New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 21, 2021) – Rutgers University Professor Cymie R. Payne, an expert on United States and international environmental laws, is available for interviews on how the administration of President Biden can strengthen laws and regulations and efforts to address climate change.

“In its first year, the Biden administration will need to rapidly review the shambles to which its predecessor reduced environmental regulation and it will need to take action in three areas. The Biden Department of Justice can stop defending lawsuits seeking to block deregulatory actions by the Trump administration,” said Payne, an associate professor in the Department of Human Ecology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers–New Brunswick and at Rutgers Law School–Camden. “Agency policies and guidelines can be upgraded to ensure that climate change is taken into account in decision-making and through the formal environmental review process. Public land management policies should reduce emissions from deforestation, fires, fossil fuel exploitation and mining. Priorities for prosecuting polluters can be set, especially for methane, black carbon (soot), ground-level ozone and hydrofluorocarbons. The longer process of drafting and adopting new regulations also needs to be launched so robust rules are firmly in place by the end of Biden’s first term.”

Payne chairs the Oceans, Coasts, and Coral Reefs Specialist Group in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Environmental Law, an intergovernmental organization that includes governments and non-governmental organizations. She provides expertise to negotiating sessions at the United Nations aimed at designing a legally binding international treaty to conserve, and sustainably use, biodiversity in the open ocean.

“Over the next six months, Biden’s negotiators can ensure that the proposed global biodiversity treaty for the ocean has strong measures to account for climate change impact and to prevent ocean activities from becoming an unregulated source of emissions,” Payne said. “Introducing climate change measures at the International Maritime Organization would be consistent with our national goals and would encourage our international partners. Re-engaging with NATO can include planning for climate change-related security threats and reinvigorated support to adapt operations to a smaller carbon footprint.”


Broadcast interviews: Rutgers University has broadcast-quality TV and radio studios available for remote live or taped interviews with Rutgers experts.
Rutgers University–New Brunswick is where Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, began more than 250 years ago. Ranked among the world’s top 60 universities, Rutgers’s flagship is a leading public research institution and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. It has an internationally acclaimed faculty, 12 degree-granting schools and the Big Ten Conference’s most diverse student body.