Friday, May 14, 2010

New Report Says Europe Could Achieve 80 Percent GHG Emissions Reduction by 2050 Based on 1990 Baseline

A new report commissioned by the European Climate Foundation concludes that "by deploying technologies already commercial today or in late development stages, Europe could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels and still provide the same level of reliability as the existing energy system."

The report, Roadmap 2050, says that five priorities must be set for the period 2010-2015 in order for the 80 percent reduction goal to be achieved:
  • Energy efficiency must be improved
  • Low carbon technologies should be invested in
  • Grids and integrated market operation mechanisms need to be enhanced
  • Fuel shifts in transport and buildings need to be undertaken
  • Markets for commercial low carbon technologies must be established and allowed to operate in a certain and competitive landscape
The report clearly reflects one point of view -- that of a low carbon future. But one has to wonder when, if ever, the US and other developed countries will match Europe's widespread interest in implementing, rather than just talking about, a low carbon future.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The View From Our Window: A Spring Afternoon in Denver

We are often asked what the views are like from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Consequently, we'll be sharing some pictures from time-to-time to show what a gorgeous view we have and what the campus more generally looks like.

This picture was taken recently (on a late spring day) looking west towards the Rocky Mountains. The building you see in the foreground is a new facility on the DU campus. However, the building is not part of the law school.

We'd be interested in publishing other views as well, so if you have one from your part of the world send it to us and we will post it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Meet Our Graduates: Mochamad Kasmali, LLM Graduate December 2009

The latest in our "Meet Our Graduates" series features Mochamad Kasmali, a December 2009 LLM graduate. Kasmali, as we all referred to him, is from Jakarta, Indonesia. He began his studies in Denver in January 2009 and finished in December 2009.

Kasmali has an LLB degree from Airlangga University Faculty of Law in Indonesia. He has significant experience practicing mining law in his home country.

In writing about Kasmali, several things come to mind:
He never seemed to worry about Denver's cold winter despite coming from one of the warmest places in the world. Instead he always seemed very good natured about the weather.

His wife and children were part of the larger community that makes up the graduate program. I know how proud he was of his son and daughter's ability to pick up English while attending U.S. schools. By the time they left, his son and daughter were speaking like English as if it was their first language.

Kasmali has a fantastic "photographer's eye." Put another way, he took many wonderful pictures that he shared with all of us.

Just before returning to Indonesia in January 2010 Kasmali and his wife hosted a dinner for a group from the graduate program. The meal included many delicious traditional foods that one would eat in Indonesia. It was an extremely enjoyable evening.

You will not find a better person in this world than Mochamad Kasmali nor a better family than his. Good natured and fun, Kasmali was an important member of our Denver community from the first day he arrived. He and his family will always be in our thoughts. We wish him good luck and much success as he continues his career.
Click here to watch and listen to Kasmali talk about his experience in Denver.

--Don Smith

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Katia Castillo Paredes, 2008 LLM Graduate and Senior Attorney for Barrick Gold in Peru, Speaks About Peruvian Environmental and Mining Law

Peruvian environmental and mining law was recently the topic in the "Comparative Environmental Law" course when students heard from Katia Castillo Paredes, una abogada senior (a senior lawyer) from Barrick Gold Corporation's Lima, Peru office.

Ms. Castillo, who spoke to the class (meeting in Denver) from her office in Lima via a speakerphone connection, described for the students her work as an in-house attorney for one of the world's most prominent gold mining companies.

It was a particular pleasure to "host" Ms. Castillo, a 2008 LLM graduate from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, since she plays a key role in Barrick's legal department and consequently has a "front row seat" in terms of how Barrick operates in Peru as well as the challenges and opportunities the company faces.

As background, Barrick's headquarters is in Toronto, Canada. It has 26 mines and exploration and development projects across the globe. In 2009 the company's production was 38 percent in North America and 25 percent in South America. Its reserves were 40 percent in North America and 35 percent in South America.

At the outset of her remarks Ms. Castillo said, "Barrick is committed to sustainable economic development, environmental stewardship, and a culture of safety." She added that the company is committed internally to pursuing a theme of corporate social responsibility.

In Peru Barrick operates two mines, Lagunas Norte and Pierina, both of which are located north of Lima.

Ms. Castillo explained the life cycle of developing, building, and closing a mine and the important parts of each step in the process. She also described the Peruvian environmental regulatory scheme and the various governmental organizations that deal with mining regulation. Finally, she talked about the changes in mining that have come about in more recent years.

Of particular interest to the students were Ms. Castillo's comments about the need for mining companies to obtain "the social license to operate" in the communities where they work. "This refers to the acceptance of a project by the population that lives around the area," she said. "You can have all the permits required by the government, but if the local people do not want you there Barrick will not develop a project there." Therefore, to undertake a successful mining project, a company must meet all legal requirements as well as obtain the social license to operate.

Because of the wide diversity of backgrounds of students in the course -- Argentina, Japan, Nigeria, Peru, and the U.S. -- Ms. Castillo's remarks about her experience and expertise are likely to inform future projects across many parts of the world. I was especially happy about this since Ms. Castillo was one of the best students to ever have studied at the Sturm College of Law (as a matter of fact, she won a prestigious Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Scholarship Award while she was studying in Denver), and it is a very great pleasure to see her contributing in such a major way to her company and indeed her home country.

And so from Denver I say felicitaciones a Katia y muchas gracias por tu ayuda (congratulations and many thanks for your help)! Ms. Castillo is an impressive role model for our students and inspires all of us to think about how the mining sector can be made more sustainable.

--Don Smith

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mark Macneill, 2009 LLM Graduate, Reports From Canada

It is always a pleasure to hear from our alums. To be sure many of you are making major and timely contributions all over the world. We try to share these with our larger graduate program community when they come to our attention.

The latest installation of our reports from around the world comes from Mark Macneill, a 2009 LLM graduate who lives and works in Canada:
"I'm a lecturer part-time on a distance basis with the Royal Military College of Canada (Kingston, Ontario). I'm teaching "Introduction to Defence Management" and have 243 students from their Officers' Professional Management Education program.

I'm also working Pro Bono for the Save The Grand River Watershed Association. A petition I drafted on their behalf to prevent a wind/hydro project that would dam and alter Lake Uist (which feeds the Grand River and is one of our Atlantic Salmon spawning rivers) was abandoned after we submitted the petition to the Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development at the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. [To see the full-text of the petition, please click here.]

I also served as a registered federal and provincial lobbyist on the part of the Inverness South Fishermen's Association who fish the south Gulf Region (Gulf of St. Lawrence) to lobby for additional commercial snow crab quota on their behalf.

I have also worked as a pro bono lobbyist for U.S. interests seeking to establish a cruise/ferry service between Portland, Maine and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia who wish to re-establish a service across the Bay of Fundy between those two ports."
Mr. Macneill also has a Bachelor's of Law degree from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.