International Environmental and Energy Issues Headline ABA Spring Meeting In Washington
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 17, 2011 — The American Bar Association Section of International Law will host one of the world’s largest annual gatherings of international legal experts during its 2011 Spring Meeting, which will focus on cross-border international legal issues. The meeting will be held April 5-9 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, located at 400 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.
On April 6, general counsel of the U.S. Copyright Office, David Carson, will present the luncheon keynote address. He will speak about the challenges of copyright law in the digital age. Thomas Buergenthal, retired judge of the International Court of Justice, will speak during the April 7 luncheon. His remarks are expected to be titled “International Courts and the Transformation of International Law.” Other conference presenters include representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, office of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (NY), U.S. International Trade Commission and others.
More than 1,000 international law practitioners, scholars, corporate counsels, government and regulatory lawyers, and representatives of nongovernmental organizations from some 50 countries will be in attendance.
The agenda includes more than 80 programs on international business, energy and environment, and international rule of law and development. The following are sessions relating to energy and the environment.
“Competitive Alternatives to Fossil Fuels Electricity Generation” Panelists will discuss the feasibility of embracing a clean energy future, and look at several alternatives such as hydroelectricity, solar and wind power. Experts will examine whether these alternative energy sources are currently economically viable and, if not, what can be done from a legal and regulatory perspective to make them a realistic alternative to fossil fuels.
April 7, 9 – 10:30 a.m.
“Is Water the New Oil? Tales from the Battle over Transboundary Water Resources in North America” Panelists will examine environmental and water allocation disputes over transboundary waters, and present a practical “real-life” case study from recent litigation between the United States and Mexico. The program will also look at new measures recently announced by Canada to protect its transborder water resources.
April 7, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
“To Drill or Not to Drill: Incentives to Green Energy Alternatives” This program will focus on a fictional scenario of an investment fund that seeks environmentally friendly energy investments. A panel of experts from diverse jurisdictions will offer guidance to help investors understand what legal considerations exist when looking at green energy investments and what differences may exist among jurisdictions. This program is placed within the context of the offshore drilling debate taking place in the United States and has been affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
April 7, 4:30 – 6 p.m.
“The BP Spill: Legal and Regulatory Ramifications for the Energy Sector” Panelists will debate ways the Deepwater Horizon spill is altering the legal and regulatory landscape nearly one year after the anniversary of the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Experts will discuss the following questions: How will liability and accountability shift among stakeholders as energy providers go further and dig deeper to meet rising energy demands? What are the responsibilities of government and industry? and How will the gulf spill rewrite the rulebook?
April 8, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
“The New Gold Rush: The Race for the World’s Resources” Panelists will explore how resource-rich countries, both developing and developed, are responding to the plethora of issues and opportunities that foreign investment in their natural resources presents. Experts will provide an overview of the various means by which such countries condition foreign investment — covering domestic laws, private contracts, bilateral investment agreements and multilateral codes — in an attempt to satisfy a range of domestic objectives such as sustainable development, economic benefit and national security.
April 8, 4:30 – 6 p.m.
“The UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico: High-Stakes Poker on the Post-Kyoto Framework for Confronting Global Warming” A roundtable with senior government officials from Mexico and the United States will focus on the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico. The climate conference will be an arena of intense negotiation on what succeeds the Kyoto Protocol, expiring in 2012. The roundtable format will present complementary perspectives from Mexico — the conference host, an emerging economy and a supplier of oil, and from the United States — a leading protagonist in the climate change debate, a developed country and a major importer of oil.
April 8, 4:30 – 6 p.m.
For more information about the 2011 Spring Meeting, visit http://www2.americanbar.org/calendar/section-of-international-law-2011-spring-meeting/Documents/PreMeetingBrochureMailer.MeetingAgenda.pdf.
For media credentialing, please contact Alexandra Buller at Alexandra.Buller@Americanbar.org. This event is free and open to members of the press.
ABA International was founded in 1933 and leads the development of international legal policy, the promotion of the rule of law, and the education of international law practitioners. It is the only ABA entity that focuses exclusively on international legal issues. ABA International has over 23,000 members in 90 countries, including 1500 in-house counsel. The section has more than 60 committees, task forces, and working groups devoted to substantive legal issues or focused on geographic areas all over the world, monitoring and disseminating information on international policy developments that effect international legal practice.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
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