SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Sept. 14, 2018 – As part of the Global Climate Action Summit held this week in San Francisco, California, Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of five attorneys general in praising an innovative new program that will commit approximately $15 million of pro bono legal support by 2020 for climate change and sustainability efforts. The new program, Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy Initiative, is founded by nine U.S. law firms that pledge to provide pro bono legal support to entrepreneurs and community-based non-profits to help advance their work in key climate and sustainability issues including energy, transportation, and land use. Facilitated by Stanford Law School and Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy, the program will connect participating law firms with potential clients and track the initiative’s impact.
“The existential global threat of climate change is a challenge too immense for the public sector to address alone,” said the coalition of state attorneys general. “This is a prime example of the public and private sectors coming together to have a greater impact on the future. As state attorneys general, we are committed to reducing carbon emissions and advancing the clean energy transition of our economy alongside partners in state and local government, business, and the nonprofit sector across the country. Together with Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy, we will be able to take bold action on climate change and environmental justice.”
The new initiative honors the work of the late Nancy McFadden, former chief of staff to California Governor Jerry Brown. At the Summit, world leaders and influencers assembled to reaffirm their commitment to addressing climate change and environmental justice issues. The Attorneys General commend the work of the organizers of the Global Climate Action Summit for bringing together leaders to celebrate transformational change occurring around the world and for introducing new and deeper commitments to sustainability; in particular, the multimillion dollar commitment to pro bono legal services through the Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy Initiative.
In addition to today’s statement, the state attorneys general previously declared their intent to maintain commitments to the Paris Climate Change Agreement as part of the “We Are Still In” campaign in 2017. This campaign brought together state attorneys general, governors, mayors, business leaders, and universities across the country to pledge to reduce dangerous carbon emissions and advance the clean energy transition of the economy in response to President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement.
In praising this initiative, Attorney General Becerra was joined by the Attorneys General of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington, D.C.