Commonwealth Professor of Environmental Law and Sustainability at Widener University Commonwealth Law School
John C. Dernbach is Commonwealth Professor of Environmental Law and Sustainability at Widener University Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Director of that school’s Environmental Law and Sustainability Center. Professor Dernbach has written widely on sustainable development, climate change, and environmental law. He is the principal author or editor of three books published by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) assessing U.S. progress toward sustainability and making recommendations (Acting as if Tomorrow Matters: Accelerating the Transition to Sustainability (2012), Agenda for a Sustainable America (2009), and Stumbling Toward Sustainability (2002). He and Professor Michael Gerrard are the co-editors of a forthcoming book, Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States (ELI Press 2019).
Professor Dernbach coauthored a successful amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 18 prominent climate scientists in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency. His scholarship and advocacy helped persuade the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in landmark decisions in 2013 and 2017 to reinvigorate the Environmental Rights Amendment to the state constitution. He was a member of the National Research Council Committee that, in Sustainability and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2011), made recommendations on how to institutionalize sustainability at EPA. He is an honors graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where he was a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Law Reform.