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Chinese Delegation Learns of VLS’s Work on Climate Change, Energy Efficiency

December 10, 2007

SOUTH ROYALTON—Vermont Law School hosted a delegation of 17 high-level Chinese officials on Friday, Dec. 7, 2007, for a day-long session that highlighted the work on climate change and energy conservation taking place at VLS’ Environmental Law Center and in Vermont.

The delegation included leaders from China’s National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance, provincial and economic trade commissions, as well as local utility companies.

Associate Dean Marc Mihaly, director of the Environmental Law Center, welcomed the delegation and noted the shared goal of the US and China to strengthen environmental protections. Professor Michael Dworkin, director of VLS’ Institute for Energy and the Environment, provided a detailed look at Vermont’s energy conservation efforts; Richard Cowart of the Regulatory Assistance Project highlighted carbon trading issues in his presentation, while Professor Mark Latham focused on legislative efforts that addressed environmental protection.

The Chinese delegation also visited California and New York during its US tour, which was facilitated by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the China-US Energy Efficiency Alliance.

"We're thrilled to have the delegation see the work that is being done at Vermont Law School, both in environmental protection and energy conservation," said VLS Dean Jeff Shields, who is planning a visit to China later this month. "We're proud to be a model for what can be achieved."

Shields’ visit to China will include meetings at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, where VLS is now in its second year of a partnership that is creating a network of lawyers, judges and scholars working to enforce environmental and energy laws and regulations in China. The partnership is funded through a grant from US Agency for International Development that was secured by US Senator Patrick J. Leahy.

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