As the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen wound down on Friday, we caught up with Michael Gerrard, senior counsel at Arnold & Porter, and a Columbia Law School professor where he is the director of the Center for Climate Change Law. As of the time of our conversation, negotiators for the United States and China were talking behind closed doors about the most contentious issue on the docket: whether China would allow emissions testing inside its boarders. (Earlier this week, Gerrard posted an update on the conference for the Am Law Daily).

Lit Daily: Hi Michael, thanks for talking to us. What have you been up to the last week?

Gerrard: I?ve been attending events around Copenhagen and talking to many lawyers and non-lawyers about what they see happening with carbon regulation. My general sense is that if the conference yields a positive signal for the future of carbon regulation it is likely to lead to an explosive growth of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, which will in turn lead to a very considerable amount of legal work.

LD: What?s the weather like?

Gerrard: It is cold even for Copenhagen. Freezing and windy. Even the Danes are complaining.

LD: I was hoping you could catch us up briefly on the state of climate change litigation. Where are the most significant cases, and why should we be paying attention?

Gerrard: The most significant pending cases are Comer vs. Murphy Oil in the Fifth Circuit and Connecticut vs. American Electric Power in the Second Circuit. In each case panels of the circuit court ruled for the plaintiffs and found that their common law public nuisance actions are justiciable. Defendants in both cases moved for a rehearing en banc. There is a widespread view that both cases may move to the U.S. Supreme Court.

LD: What are you doing to cut your emissions?

Gerrard: I take a complicated commuter rail bus and walking trip to work every day. And try to be compulsive about turning off light switches.

LD: Thanks a bunch. Stay warm.