Michael Burger

Executive Director, Sabin Center

Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer in Law, Columbia Law School

Phone: (212) 854-2372

Email: mburger@law.columbia.edu


SSRN author page

As Executive Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Michael leads a dynamic team that is at the forefront of domestic and international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote climate change adaptation through pollution control, resource management, land use planning and green finance. Past and present projects involve collaborations with local and national environmental groups and government representatives, as well as international organizations such as the United Nations Environment Program, the United Nations Development Program, and the International Red Cross. Michael is a widely published scholar, a frequent speaker at conferences and symposiums, and a regular source for media outlets. He has taught at Columbia Law School, NYU Law School and Roger Williams School of Law, and has lead short courses on climate change and human rights in the Hague and Grand Cayman. He is also a co-founder and member of the Environmental Law Collaborative.

Prior to joining the Sabin Center Michael was an associate professor at Roger Williams University School of Law, where he taught environmental law, administrative law, and law and literature, and was founder and director of the Environmental and Land Use Law Clinical Externship program. He previously taught in the Lawyering Program at New York University School of Law, and served as an attorney in the Environmental Law Division of New York City’s Office of the Corporation Counsel. Michael is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an articles editor for the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law; and of Brown University, where he graduated magna cum laude and received the Ratcliffe Hicks Prize for highest standing in language and literature. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Creative Writing program at NYU.

Selected publications

Law Review Articles

Books and Book Chapters

  • Climate Change and Public Health Law (Michael Burger and Justin Gundlach, eds., on submission)
  • Combating Climate Change with Section 115 of the Clean Air Act: Law and Policy Rationales (Michael Burger, ed., Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming 2017)
  • “Research Governance,” co-authored with Justin Gundlach, Climate Law Fellow, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Climate Engineering and the Law: Regulation and Liability for Solar Radiation Management and Carbon Dioxide Removal (Michael B. Gerrard and Tracy Hester, eds., forthcoming 2017)
  • “Sustainable Utopias and Climate Change Apocalypse,” Rethinking Sustainable Development to Meet the Climate Change Challenge,” (Keith Hirokawa and Jessica Owley, eds., Environmental Law Institute (ELI) Press) (2015).
  • “The Last, Last Frontier,” Environmental Law and Contrasting Ideas of Nature: A Constructivist Approach (Keith Hirokawa, ed., Cambridge University Press) (2014).
  • “Charlottesville, Other Cities, Restore Their Watersheds,” in Cities and Nature, A Handbook for Renewal  (Roger L. Kemp, ed., McFarland & Company, Inc., 2006); originally published as “A Watershed Moment: A New Environmental Movement is Born,” The Next American City, Issue 4, Oct. 2004, at 10
  • “Sustainable Utopias and Climate Change Apocalypse,” Rethinking Sustainable Development to Meet the Climate Change Challenge,” (Keith Hirokawa and Jessica Owley, eds., forthcoming from Environmental Law Institute (ELI) Press).
  • “The Last, Last Frontier,” Environmental Law and Contrasting Ideas of Nature: A Constructivist Approach (Keith Hirokawa, ed., Cambridge University Press) (2014).

Other Publications

Media Interviews and Mentions 



For a list of past media interviews and mentions, click here