The first Miller Canfield International Climate Law and Policy Symposium was held Wednesday, April 14 at the Wayne State University Law School. The event, which began at 9 a.m. and lasted until 4:30 p.m., consisted of a variety of speakers and audience members, including lawyers, students and businesspeople.
Although the symposium was comprised of 15 speakers from around the country, Symposium Chairman and Miller Canfield Climate Change Practice Team Leader Mark J. Bennett said the event would consist of not only presentations but also conversations between the speakers and the expected audience of 125 people.
“This is going to be a dialogue today,” Bennett said in his opening remarks. “That’s really our intention. We anticipate much interesting conversation.”
Of the day’s topics, Bennett said the goal of the conference was to “put together a comprehensive view of the primary and often controversial issues driving the climate change policy.” Bennett also said the meeting would encourage much professional discussion.
“Our goal is to foster an open and honest, professional dialogue amongst the key stakeholders in these very complicated and interconnected issues,” he said.
Following Bennett’s opening remarks, Robert M. Ackerman, dean of the WSU Law School, said a few words about the goals of the event and the topics of the day.
“We can do well here in Michigan by doing good,” he said. “Detroit has welcomed to the reality that we must and we can develop industry while respecting the environment.”
The keynote presentation of the morning was given by Shannon Fisk, climate law counsel at Natural Resources Defense Council. The title of his message was “Do Good, Make Money: Public Interest Aligns With Corporate America.”
Following Fisk’s discussion was the first panel discussion of the day titled “Transparency Equals Opportunity,” a lunchtime keynote on carbon regulatory policy, a panel on nuisance law, and lastly, a panel discussion about green economy. All of the speakers, Bennett said, were carefully chosen.
“They have been carefully selected based on their professional credentials and our interest in maintaining balance throughout this important dialogue,” he said. “I don’t know that we’ll be singing ‘Kumbaya’ at the end of the day, but we do anticipate a much deeper understanding amongst those involved.”
The next symposium is expected to take place next year, according to Sandy Bera, the Miller Canfield coordinator of strategic business events. Bennett said the details for the future are to be determined.
“We are conducting an Attendee Survey in the coming weeks after which we will determine how we may offer programs of this nature in the future,” he said.
Author: Jennifer Griffin, Contributing Writer and Public Relations, GreeningDetroit.com