Academic journal article Proceedings of the Annual Meeting-American Society of International Law

International Law and the Trump Administration: Global Engagement on Environmental Law

Academic journal article Proceedings of the Annual Meeting-American Society of International Law

International Law and the Trump Administration: Global Engagement on Environmental Law

Article excerpt

This session was convened at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 15, 2017, with opening remarks by Lucinda Low, President of the American Society of International Law. Sylvia Maciunas of the Centre for International Governance Innovation gave additional welcoming remarks, after which the moderator, Paul Joffe of the World Resources Institute, introduced the panelists: E. Donald Elliott of Yale University School of Law; Susan Casey-Lefkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council; and Carl Bruch of the Environmental Law Institute.


doi: 10.1017/amp.2017.130

Good morning, and welcome to this final program in our series of three programs at this annual meeting on "International Law and the Trump Administration." This morning, as you well know, we are talking about global engagement on environmental law, following our Thursday panel on security issues and yesterday's panel on trade and investment. This is part of a series that we have been presenting both here and on in our webcast initiative that we launched in January, as the new administration began its first one hundred days in office. Some of you may have seen the live webcast we put together, and there are now podcasts as well, featuring former senior administration officials of both parties, which are presenting factual information and informed perspectives on a range of critical policy issues that are facing America and the world.

So if you are interested in the webcasts--by virtue of your attendance at this program we deem you interested--these are available to the public without charge and are continuing to draw very large audiences. They are on our website at, and one hundred days is about to expire but we're going to do the second one hundred days and keep going with them, because there are still topics that we need to explore. We did have one on the environment on April 5, which was terrific, as I'm sure today's panel will be. There are just lots of issues to explore in this area.

I'd like to thank the ASIL annual meeting co-chairs and particularly Tafadzwa Pasipanodya--oh, it's early in the morning. I didn't do very well with that--and Tony La Vina for coordinating this session. I'd also like to thank our longtime partners, CIGI, the Center for International Governance Innovation, whose name you see up on the screen, with ASIL, for their sponsorship of this series. And with that I'm pleased to give the floor to Sylvia Maciunas from CIGI to introduce our moderator for this morning's session. Sylvia.


doi: 10.1017/amp.2017.131

Thank you, Lucinda, and thank you all for coming out on this Saturday morning to attend this important presentation.

My name is Sylvia Maciunas. I'm the Deputy Director of the Environmental Law section at CIGI. We are pleased to be here with you in Washington at ASIL and we are pleased to have been able to sponsor this series of presentations on the Trump administration in respect of really important issues of international environmental law.

I'll tell you a little bit about CIGI. We are a think tank located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. We conduct research, prepare briefings, and provide recommendations on areas of global public policy, in the areas of politics, economics, and law. In our law program we look at economic law, intellectual property, indigenous issues, and also the environment, so we are very happy to have this topic on this agenda.

Just a few words on Canada and the United States, in terms of environmental policy. Canada and the United States have had a history of cooperation on bilateral environmental issues. We've got an international joint commission that was established in 1909, or thereabouts, under the Boundary Waters Treaty, to govern transboundary water flows. We have signed the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to manage our shared lakes, and we've also signed an Air Quality Agreement in 1991, to deal with the issue of acid rain. …

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