Philip Warburg
Environmental Lawyer & Author
Corwin Pavilion
philip warburg


What can we expect from rooftop photovoltaic arrays on our homes, businesses, and public buildings?  What are the opportunities and challenges we face as we look to America’s brownfields – waste sites and other industrial properties – to extend solar power’s reach? And how shall we reckon with the prospects and pitfalls of building utility-scale solar plants on our farmlands and natural open spaces?  These solar resources will be explored, looking at the policies affecting their exploitation and drawing on specific installations that Warburg examines in his new book, Harness the Sun.


Philip Warburg’s environmental advocacy career has spanned three continents. From 2003 to 2009, he was president of the Conservation Law Foundation, New England’s leading environmental advocacy group. During the previous decade he assisted the Palestinian Authority in drafting its first environmental laws, coordinated the Government of Jordan’s efforts to protect the Gulf of Aqaba, and directed the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, a Tel Aviv-based environmental watchdog organization. Earlier he led environmental law reform efforts in Central and Eastern Europe for the Washington-based Environmental Law Institute. He has recently devoted himself to writing about the rise of renewable energy in America and has been credited by former U.S. Representative Henry Waxman with “invent[ing] a new literary genre: the clean energy travelogue.” Researching his two books, Harness the Sun and Harvest the Wind, he has traced the path of these transformative technologies across more than half the United States. Warburg is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.