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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.

2020 William K. Reilly Awards Discussion

(Rescheduled to April 14, 2021)

April 14, 2021 | 6:30-7:45 pm Eastern

The 2020 Award Winners are Monica Ellis and Frank Loy who will be honored on April 14, 2021 in an interactive discussion moderated by Center for Environmental Policy Director Dan Fiorino and featuring Bill Reilly.


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.

Schedule of events: 

"Whither International Leadership in Climate Diplomacy: An Ambition Check on the Paris Agreement and International Mitigation Efforts"
March 4, 1-2:30 PM ET
Watch Recording

"Decarbonization: The View from Some Economic Sectors"
March 25, 1-2:30 PM ET

"Decarbonization and “NET Zero” Emissions: The View from Nation-state Analysts"
April 8, 5:30-7 PM ET

"Assessing the Costs of Climate Change Mitigation and the Cost of Falling Short"
April 22, 1-2:30 PM ET

"Updating Old Actors and Introducing New Ones in the Race to Carbon Neutrality"
May 13, 5:30-7 PM ET

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

Thursday February 4, 2021 | 3:00pm - 4:30pm EST
Watch recording

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

Latest Webinar: Adaptation and Development

The Worldwide Search for Policies to Address Climate Change in Vulnerable Communities

February 3, 2021 | 1:00 pm EST
Watch Recording

Todd A. Eisenstadt, Professor of Government and Director of Research, Center for Environmental Policy (CEP) at American University
Tamara Coger, Senior Associate, Climate Resilience. World Resources Institute
Assem Prakash, Walker Family Professor for the College of Arts and Sciences and Director of the Center for Environmental Politics at the University of Washington
Kanta Kumari Rigaud, Lead Environmental Specialist and Regional Climate Change Coordinator in the Africa Region, World Bank

Learn more & register

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

October 14, 2020 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST

In this discussion with Center Director Dan Fiorino, Mary Nichols will share the progress she has seen in California's air quality over her 45+ year career and the challenges that remain. As California's top air regulator, she is a leader in air quality and climate issues. 

This dialogue will explore the future of air policy, including the importance of achieving health equity and environmental justice, and states’ role in addressing air pollution and climate change. The dialogue also will consider such threats to public health as extreme wildfires, as well as COVID-19 mortality rates in communities with long term exposure to air pollution.  
Watch Recording

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.

A Conversation with 2020 Reilly Award Winners

Watch Videos

Monica Ellis HeadshotMonica Ellis, CEO, Global Environment & Technology Foundation; Global Water ChallengeFrank Loy HeadshotFrank Loy, former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs

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.

Watch the Video

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.

Full Story

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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Person paddling through flooded area

Environment ·

Lessons on Addressing Climate Change from Bangladesh and the Global South

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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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