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Environmental Tax Law and Policy Specialization

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We know that improving the environment requires changing the way we run our businesses, use our resources, and act as citizens. But how do we actually make that change occur? One lever for change has been taxation and at Vermont Law School, students learn how to utilize that tool to produce change in society.

Taxes can send strong messages. Whether we want to discourage a harmful behavior or encourage green choices, taxes on pollution can help businesses, organizations, and individuals think about the cost of social harms—and encourage them to act in ways that help society. For example, the U.S. federal government imposed a significant excise tax on ozone-depleting chemicals when it wanted to phase out those chemicals, and Canada’s British Columbia has placed a substantial tax on carbon emissions. The government can also offer tax benefits, such as the federal tax credit to individuals who reduce carbon emissions by purchasing an electric vehicle.

Environmental taxation is an intriguingly complex subject, and requires an understanding of both the desired outcome and the way that a tax can be proposed, administered, and evaluated. Since nearly all types of tax systems and levels of government can implement environmental tax policies, and because environmental tax policy can complement environmental regulation, the subject of environmental tax policy requires a sophisticated understanding of both taxation and the environment.

At Vermont Law School, students learn to navigate these fascinating waters. Here you learn to understand the reach and limits of tax systems and the environmental goals in need of support. Students contribute directly to the ongoing public policy debate through the Environmental Tax Policy Institute. Directed by Professor Janet Milne, the institute’s real world research considers constitutional questions raised by environmental taxation, the design of sound tax programs, the application of environmental taxation to specific issues—such as climate change, water pollution and land conservation, the merits of carbon taxes versus carbon trading programs, the impact of WTO trade rules on tax measures, and much more.

Food and Agricultural Law Specialization Block
Food and Agricultural Law Specialization
Food is a basic necessity of human life and a unique vehicle for change, as it is intimately tied to human health, the environment, poverty, immigration, animal welfare, law, politics, and culture, on every step of its journey from farm to plate.
Sustainable Entrepreneurship MBA program, UVM's One Year MBA
Business Law Specialization
A targeted suite of classes for students who want to specialize in business. Courses include corporations, bankruptcy, nonprofit management, white collar crime and more.
China & Southeast Asia - Feng Huang
China & Southeast Asia Specialization
As the challenges posed by climate change grow in urgency, the power that massive developing countries like China, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar can leverage to effect change cannot be overstated.
Climate Change Law
Climate Change Law Specialization
In a time of broken global temperature records, increasing natural disasters, emerging U.S. and international law and policy will be key to governing mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.
Criminal Law
Criminal Law Specialization
The certificate in criminal law provides broad-based, comprehensive training and skills needed by students to become prosecutors, defenders, or to practice criminal law in a private firm setting.
Dispute Resolution
Dispute Resolution Specialization
In an increasingly complex world, dispute resolution offers a way to find solutions that allow all parties to move forward without entering a courtroom.
Energy Law
Energy Law Specialization
Vermont Law School courses and clinics consider the relationship between energy and the environment in the context of its legal, scientific, commercial and human implications.
Environmental Justice
Environmental Justice Specialization
Students who specialize in Environmental Justice will develop their personal and professional environmental ethics.
Environmental Law Specialization
Environmental Law Specialization
Vermont Law School offers a multidisciplinary array of environmental courses in law, policy, science, economics, and ethics to students studying for any one of our degrees or certificates.
International & Comparative Law
International & Comparative Law Specialization
Prepares students for careers with international organizations, NGOs, law firms, multinational enterprises, and government agencies. We offer study experiences that broaden knowledge and skills, add new perspective, and open opportunities.
International Environmental Law
International Environmental Law Specialization
Environmental issues are global issues. The unique opportunities at Vermont Law School prepare our graduates to be leaders in international environmental law and policy.
Land Use Law
Land Use Law Specialization
Including smart growth principles, ecological planning, affordable housing, flood hazard mitigation, energy and land use regulatory decision-making, permitting processes, and land conservation strategies.
Legal Writing
Legal Writing Specialization
Words are the fundamental tools with which lawyers and policymakers conduct their business, it is paramount that today's law and policy graduates know how to write the law, not just read cases.
Restorative Justice Specialization, VLS
Restorative Justice Specialization
A specialization in restorative justice provides students another way to look at conflict and conflict avoidance, preparing graduates to become forceful agents for change in law and restorative justice.
Brown Slopes Bare Trails Panel
Sports Law Specialization
A specialization in sports law might seem out of place at the nation's top environmental law school. But consider the impact that climate change will have on Vermont's ski industry.
Tax Law and Policy
Tax Law and Policy Specialization
We know that improving the environment requires changing the way we run our businesses, use our resources, and act as citizens. But how do we actually make that change occur?
Technology & Legal Innovation
Technology & Legal Innovation Specialization
Digital technologies create a wealth of new possibilities around how we define, deliver, and teach law. What does government become as legislation and regulation open to digital means of access and participation?
Water Resources Law
Water Resources Law Specialization
Learn about local, national, and global efforts to secure water supplies through research, education, and policy development. Focus on water law, environmental justice, and policy initiatives to further wise, judicious use of water as a public resource.