss the near-term prospects of the Oregon Legislature passing the Act. Bowerman is Project Director for Policy Interactive Research. That Eugene-based organization published the Oregon Values and Beliefs Survey, which analyzed general public opinions about global climate change and how it may influence our future.

Julia Olson is Executive Director and Chief Legal Counsel of Our Children’s Trust. She will discuss two areas of significant interest to that organization. One is the City of Eugene’s Climate Recovery Ordinance with its 350 parts per million carbon budget. The other is the lawsuit against the federal government filed in the U.S. District Court, District of Oregon, in which Olson represents 21 youth plaintiffs, including some from Eugene. Another plaintiff in that landmark constitutional climate change case is Dr. James Hansen, “guardian for Future Generations.” The suit seeks to hold the federal government responsible for promoting fossil fuel development.

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