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Center for Environmental Policy

The Center for Environmental Policy aims to improve the nation's ability to address environmental challenges through effective governance.

Building A Resilient Future

Watch this virtual event, which covered the health impacts of extreme weather worsened by climate change, the disproportionate harm to low-income communities and communities of color, and the need for equitable, climate-resilient infrastructure, including challenges and success stories from local experts. Miami Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava kicked off the event with opening remarks, followed by a panel discussion featuring speakers who discussed how leaders are implementing infrastructure solutions to combat extreme weather and inequity in their communities.

Co-hosted by the Center for Environmental Policy, American Lung Association, and Center for Environmental Filmmaking.

Climate Mitigation Ambition in the Wake of COVID-19 and the 2021 United Nations Report

Friday, October 8, 2021 | 2:30pm Eastern 

A webinar sponsored by the Oxford University Press, the Center for Environmental Policy (CEP) of the School of Public Affairs, and the Department of Environmental Science, College of Arts and Sciences featuring Todd A. Eisenstadt  and Stephen E. MacAvoy.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s foremost scientific body on the subject, released findings in August, that human-caused climate change is accelerating faster than anticipated.  This webinar addresses developments in climate change science and policy against this backdrop, and that of the COVID-19, which diminished climate change-causing “greenhouse gas” emissions worldwide by some eight percent in 2020 but may require government spending which otherwise would have been available for other projects like climate change mitigation and adaptation. MacAvoy will touch on the major findings of the IPCC study and its implications and emissions trends during COVID and also address new discoveries and advancing technologies in the fight to limit climate change. Eisenstadt will address the importance of infrastructure spending and “Green New Deals” in Europe, the US and elsewhere, and recent advances – and setbacks -in public policy to limit climate change. He will emphasize the role of governments in the run-up to the November 2021 Glasgow meeting of the United Nations climate negotiators, and both speakers will address the need for more dramatic and transformational change.

This webinar will be moderated by Tony Mathias, Marketing Manager  for the Higher Education Division of Oxford University Press, which has just published Climate Change, Science, and the Politics of Shared Sacrifice.

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2021 William K. Reilly Awards

The Center for Environmental Policy at the School of Public Affairs held a special event honoring the 2021 winners of the William K. Reilly Award for Environmental Leadership: Peggy Shepard, co-founder and executive director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice, and EPA career civil servants, represented by current EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.

Opportunities for Advancing Equity in Infrastructure

Watch the first event in a webinar series focused on opportunities for advancing equity in the Biden Administration’s infrastructure efforts, hosted by SPA's Center for Environmental Policy, in partnership with the Center for Environmental Filmmaking and the American Lung Association. Paul Billings moderated this discussion with Shelley Francis, Mychal Johnson, Carol Kriebs, Bakeyah Nelson, Andrew Wishnia, and Mike Natchees on ways in which the Administration can make sure that frontline communities most impacted by major pollution sources, such as transportation, ports, oil & gas development, and power plants, benefit equitably from the American Jobs Plan and other federal investments.

Environmental Protection for the 21st Century Putting Equity at the Top of the Agenda

The Center has launched a new project to outline an agenda for 21st century environmental protection. The world faces new kinds of problems, has access to emerging technologies, and needs creative problem-solvers to protect the environment. This project is designed to help us anticipate and prepare for these challenges. The focus of this effort will be on the opportunities for achieving fairness and equity in how we define, assess, and manage environmental challenges in the coming decades.  

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Technology Opportunities Symposium

Hosted by the Center for Environmental Policy at American University's School of Public Affairs, watch this interactive symposium that addressed methods by which technologies can be used to advance fairer, more equitable, and effective environmental protection. The symposium presented a variety of specific technical issues and the ways in which each can play a role in addressing inequities, such as:

  • Advanced Air Monitoring
  • Geospatial Technologies
  • Data Analytics
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Advanced Manufacturing

Workforce of the Future Symposium

Thursday, June 3 | 3:00 PM Eastern

In this second of two symposia under the Center's initiative, 21st Century Environmental Protection: Putting Equity at the Top of the Agenda, practitioners address the workforce needed to achieve fairer and more equitable environmental protection, and meet future environmental challenges. The model characteristics and capabilities of the future environmental workforce were discussed along with the opportunities for, and challenges of, developing the environmental workforce of the future. 

