Sarah Burt

Deputy Managing Attorney International Program


Media Inquiries

Kathryn McGrath
Public Affairs and Communications Strategist
(202) 516-6932

Bar Admissions

CA, ME (inactive)

Sarah Burt grew up in the wilds of Scotland before moving to the wilds of New Jersey as a teenager.

She received her JD from Columbia Law School and an LL.M. in public international law from the University of London, King’s College. Sarah came to Earthjustice from the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C., where she was a staff attorney working on issues of public participation, environmental governance, and natural resources protection, primarily in Africa and the Americas.

Sarah’s interest in international environmental law stems from her experiences living and working with communities in Nepal, Guatemala, and South Africa whose livelihoods and human rights are intricately tied to natural resources and the environment.

The Latest from Sarah Burt

Bali fishing boat.
June 25, 2018

Fighting to Keep a Dirty Power Plant out of a Tropical Paradise

The Indonesian government wants to saddle beautiful north Bali with a coal-fired power plant. In support of local communities, we’re fighting back.
October 11, 2016

Cleaning up the Skies: Can Market-Based Solutions Cut Airplane Emissions?

In the wake of the Paris climate agreement, countries have created the first ever market-based mechanism to address climate pollution from international aviation—but it may not be strong enough.
International shipping port
December 9, 2015

Ships, Planes and Climate Change

Negotiators at the Paris climate talks can’t forget the outsized role international shipping and aviation play in emissions of harmful greenhouse gasses.
Greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes threaten human health and contribute to climate change.
June 17, 2015

EPA Plans to Green Light Increase in Harmful Airplane Emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes threaten human health and contribute to climate change, but the EPA's proposed regulatory approach is not sufficient to reduce CO2.
October 25, 2013

NAFTA To Review Tourist Developments in Baja

Earthjustice, AIDA target Mexico's failure to protect coastal ecosystems.
October 21, 2013

Costs of Coal Exports, Part IV: Jason Reed of Maryland

Jason Reed lives near the Port of Baltimore's CSX coal export and processing facility.
October 14, 2013

Costs of Coal Exports, Part III: Margaret Fox of Maryland

(This is the third in a four-part series profiling communities that could be seriously impacted by increased toxic air and water pollution resulting from the federal government’s financing of the export of Appalachian coal to Asia.) This week, we meet Margaret Fox who lives near the CSX coal export and processing facility at the Port…
October 7, 2013

Costs of Coal Exports, Part II: Desiree Bullard of Maryland

(This is the second in a four-part series profiling communities that could be seriously impacted by increased toxic air and water pollution resulting from the federal government’s financing of the export of Appalachian coal to Asia.) This week we meet Desiree Bullard,  who lives in Cumberland, Maryland, along rail lines that are experiencing increased traffic…
September 30, 2013

Costs of Coal Exports, Part I: Lorraine Ortega of Virginia

We’re making progress in ending America’s dependence on coal thanks to the work of Earthjustice and others to prevent the construction of new coal plants and hold existing coal plants to more stringent environmental standards. Now, hoping to shore up its bottom line, Big Coal is increasingly looking to ships millions of tons of U.S. coal…
September 24, 2013

Cruise Ships Find Rough Waters in Alaska Courtroom

Judge rejects state's attempt to weaken air pollution controls.
September 10, 2013

Airlines Ranked by Amount of Fuel Used

A new report by the International Council on Clean Transportation ranks the major airlines according to their fuel efficiency—and for the first time reveals the major gaps that exist between airlines in their fuel use. For a long time, green consumers have known that air travel is the biggest part of the average individual’s carbon…
June 28, 2012

Court Lets California Keep Clean Fuel Rule

Twenty seven million Californians—80 percent of the state’s population—are exposed to emissions from ocean-going vessels, resulting in serious health impacts such as cancer, respiratory illnesses like asthma, as well as increasing the risk of heart disease. California estimates that the ships’ direct particulate emissions cause 300 premature deaths across the state every single year, even…
October 5, 2010

The Latest Yin and Yank Over World Carbon Emissions

"Flag of convenience" helps shipping dodge pollution controls
June 4, 2009

Tar Sands Create Pipeline To The Past

Canada’s vast boreal forest (named for Boreas, the Greek god of the north wind) covers more than a third of the country’s total landmass and is a larger ecosystem than the Amazon. In addition to providing habitat for a diverse range of species including moose, lynx, grizzly bears and over 3 billion birds, the peat…
October 10, 2008

Costs of Forest Loss “Dwarfs Bank Crisis”

Attention has been focused on the financial crisis recently. Yet a study headed by a Deutsche Bank economist concludes that the annual costs of forest destruction is between $2 trillion and $5 trillion. So while Wall Street has lost between $1-$1.5 trillion, we are losing "natural capital" at a rate of $2 to $5 trillion…
July 15, 2008

EPA Devalues Life

As has been often observed here on unEarthed, the Bush EPA has taken regulatory avoidance to unprecedented levels.(See Martin Wagner’s July 11 post A subtle, but nonetheless nefarious new tactic for avoiding regulation to protect human health and the environment is EPA’s recent statistical devaluation of an American life. For purposes of evaluating the costs…
June 20, 2008

Silver Lining in the Stratospheric Price of Oil?

The Wall Street Journal reports that the rising cost of shipping everything from industrial parts to living-room sofas is forcing some manufacturers to bring production back to North America and freeze plans to send even more work overseas. This could stem the loss of domestic manufacturing jobs, if not result in a job increase at…
June 9, 2008

Obama Weighs In to Support Flathead Protection

This may have been a political no-brainer: Campaigning in Montana on the eve of the primary, Obama stated his opposition to a proposed open-pit coal mine 40km north of the Canada-US border in the headwaters of the Flathead River, which forms the western boundary of Glacier National Park, declaring that "the Flathead River and Glacier…
May 22, 2008

U.S. Risks Losing Vote in International Negotiations

The U.S.may lose its right to vote on international ship pollution standards because Congress has failed to implement a treaty setting limits on ship pollution. At risk is a vote in upcoming negotiations on stricter standards proposed by the U.S. delegation to the International Maritime Organization. House and Senate lawmakers are trying to resolve differences…