[PAST EVENT] Climate Washing, Corporate Accountability, and Human Rights

February 8, 2023
12:50pm - 1:50pm
Law School, Room 119
613 S Henry St
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Access & Features
  • Free food
  • Open to the public
  • Registration/RSVP
Climate Washing, Corporate Accountability, and Human Rights flyer

The International Law Society welcomes Professor Randall Abate (George Washington University Law School) to give a presentation on “climate washing” litigation, which seeks to hold fossil fuel companies and other private sector entities accountable for misleading the public about their compliance with climate change mandates or goals. 

Lunch will be served. Please RSVP using the link provided and see the flyer for more information.

Presentation Topic: Effective climate change governance faces two overarching challenges. The first is mobilizing the political will to regulate climate change with sufficient ambition. Second, when regulatory measures are in place to address climate change, the next challenge is ensuring that governmental and private sector entities are on track to comply with these time-sensitive climate governance commitments. This presentation addresses the second challenge. It reviews “climate washing” litigation that seeks to hold fossil fuel companies and other private sector entities accountable for misleading the public about their compliance with climate change mandates or goals. The presentation argues that climate washing tactics threaten human rights to health, property, food and water, and life, especially in vulnerable communities, by postponing effective climate regulation and thereby amplifying the risks from climate change-related events such as severe storms, flooding, heat, and droughts. It proposes mechanisms to help ensure that companies’ characterizations of climate change compliance are transparent and truthful to limit human rights impacts from their efforts to comply with climate change mandates and goals.

Speaker Bio: Randall S. Abate is the Assistant Dean for Environmental Law Studies and Professorial Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University Law School. Prior to joining GW Law, from 2018-2022, Dean Abate served as the inaugural Rechnitz Family and Urban Coast Institute Endowed Chair in Marine and Environmental Law and Policy and a Professor in the Department of Political Science and Sociology at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. He also served as the Director of the Institute for Global Understanding at Monmouth from 2020-2022. Prior to Monmouth, Professor Abate was a full-time faculty member at six U.S. law schools, most recently as a Professor of Law from 2009-2018 at Florida A&M University College of Law in Orlando, Florida, where he also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 2017. He has also taught full-time at Florida State University College of Law, Florida Coastal School of Law, Rutgers Law School (Camden), Widener University Commonwealth Law School (Harrisburg), and Vermont Law School. Throughout his academic career, Dean Abate has taught courses in domestic and international environmental law, climate change law and justice, ocean and coastal law, constitutional law, torts, and animal law. 

Dean Abate has delivered lectures on climate justice and animal law topics hosted by several of the top law schools and universities throughout the world. He has 28 years of experience teaching courses and publishing articles and books addressing domestic and global environmental governance (with a recent emphasis on climate change law and justice), human rights and the environment (including the protection of future generations, indigenous peoples, climate displaced peoples, and minority communities), ocean and coastal law, constitutional law, and the parallels and synergies between animal law and environmental law. 

To read Dean Abate's full biography, please visit GW Law's website at https://www.law.gwu.edu/randall-s-abate.