Nicholas A. Robinson – University of Copenhagen

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NESS 2013 > Keynote speakers > Nicholas A. Robinson

Nicholas A. RobinsonNicholas A. Robinson is University Professor for the Environment at Pace University, and Gilbert & Sarah Kerlin Distinguished Professor of Environmental law at Pace Law School, and Professor Adjunct at the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. 

Nicholas A. Robinson's scholarly research explores how law shapes relations between humans and nature. His research and applied studies address the norms, methods and frameworks for environmental law, and sustainability law at local, regional and global scales.

Employing comparative environmental legal analysis, he has worked with scholars and universities in legal systems in Asia, Latin America, North America, Eurasia, Europe and the Middle East.

He chaired the Commission on Environmental Law for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for eight years, was a delegate to environmental law negotiaitons between the USA and USSR from 1974 to 1992, and currently serves on the Environmental & Social Advisory Council for the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD). He edited the traveaux preparatoires for the 1992 UN Conference on the Human Environment, and is author of many books and articles, including Comparative Environmental Law & Regulation (Oxford University Press) and a new text on Climate Change Law.

Presentation at NESS 2013

Adapting Laws for the Anthropocene Epoch

The Anthropocene Epoch highlights the Earth's changed conditions. How should humans respond to new geo-physical challenges?  Assumptions that once sustained humanity's cultural, social, financial or legal frameworks have become flawed. Socio-biology suggests pathways by which human communities can adapt. By nurturing evolved norms in human beings, communities and cultures can leverage human instincts into shared values, guiding adaptations at different scales, whether local, bio-regional, or country-wide. Systematically engaging evolved norms, environmental law can frame rules grounded in natural science, with procedural rights of stewardship of humans and nature alike.