The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) makes law work for people, places, and the planet.
- Vision Statement: ELI’s Vision calls for “a healthy environment, prosperous economies, and vibrant communities founded on the rule of law.” What ELI does to help guide society toward that vision is described in its mission statement:
- Mission Statement: ELI fosters innovative, just, and practical law and policy solutions to enable leaders across borders and sectors to make environmental, economic, and social progress.
- Builds the skills and capacity of tomorrow’s leaders and institutions
- Researches and analyzes complex and pressing environmental challenges
- Promotes and disseminates the best thinking through print and electronic media
- Convenes people with diverse perspectives to build understanding through robust debate
Climate & Energy Program
Through our climate and energy work, ELI seeks to enhance the resilience of communities and ecosystems around the world and to ensure new energy sources can be exploited while protecting and enhancing ecosystem health. In particular, ELI programs:
- Strengthen Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change. ELI is preparing for climate change impacts by strengthening capacity to adapt to climate change through effective laws, policies, institutions, and management practices.
- Green Our National Energy Transformation. ELI is pressing key legal reforms that will support America’s shift toward new sources of renewable energy and deal with the impacts of new and continuing carbon-intensive energy sources.
- Promote Climate Justice. Building on ELI’s long history of advancing environmental justice, ELI is working to ensure that any proposals to reduce greenhouse gases result in an equitable distribution of the environmental and economic impacts of climate controls.
- Integrate Climate Change into Invasive Species Strategies. ELI is striving to improve management of invasive species in the context of a changing climate by developing recommendations for robust management and policy decisions under changing conditions.
- Advance Technologies for Climate Change. ELI is improving legal and institutional frameworks governing the development, access, transfer, and use of technologies to meet the challenges of climate change.
- Answer Constitutional Challenges to New Climate Change Initiatives. ELI anticipates, publicizes, and defends against constitutional attacks on emerging laws and initiatives designed to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions and fight the effects of global climate change.
Freshwater & Ocean Program
- The Ocean Program works to reverse degradation from land-based activities, ensure effective management of industrialized oceans, and foster sustainable fisheries.
- The Water Quality Program seeks to strengthen the effectiveness of the federal Clean Water Act through projects to preserve broad national authority, improve water quality standards, address impaired waters, strengthen permitting programs, and control non-point sources and stormwater.
- The Water Resource Management Program seeks to examine federal, state, and local watershed measures to protect water resources and assure their availability for use while maintaining the ecological and hydrological integrity of water resources. ELI's Western Water Program focuses on the laws governing water use and allocation in the Western United States.
- The Wetlands Program applies the best science and policy tools to support protection of wetlands. In addition, ELI recognizes excellence through the National Wetlands Awardsprogram and provides information and analysis to wetlands professionals through the National Wetlands Newsletter.
- The International Water Program works to ensure that international water policies, laws, and institutions are effective and enforceable, include meaningful public involvement mechanisms, and promote adaptive water management.