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Durwood Zaelke


Founder and President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development

Durwood Zaelke is founder and President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD) in Washington, DC and Paris, which focuses on fast mitigation strategies to protect the climate, including reducing short-live climate pollutants (HFCs, black carbon, tropospheric ozone, and methane), in the context of the need for speed to limit anthropogenic warming to 1.5°C. IGSD also supports climate litigation through its Center for Climate Integrity to implement the polluter pays principle.

Mr. Zaelke has taught at various universities including Yale Law School, Duke Law School’s Brussels’s program, American University’s Washington College of Law, and Johns Hopkins. He co-founded the Program on Governance for Sustainable Development at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, where he occasionally co-teaches a course on Climate Justice with Romina Picolotti, the former minister of environment for Argentina.

Mr. Zaelke is the author, co-author, or editor of various publications including the standard textbook on International Environmental Law & Policy (with Hunter & Salzman) (5th ed. 2015). He is a graduate of Duke Law School (1972) and UCLA (1969), and a member of the bar in California, Washington, DC, and Alaska.