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Posted Aug. 25, 2009

Cannon Appointed to National Academy of Sciences’ Climate Change Committee

Jonathan Cannon

Professor Jonathan Cannon has been appointed to a National Academy of Sciences’ committee tasked by Congress to explore climate change issues.

The Committee on America’s Climate Choices convened late last year and will produce a report for lawmakers covering the topic and potential legislative remedies.

“I’m excited,” said Cannon, the Blaine T. Phillilps Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law.  “I think it’s a great opportunity to help shape these issues.”

Cannon said the group will take into consideration current legislative proposals percolating on Capitol Hill, but will also take a broader view of the best policies to address climate change.

“The legislative process is going forward, of course, but we’re going to be thinking long-term about the problem and practical solutions,” he said.  “The goal is to set a framework that will assist future research, analysis and decision-making.”

The report will likely be presented to Congress in mid-2010, Cannon said.

To further its work, the committee has held a summit on America’s Climate Choices, is facilitating coordination and collaboration among a group of study panels, and will convene additional workshops or joint meetings as needed.

The other committee members include scientists, engineers and economists. “I believe I am the only lawyer among them,” Cannon said.

The committee is tasked to consider both short- and long-term climate change solutions, and to identify major scientific and technological advances needed to understand and confront the problem. It will also consider major impediments to responding effectively to climate change.

Cannon is director of the Law School’s Environmental and Land Use Law Program. Prior to joining the school in 1998, he was general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency, where he also worked as an administrator.