This Is Altitude Podcast

This is Beyond Politics Two Vanderbilt professors are taking a creative approach to solving climate change. Our guests, Michael Vandenbergh and Jonathan Gilligan recently released a new book Beyond Politics, discussing the role private entities can play in reducing carbon emissions even without the US government taking action. They tell us how we can make a meaningful difference by changing our behavior at home. US households emit as many carbon emissions as all of the countries in South America combined.

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Review by Dan Farber

Going Private: Climate Action by Businesses and Individuals This is a review of a new book by Michael Vandenbergh and Jonathan Gilligan, Beyond Politics: The Private Governance Response to Climate Change. They make a persuasive case that private initiatives in this area have been underestimated. The review seeks to build on their analysis in two ways. First, it examines what features of private action make it more or less a form of “governance,” and it suggests some ways the private sector could move further toward regulatory governance.

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Review in Nature Climate Change

Time to Re-Think Solutions

For people working to address climate change, there is certainly no viable alternative to reading this book. Beyond Politics presses readers to think beyond their current conception of climate change solutions and, while laying out a reasoned private governance response accompanied by a realistic assessment of its limitations, provides the groundwork for future research and initiatives to reduce emissions.

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Fair Marketeers Podcast

Michael P Vandenbergh is the David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair of Law at Vanderbilt University. He is also Director of the Climate Change Research Network and Co-director of the Energy, Environment and Land Use Program. Michael talks to us about his new book: Beyond Politics: The Private Governance Response to Climate Change. Far from a rallying cry to Governments to act when they’ve spent years and decades ignoring the problem, Beyond Politics, as the title suggests, goes into how the private and household sectors can combine to make a huge impact in mitigating climate change.

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Review in Science Magazine

Faced with government inaction, private firms emerge as major players in climate mitigation

In a thoughtful and far-ranging new book, Michael P. Vandenbergh and Jonathan M. Gilligan turn that view upside down. Both from Vanderbilt University—Vandenbergh a lawyer and Gilligan a professor of civil and environmental engineering—the authors help explain why firms from Coca-Cola to UPS are motivated to be leaders in cutting emissions. …

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Beyond Politics: Private industry needs to step up on climate change

When the United States pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, environmentalists were disappointed, but then businesses stepped up on their own to fight global warming. Two Vanderbilt experts say evidence shows that progress can continue to be made regardless of what the government is doing.

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Private industry, better messaging can help overcome damage from Paris withdrawal

President Donald Trump’s announcement on Thursday that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement phases out U.S. commitments to achieve carbon reduction targets and make financial contributions to slow climate change. It was a move environmentalists found disappointing, at best. But Vanderbilt University law and earth science professors contend initiatives that reduce carbon emissions from corporations and households can fill some of the gap. They point to the example of Walmart, which reduced carbon emissions worldwide by more than 20 million metric tons by focusing on efficiency in its global supply chain.

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Gilligan, Vandenbergh win Morrison Prize for climate change article

Research examining the role that private governance can play in bypassing government gridlock on climate change has earned a pair of Vanderbilt University professors this year’s $10,000 Morrison Prize, which recognizes the most impactful sustainability-related legal academic article published in North America during the previous year.

Michael P. Vandenbergh and Jonathan Gilligan were recognized for their paper, “Beyond Gridlock,” which was published in the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law. They will present the paper at the Third Annual Sustainability Conference of American Legal Educators, held in May at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. The Morrison Prize, which is administered through the O’Connor College of Law’s Program on Law and Sustainability, is named for its funder, Richard N. Morrison, co-founder of Arizona State’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy.

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