Federal Climate Legislation 2.0: The Green New Deal vs. The Carbon Tax

Michael Burger, Executive Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Mon, 04/29/2019 - 6:00pm
Graduate Students
Policy Students

The Program in Law and Public Affairs invites MPP/MPA students to join us for "Law in Public Service: Not Just for Lawyers," where our guest will be Michael Burger, Executive Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School.

THIS EVENT IS FULL:  Please email jrivkin@princeton.edu if you would like to be put on a waitlist.

In December, Rep. Theodore Deutch (R-FL) introduced the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, which would establish a nationwide carbon tax and impose tariffs on carbon intensive imports from other countries without similar taxes on the books. In February, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) introduced a resolution calling for enactment of the Green New Deal, a comprehensive national program to achieve 100% clean energy and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the United States. The carbon tax bill is supported by the industry-sponsored, Republican-led Climate Leadership Council and other center-right groups, as well as some environmental organizations, and was met with little fanfare. The Green New Deal, which is supported by the Justice Democrats and the emerging left wing of the Democratic party, has proved to be a political lightening rod. After some opening remarks, conversation will focus on the legal, political, scientific, and economic dimensions of these competing visions of climate action.    

Michael Burger
Executive Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School

Michael Burger is the Executive Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. He oversees a dynamic team of attorneys working in eight program areas to combat climate change. His research and advocacy focus on legal strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote climate change adaptation through pollution control, resource management, land use planning and green finance.   

Michael frequently collaborates with researchers across Columbia's Earth Institute, and with local and national environmental groups, government representatives, and international organizations. He is a widely published scholar, a frequent speaker at conferences and symposiums, and a regular source for media outlets, including The Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, Forbes, The Guardian, Bloomberg, and Vox.com. He has been featured on Science Friday and Living on Earth

Burger teaches a seminar on Natural Resources Law. Prior to joining the Sabin Center in 2015, he was an associate professor at Roger Williams University School of Law, where he taught environmental law, administrative law, and law and literature, and was founder and director of the Environmental and Land Use Law Clinical Externship program. He previously taught in the Lawyering Program at New York University School of Law, and served as an attorney in the Environmental Law Division of New York City’s Office of the Corporation Counsel. He has lead short courses on climate change and human rights in the Hague and Grand Cayman. He is also a co-founder and member of the Environmental Law Collaborative, and the incoming chair of the New York City Bar Association International Environmental Law Committee.

Michael is a graduate of Columbia Law School and of Brown University. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Creative Writing program at NYU.