This initiative is supported by the New York Community Trust and Intel.
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Pathways to a Decarbonized Economy and a More Livable Planet

Webinar Series

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As the U.S. rejoins other leading nations in the race to mitigate climate change, the debate is no longer about whether it can be, but about whether we can limit its harms. What will it take to get to Net Zero Emissions by 2050? Fears about a perceived trade-off between climate mitigation and economic development continue, but this webinar series seeks to move beyond that conceptualization and understand how climate change can be dramatically slowed, and the economy “decarbonized,” without economic loss. Join the Center for Environmental Policy this spring as we explore these issues with some of the world’s leading experts.

Looking Ahead: A Roadmap for Healthy Air & Equitable Climate Action for the Biden Administration

Thursday February 4, 2021 | 3:00pm - 4:30pm EST
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This event was featured a conversation about opportunities for the Biden-Harris Administration to advance climate action and the promise of the Clean Air Act - healthy air for all communities. On this virtual panel we heard the perspectives of an environmental justice leader, a state air regulator, a legal expert and a utility industry official. In order to ensure healthy air, immediate action on climate change is critical. In this discussion, subject matter experts explored ways the Administration can help to deliver equitable and health-focused climate solutions by supporting full implementation of the Clean Air Act, improving air quality monitoring technologies and reporting, fostering the growth of clean, non-combustible energy and low-emission and zero-emission vehicles, and other promising approaches.

This event was hosted by The American Lung Association and American University's Centers for Environmental Policy and Environmental Filmmaking

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Clean Air for All 50 Years of the Clean Air Act Online Symposium

September 29, 2020 | 12:00-5:00PM EST

The year 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1970 Clean Air Act and the 30th anniversary of the 1990 amendments. This landmark public health law was enacted with bipartisan cooperation and has saved hundreds of thousands of lives. However, more than 141 million Americans still live in areas where the air quality puts their health at risk. Join us for a half-day online symposium featuring expert speakers and practitioners who will address the law’s tremendous legacy as well as the work that remains to be done.

Hosted by the SPA Center for Environmental Policy, the American Lung Association and the Center for Environmental Filmmaking.
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A Good Life on a Finite Earth wins Charles Levine Prize

Each year, the International Political Science Association’s Research Committee on the Structure of Governance sponsors the Levine Prize, named in honor of Charles H. Levine, an acclaimed member who served on the editorial board of its official journal, Governance. A distinguished committee awards the prize to the best book on comparative administration or public policy published in the previous year.

This year’s committee has selected “A Good Life on a Finite Earth: The Political Economy of Green Growth,” by CEP Director Daniel J. Fiorino, as the 2019 recipient of the Levine Award.

Meet the 2021 Reilly Scholars

Carrie Cook (MPP, 2021)

Reilly Scholar Julia Singer 2021 MPP

Julia Singer (MPP, 2021)

A Future Inspired By the Past

This video history, produced by the Center for Environmental Policy, honors William K. Ruckelshaus, for his tenure as EPA Administrator and his many contributions to federal, state, and local environmental governance.

Reflection on U.S. Environmental Policy

This video history, produced with support from the EPA Alumni Association, honors William K. Reilly’s tenure as EPA Administrator and his many contributions to federal, state, and local environmental governance.

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Cows on rural landscape

Environment ·

Bridging the Rural-Urban Divide on Environmental Issues

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A Good Life on a Finite Earth

Daniel Fiorino, distinguished executive in residence at the American University School of Public Affairs, argues that policymakers need to protect the environment if they want the economy to grow in the long-term.

In his new book, A Good Life on a Finite Earth: The Political Economy of Green Growth, which was published in December by Oxford University Press, Fiorino links academic research with policy analysis.

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More News & Announcements

Community by ocean

Environment ·

The Challenge of Protecting the Environment Amid Populist Opposition

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Todd Eisenstadt

Environment ·

Climate Change Lessons from Some of the World's Most Vulnerable Communities

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Looking Ahead: A Roadmap for Healthy Air & Equitable Climate Action for the Biden Administration

Environment ·

SPA Center for Environmental Policy Co-Hosts Panel on Biden Climate Priorities

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Dan Fiorino (left) and Mary Nichols (right)

Environment ·

A Conversation with Mary Nichols – Chair, California Air Resources Board

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Boy catching frisbee.

Celebrating 50 years of the Clean Air Act: Looking back and moving forward to provide Clean Air for All

by Paul Billings and Dan Fiorino

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