Addressing Corruption In Electric Vehicle Battery Supply Chains

New CLEE/NRGI issue brief offers solutions

In the race to scale up a global supply chain for electric vehicle batteries, mining justice advocates have sought to ensure that the ongoing clean technology minerals boom does not exacerbate longstanding negative impacts from the global mining industry. Chief among these are corruption risks. To provide guidance to electric vehicle purchasers (particularly fleets), advocates, and leaders in "downstream" markets about how to support anti-corruption measures in th...


The New Frontier of Methane Regulation 

A climate and weather satellite

Nations, companies, and NGOs are targeting methane like never before using satellite data. A new UCLA paper outlines what that could mean for regulation. 

Methane is ready for its close-up. The first week of COP28, the UN climate talks taking place in Dubai, saw a handful of big announcements about how world leaders plan to tackle human-made climate change by targeting methane, a powerful short-term climate pollutant. The UCLA Emmett Institute is also drawing attention to the issue of methane. Several members of the Emmett Institute team are at COP28, where we are hosting a side event on methane in conjunction with the...


When Communities Take Over Their Energy Systems

Is Local Control A Good Thing? It's Complicated . . .

This Post was Co-Authored by Sharon Jacobs and Dave Owen. For many decades, most people in the United States have obtained their electricity from a large investor-owned utility company (IOU). They had no real choice. Much of U.S. energy law was built on the belief that the best way to provide electricity was to give investor-owned utilities monopolies over large areas but to require regulators to review and approve those utilities’ rates to prevent pricing that was ...


Climate Change and the Hard-Headed Realist

Henry Kissinger showed that you don’t have to have a shred of idealism to favor climate action.

It’s not surprising that Bernie Sanders said, rather emphatically, that he was not a friend of Kissinger’s.  Yet there was one issue where they did agree:  climate change. If there was one thing that Henry Kissinger stood for, it was the hard-headed “realist” view of foreign policy — a view that prioritizes national interest at all costs, rejecting idealism as weak-minded sentimentality.  Nobody in all his long career ever called him progressive. We alrea...


Why Do Small Changes in Global Temperature Matter So Much?

One problem is that we’ve pursued optimization rather than robustness.

Scientists are warning us that even comparatively small changes in average temperature may have disastrous results. If you turn up your thermostat 2 ºC (about 3.6 ºF), the difference may be noticeable but it’s no big deal. So why is that a scary increase in global temperatures?  Some reasons are physical, particularly the difference between being one degree below freezing versus one degree above.  But another key reason is that we've finely tuned our society to a s...


Climate Backlash

Vicious attacks on climate progress are on the rise.

Presumably, no one actually wants rising seas, dangerous heat waves, severe droughts, runaway wildfires, and floods. Nor, I assume, are there many who want those climate disasters for their children and grandchildren. Still, there are all too many politicians and public figures who act as if their goal was to foment climate change. No doubt the real motives are more mundane: ignorance, financial gain, political ambition, or fear of change. Regardless of motive, the resu...


A Guide to Environmental Law Centers

There are twenty and the list is growing.

Many law schools consider public service a key part of their missions. More than most people appreciate, they play an important role in public policy in areas as diverse as intellectual property, criminal justice, and environmental law. Research centers are an increasingly common institutional setting for that work. With that in mind, I’ve tried to put together a list of environmental law centers. Please let me now if I've missed some centers. I'll be more than happ...


U.S.-China Climate Deal Means Good Vibes for COP28

Pres Biden and Xi Jinping with flags behind them

Here are key takeaways from the Sunnylands Statement on Enhancing Cooperation to Address the Climate Crisis ahead of the UN climate talks in Dubai.

The chances for a productive COP28—the U.N. climate talks that get underway Nov. 30 in Dubai—got a big boost from the recent climate agreement between the U.S. and China, the world’s two biggest polluters.   Announced just before President Joe Biden and China leader Xi Jinping met at the APEC Summit in San Francisco, the Sunnylands Statement on Enhancing Cooperation to Address the Climate Crisis was negotiated by Climate Envoy John Kerry and his Chinese cou...


Four EV Trends

One of these things is not like the others.

The automotive world is changing quickly. Most of the trends are mutually reinforcing.  But one points in the opposite direction. The first and most obvious trend is the rise of EVs.  In the twenty years since Tesla arrived, EVs have gone from 0.2% of new cars to 13%, and Bloomberg predicts that this figure will nearly double in the next few years. According to the Economist, by 2040 about three-quarters of global sales will be EV even under conservative assumptions...


Why There is (Still) a Carrot Boycott in Cuyama Valley

A sign that reads Boycott Carrots

Bolthouse Farms and Grimmway Farms are technically no longer plaintiffs in the lawsuit they launched. But their water war wages on.

Don’t expect to see carrots on Thanksgiving menus in the Cuyama Valley, where residents and small farmers have been boycotting Bolthouse Farms and Grimmway Farms over their outsized water use. They’re still not welcome at the table.  Back in September, I wrote about the carrot boycott and the hardball tactics by those big growers that had led to this fight. The water war spilled into the mainstream media this week thanks to an excellent pair of stories by Ian...