University News

School of Law receives major gift for new Emmett Center on climate change

Gift will establish first U.S. law school center on climate change

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UCLA School of Law has received a commitment from Dan A. Emmett and his family for funds to establish a center on climate change and the environment. The Emmett gift, combined with a matching gift challenge, will provide a $10 million endowment fund to establish a center dedicated to the study, research and teaching of knowledge related to climate change and the environment.
 
"The Emmett family's generosity will create the nation's first law school center focused exclusively on climate change," says law professor Ann Carlson, who will serve as the first faculty director of the Emmett Center. "The center will play a key role in tackling the most pressing climate issues and fostering interdisciplinary support to address critical environmental concerns."
 
It is expected that the fully implemented Emmett Center will have a dedicated executive director, as well as dedicated scholars and fellows. A key element of the gift will be the establishment of a new Dan and Rae Emmett Endowed Chair in Environmental Law, with the chairholder to be affiliated with and provide leadership for the center.
 
In announcing the Emmett family's gift, Dean Michael H. Schill said, "UCLA School of Law already devotes considerable resources to the study of environmental law, and the Emmetts' visionary gift will cement the law school's reputation as having one of the leading environmental programs in the country. At a time when the nation is facing unprecedented environmental challenges and California has become a global center for the development of progressive climate policy, the gift will promote the pursuit of innovative and practical solutions to help us address these issues both domestically and in their worldwide implications."
 
The Emmett family has long been concerned about environmental issues and is actively involved in supporting environmental organizations and initiatives. A Los Angeles native and avid outdoorsman in California and around the world, Dan Emmett is the chairman of Santa Monica-based Douglas Emmett, Inc., a fully integrated real estate investment trust (REIT) and one of the largest owners and operators of high-quality office and multifamily properties in Los Angeles and Honolulu. Mr. Emmett and his companies have been known for their leadership in energy conservation since 1990. His son Daniel Emmett is a founder and executive director of Energy Independence Now, a nonprofit working to promote alternative energy solutions.
 
Mr. Emmett was an adviser to Gov. Schwarzenegger's Green Building Initiative and currently chairs the Real Estate Leadership Council of the state's Green Action Team. He has served as a founding member of a number of environmental organizations in California, including the Santa Monica Baykeeper, the Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Sustainable Conservation and Environment Now. He serves as co-chairman of the Real Estate Roundtable's Environment and Energy Policy Committee and has served on the board of the California League of Conservation Voters, the nonpartisan political arm of California's environmental movement.
 
The Emmett Center will work hand in hand with the UCLA Environmental Law Center on two major programs: the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic, which offers students the unique opportunity to obtain hands-on experience in working on some of the most important environmental issues facing the region, and the Evan Frankel Environmental Law and Policy Program, which aims to foster informed analysis of timely and important issues involving governance and regulation in environmental policy.
 
Additionally, the Emmett Center will engage experts from other schools within UCLA who are working on matters related to climate change, including the UCLA Institute of the Environment, the School of Public Health, the School of Public Affairs, the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, the David Geffen School of Medicine, the Anderson School of Management, the Burkle Center for International Relations and the Ziman Center for Real Estate.
 
"Climate change is a complex issue impacting us all," says California Air Resources Board chairman Mary Nichols, who is charged with implementing California's landmark global warming law. "The Emmett Center will be an important new research center, studying the broadest scope of these issues and generating new findings to further educate the public about climate change concerns. Dan Emmett and his family are to be commended for their forward-thinking philanthropy and their contributions to UCLA's research and teaching on the environment."
 
About UCLA School of Law
 
Founded in 1949 and the youngest major law school in the nation, UCLA School of Law has established a tradition of innovation in its approach to teaching, research and scholarship. The school pioneered clinical teaching, is a leader in interdisciplinary research and training and is at the forefront of efforts to link research with its effects on society and on the legal profession. At present, UCLA School of Law has approximately 100 faculty and 970 students.
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