Renewable Energy Legal Defense Initiative

Lead PI: Professor Michael Gerrard

Unit Affiliation: Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Unknown start date - Ongoing
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: Achieving lower carbon emissions in the United States will require developing wind, solar, and other renewable energy facilities, as well as associated storage, distribution, and transmission, at an unprecedented scale and pace. Although many people are enthusiastic about renewable energy facilities’ economic and environmental benefits, local opposition often impedes such development. For this reason, Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and the law firm of Arnold & Porter have launched the Renewable Energy Legal Defense Initiative (RELDI). Its purpose is to provide pro bono legal representation to community groups and local residents who support renewable energy development in their communities, but are facing opposition. Some people may not like the sight of wind turbines or solar arrays in their communities, or have other objections to renewable energy, but we will never adequately address the climate crisis if there are too many obstacles to bringing these facilities online. RELDI aims to provide a voice to local organizations and individuals that want to participate in the scaling-up of renewable energy.