New Delhi, 10 July 2019: At a time when India and many other countries have been grappling with climate change and related challenges, a novel Master’s programme in Law will commence from 1st August this year at the O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) to address these issues.

Launched jointly by WWF-India and JGU, the LL.M. Programme in Environmental Law, Energy and Climate Change is currently open for enrolment.

It will be taught by a well-qualified Professors from JGU and renowned experts from WWF - India and outside. External faculty will include technical experts like Dr. Anamitra Anurag Danda; Dr. Archana Negi, Professor, JNU; Ms. Shilpa Chohan and Mr. Shawahiq Siddiqui, Advocates, Supreme Court and Founding Partners – Indian Environment Law Organisation (IELO); Mr. Sudhir Mishra, Founder & Managing Partner, Trust Legal.

The programme is one of its kind in India and is developed with a vision to integrate national and international perspectives on environmental law, energy and climate change. It emphasises on an international, transnational and comparative approaches to research and studying case laws. The course will help young lawyers and legal professionals specialize in environmental law, energy and climate change to contribute towards a progressive and sustainable future.

Over the last few months, there has been extensive work was underway to effectively design the curriculum, which includes courses on international environmental law and policy, national environmental law and policy; technical courses like energy laws and adaptation to climate change, along with other core courses which are mandated by the University Grants Commission. The core courses are also designed on the methodological perspectives of environmental law and policy.

WWF-India had been a torchbearer in terms of conservation and environmental awareness and the proposed LLM Programme seeks to provide the students a unique opportunity to study and gain in-depth knowledge on Environmental Law, Energy and Climate Change. Underlining the importance of law and its role in fighting climate change, Vice Chancellor, JGU, Professor C. Raj Kumar said, "We are facing an existential threat which requires a collective response of humanity, and law as a social institution has always risen up to the occasion in the past".

While WWF-India has extensive and successful academic experience in Post Graduate Diploma Courses, this will be the first time WWF- India is venturing into the mainstream and offering a full time LLM program in collaboration with JGU. Ms Moulika Arabhi, Advisor, Centre for Environmental Law, WWF India said, “this LLM programme will offer a specialised course on ‘Implementation of Conservation Laws in India through field study’ which distinguish it from other LLM courses on offer, because a visit to conservation sites will give an in-depth insight to students to understand the field realities first hand.”

With the effects of Climate Change now increasingly prevalent, it is more important than ever to take immediate action and address this global concern. Climate change is already having significant and harmful effects on our cities, communities, and our health. Recent events such as water shortage in Chennai, heat waves in Bihar, and floods in Mumbai, have brought the adverse effects of climate change to our doorstepand in turn has left millions of people vulnerable. The entire landscape of the country as well as that of the planet is now changing and we urgently require stringent legal mechanisms, policies, and redressal systems to address climate change and energy requirements. 

Capacity and awareness on environmental laws and renewable sources of energy can be built with the help of certain tools, and one of the best ways to do it is through academics.

The LL.M. Programme in Environmental Law, Energy and Climate Change Programme was inaugurated in March 2019 during the conference on 'Adapting Environmental Laws for Effective Climate Response' in the presence Mr. Justice Deepak Gupta, Judge, Supreme Court of India, Dr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Judge, Supreme Court of India. Justice Ms. Sabrina S. McKenna, Judge, Supreme Court of Hawaii, USA and Mr. Justice Michael D. Wilson, Judge, Supreme Court of Hawaii, USA were also a part of this conference.

While speaking about the LLM program to the participants present at the conference, Mr. Justice Swatanter Kumar, former chairperson of the National Green Tribunal, shared his good wishes to the participants present at the conference and congratulated both the organizations – WWF India & JGU for formulating such a specialized course which will benefit upcoming lawyers and create more avenues for people who wish to create a career in environmental law and policy.

Mr. Justice Chandrachud, while speaking about the LLM program emphasised climate change as an existential threat and the most important issue facing humanity today. Mr. Justice Deepak Gupta highlighted the need for equal access to environmental justice and urged civil society to be more aware and proactive in protecting the environment.