UCLA School of Law’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, one of the nation’s premier environmental law and policy programs, has received a $4.3 million commitment from the Emmett Foundation.
The donation, which builds on a decade of vital support from the foundation led by Dan and Rae Emmett, includes a direct gift of $1.8 million and a challenge: The foundation will match on a one-to-one basis gifts made by other donors up to an additional $2.5 million. When the match is fully met, the overall benefit to the Emmett Institute will be $6.8 million.
The gift will allow the Emmett Institute to expand its cutting-edge policy, research and advocacy work, as well as its support for students and graduates. Funds will support faculty-driven research into environmental governance and policy at the state, federal and international levels; scholarships for environmental law students; and fellowships for graduates who pursue public interest work in environmental law.
“The Emmett Institute is addressing our unprecedented environmental challenges at a time when the federal government is retreating from its role as a responsible steward,” Dan Emmett said. “This work is more important than ever. Our goal is to see the institute continue to develop innovative solutions and produce advocates dedicated to advancing responsible environmental policy. We’ve offered the match because we believe other donors will see the need and are ready to help the cause.”
The Emmett Institute is among the top environmental law programs in the country, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
Institute initiatives include providing lawmakers and policymakers with insight and analysis on issues including potential repeal of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and the future of California’s cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions; grant-funded studies on the potential impacts and regulation of climate engineering projects; advocacy on behalf of island nations at United Nations conferences on climate change; publication of the Pritzker Environmental Law and Policy Briefs; and submission of briefs in appellate courts on issues ranging from the disparate impacts of pollution on disadvantaged communities to the need for rigorous analysis of greenhouse gas emissions in transportation and land-use planning.
Emmett Institute-affiliated faculty produce major scholarship and are leading media voices on environmental topics, publishing opinion pieces and giving interviews in outlets including the New York Times, National Public Radio and the Los Angeles Times.
Emmett Institute students take an advanced curriculum in environmental law and can earn a certificate for completing the law school’s specialization in that area. They help represent environmental advocacy organizations and government agencies through the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic; develop and promote events and other activities through UCLA Law’s Environmental Law Society; and run UCLA Law’s Journal of Environmental Law and Policy. Emmett Institute students go on to careers at leading environmental nonprofits, regulatory agencies and law firms.
The gift is part of the $4.2 billion UCLA Centennial Campaign, which is scheduled to conclude in December 2019, during UCLA’s 100th anniversary year.