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Initiative on Climate Risk and Resilience Law

The Initiative on Climate Risk and Resilience Law (ICRRL) is a partnership focused on legal efforts on climate risk and resilience, particularly at the intersection of practice and scholarship. ICRRL is dedicated to driving recognition of climate risk and resilience through:

Generation of original scholarship, practitioner resources, and legal filings on the subject of climate risk and resilience.

Synthesis and explication of evidence and best practices across sectors and geographies.

Collaborative engagement across interested entities, stakeholders, and parties.

Our Core Principles

The consequences of climate change become more visible with each passing year, not only in changing weather conditions, such as generally hotter temperatures and more humid air, but also in extreme events, such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires, and associated environmental changes, such as rising seas. These effects pose grave societal and economic risks. Society needs durable, resilient solutions to mitigate and manage expected impacts.

ICRRL drives the recognition of climate risk and resilience through legal innovation, scholarship, and practice. We believe:

Climate risk and resilience must be embedded into the fabric of the law.

A core function of law is to accurately assess, reduce, and allocate risk. The risks posed by climate change should be no exception.

Climate science yields decision-useful information that should be incorporated into decision-making processes.

Climate scientists’ ability to identify impacts attributable to climate change is rapidly increasing in specificity – in some cases with spatial resolution of just one or two square miles. Decisions made today concerning assets and operations relevant to the future should incorporate relevant climate data.

Enhancing climate resilience requires coordination among and within governments.

All levels of government—federal, state, and local—have important roles to play in designing, implementing, and supporting resilience measures. A high level of interagency collaboration and coordination will improve outcomes.

Resilience measures should be designed and implemented with the needs of communities that face greater risks from climate change in mind.

While the impacts of climate change pose risks to all, low income communities and communities of color will suffer disproportionately. Resilience solutions should be designed and implemented in a manner that reflects and considers the needs of communities most impacted.


Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law develops legal techniques to fight climate change, trains law students and lawyers in their use, and provides the legal profession and the public with up-to-date resources on key topics in climate law and regulation. It works closely with the scientists at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and with a wide range of governmental, non-governmental and academic organizations.

Environmental Defense Fund logo
Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Defense Fund is one of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations and creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 2.5 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 23 countries and across the E.U. to turn our solutions into action.

Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law

The Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law is a non-partisan think tank dedicated to improving the quality of governmental decisionmaking. Policy Integrity produces original scholarly research in the fields of economics, law, and regulatory policy. Policy Integrity also advocates for reform before courts, legislatures, and executive agencies at the state and national levels. Policy Integrity’s primary focus is climate and energy policy.

Vanderbilt University, School of Law

Vanderbilt University, School of Law has trained excellent lawyers for careers throughout the United States and around the world for over 145 years. Vanderbilt is a leader in developing interdisciplinary approaches to teaching, research and service in the areas of energy and land use regulation and environmental protection. Vanderbilt’s research teams have explored ways to use public and private governance to bridge the partisan divide on energy and climate change.

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