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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.

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

Next Webinar: Adaptation and Development

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

February 3, 2021 | 1:00 pm EST

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

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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.  
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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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Advocacy and Activism at Work: Clean Air, Climate and Equity

August 19, 2020 | 3:30-5:00PM EST

Advocacy and Activism at Work: Clean Air, Climate, and EquityJoin this interactive webinar featuring a panel of climate and healthy air activists that will address the critical role of activism when it comes to advocating for environmental justice, clean air, and a liveable climate - all of which are essential for healthy communities. Activists and advocates from a variety of community-based and global organizations will discuss their efforts to engage and strengthen disproportionately impacted communities as well as catalyze policy change at all levels of government.

The webinar will kick off with a virtual screening of the new film, “Unbreathable: The Fight for Healthy Air,” which focuses on the remarkable progress in cleaning up air pollution and saving lives driven by the Clean Air Act, and the obstacles that remain when it comes to ensuring healthy air for all communities.

Hosted by the SPA Center for Environmental Policy, the American Lung Association and the Center for Environmental Filmmaking.

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Air Quality and COVID-19: Connections, Health Impacts, and Racial Disparities

July 15, 2020 | 4:00PM EST

Recent research suggests that individuals who have faced long-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) and underlying health conditions face higher rates of COVID-19 illness and mortality. Research has also shown that people of color, particularly African Americans, face greater than average risks from the health impacts of both air pollution and COVID-19. This webinar will present the findings from the public health, data science and local government perspectives, and will include a discussion of the research-public policy collaborations underway to understand these interconnected health risks, as well as efforts to mitigate them.
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Unbreathable: The Fight for Healthy Air

Unbreathable: The Fight for Healthy Air spotlights the ongoing struggle for clean air in the United States. Over the past fifty years, there has been major progress in significantly reducing air pollution across the nation thanks to the Clean Air Act. However, asthma continues to be the number one health issue for children and nearly half of all Americans across the country today are still impacted by unhealthy levels of air pollution. This 30-minute film shares stories of communities that are fighting for healthier air and the challenges we face to ensure healthy air for all. Register. Learn More.

Next Gen: Environmental Regulation for the Modern Era

May 28, 2020 | 2:00PM EST

Modernizing regulations is an important step toward building a 21st Century model of environmental protection. Noncompliance with environmental rules is a problem that can undermine important public health and environmental protections.

Join us for a free webinar discussion with Cynthia Giles, former head of EPA’s enforcement office, as she presents her series of articles on designing regulations that lead to better compliance and environmental outcomes.

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Environmental Attitudes and Innovations in Rural America

April 15, 2020 | 2-3:30PM EST

Join American University's Center for Environmental Policy for a free webinar that will explore new research about the environmental attitudes of Americans living in rural communities on topics such as stewardship, conservation and regulations, as well as practical approaches for bridging divisions between environmentalists in rural and urban communities. The discussion will also address existing and emerging innovations in sustainable farming and ranching practices using technologies and science-based production techniques.
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William K. Reilly Awards 2020 Winners

The Center for Environmental Policy has announced the winners of the 2020 William K. Reilly Awards for Environmental Leadership, Monica Ellis, CEO, Global Environment & Technology Foundation; Global Water Challenge and Frank Loy, former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs. A date for the ceremony is being identified and will be announced soon. Savonala “Savi” Horne, Executive Director, Land Loss Prevention Project, will deliver the keynote address.
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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 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.

2020 William K. Reilly Scholars Announced

SPA Master of Public Policy student and winner of the 2020 William K. Reilly Scholarship, Cam Wejnert-Depue, describes his passion for environmental policy.

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Christopher Douglass

SPA Master of Public Policy student and winner of the 2020 William K. Reilly Scholarship, Christopher Douglass, describes his passion for environmental sustainability.

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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.

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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.

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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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