News and Events

CLE Hosts Visiting Lecturer and Fulbright Scholar, Doug Ruley on ‘Law in the Age of Climate Change’

24 Oct 2018
Doug Ruley, Prof. Patrick Parenteau and Prof. Owen McIntyre

In light of the newly released IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, and in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, the UCC Centre for Law and the Environment hosted a guest lecture by Doug Ruley on ‘It's a Meaningful Life: Law in the Age of Climate Change’.

Doug is the General Counsel of ClientEarth and responsible for managing ClientEarth’s programmes and public interest law practice in the EU and around the world.

In this lecture chaired by LLM Environmental and Natural Resources Programme Director, Professor Owen McIntyre, Doug explored the ability of current legal frameworks to address the interconnected climate challenges related to deforestation, biodiversity including species extinction, global population growth, renewable energy and food production. The talk is available to view online here.

Doug’s guest lecture contributes to the CEL’s existing research, knowledge exchange and teaching on climate change law and policy from international, European and comparative national perspectives.  On the international front, examples of this work includes - Dr Ruby Moynihan and Dr Bjørn-Oliver Magsig’s collaborative report for the United Nations Economic United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, World Water Assessment Programme on transboundary water governance and climate adaptation, and their forthcoming piece for Oxford University Press regarding international law on ‘Prevention and Mitigation of Harmful Conditions and Emergency Situations’ including climate change induced water-related disasters. Further international examples include Dr Dug Cubie’s recent work on 'In-situ Adaptation: Non-migration as a Coping Strategy for Vulnerable Persons' in his co-edited book on ‘Climate Change, Migration and Human Rights Law and Policy Perspectives’.  On the Irish and European front, Dr Áine Ryall was recently awarded the Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowship to conduct a research project on ‘Compliance with Climate Obligations: The Impact of Climate Law & Litigation in Ireland’ which explores the intersections between human rights law and climate law’. Staff at CLE also collaborate with the UCC Climate Lab, an initiative of the UCC Environmental Research Institute, which brings together internationally leading researchers to provide a platform for collaborative, integrated research enabling the transition to a zero carbon and climate resilient economy and society.

Doug Ruley also contributed as a visiting expert to the CLE’s teaching portfolio on climate law and policy under the LLM Environmental and Natural Resources Programme, where Doug gave a seminar sharing his practical experience on climate litigation as part of the module on Citizen Suits. This module, taught by another visiting Fulbright Scholar, Professor Patrick Parenteau, explores the role of citizens in shaping and enforcing environmental law and policy through litigation and other forms of advocacy. CLE’s LLM Programmes aim to integrate both research-led and practice-oriented teaching equipping our students for a variety of employment options at the conclusion of their studies.








Centre for Law and the Environment

Room 1.63, T12 T656