Climate Change

Germany-California Climate Cooperation?

Winfried Kretschmann of Baden-Württemberg

Lecture By Winfried Kretschmann, Baden-Württemberg Minister-President, tonight at UC Berkeley, could be a start

Germany and California represent two global leaders when it comes to addressing climate change. For example, Germany has been on a renewable energy spree, despite its relatively minimal solar insolation, while California has committed to reducing greenhouse gases and incubating emerging clean technology industries, like energy storage, electric vehicles, and renewables. But at the sub-national […]

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What Will Driverless Cars Do To The Climate?

Google self-driving cars

A Formidable Challenge for Policymakers and Modelers

It’s no longer a question of whether driverless cars will appear on the market; it’s when and how many. The answers so far seem to be: 1) soon; and 2) lots. German automakers are so confident of this that they are already negotiating with Nokia to compete to Google’s self-driving cars. For Legal Planet, that means we […]

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The Climate Rides Again

Drew and Courtney

Support the Emmett Institute in the California Coast Climate Ride!

Regular readers may remember  Ted Parson’s Legal Planet post about his experience on last year’s NYC-DC Climate Ride. Ted described the ride as “beautiful, hard, and moving.” (Pun possibly intended.) Along with fellow riders Andy Sabin and Dan Emmett, Ted raised a ton of money for our program and brought attention to the work of […]

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California Sets 2030 Climate Emissions Target

AP Photo by Rich Pedroncelli

And it looks like the right goal

Today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed an executive order setting a statewide greenhouse gas emissions target to be achieved by 2030, at 40% below 1990 levels.  It’s an historic announcement that puts California in the vanguard of jurisdictions who have committed to goals in this 2030 timeframe (it matches the E.U.’s). California’s new 2030 target takes its place alongside, […]

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Climate Fatigue

You might be tired of climate change. But climate change isn't tired of you.

I gather that people are tired of hearing about climate change.  I’m tired of hearing about climate change, too. Sadly, Nature just doesn’t care  that much about entertaining us.  It’s going to be climate change this year, climate change next year, climate change the year after that . . . But don’t worry, it won’t […]

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Carbon Vouchers: A Small-Government Approach to Climate Action

How to limit climate change without giving the Feds enforcement powers or revenue.

What I’m going to sketch here isn’t a zero government approach. But the government’s role is very limited: federal agencies don’t do any enforcement and the government doesn’t touch any revenue from the scheme. So this approach deals with the concern that a carbon tax or something similar would either expand EPA’s ability to abuse […]

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Has EPA’s Proposed NSPS Expired?

Expired

Responding to claims that EPA must withdraw its proposed rules to control power-plant GHGs under CAA § 111

Challenges to EPA’s emergent program to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under Clean Air Act section 111 continue to mount. Recently, the Attorneys General of 19 states sent a joint letter to EPA arguing that because EPA failed to finalize its proposed New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for GHG emissions within one year—as the Clean […]

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Climate Gag Rules and the First Amendment

gag-tape-silence-censor-630

Are climate gag rules constitutional? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

There have been recent reports about state agencies that forbid employees from discussing climate change.  Since this is obviously a restriction on speech, it’s natural to wonder what the First Amendment has to say on the subject.  The answer depends in large part on the kind of employee speech at issue. Let’s being with a ban […]

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The Brazilian Deforestation Puzzle

La concesion de Dona Felicitas

Deforestation went down for a decade. Now it's going up. The reasons aren't clear.

Brazil’s rate of deforestation went down dramatically over the last ten years. It’s not completely clear why that’s happened. The trend now seems to be reversing (or at least encountering an upward blip). But it’s not clear why that’s happening either. I wish I had a clear explanation to give you. A big part of […]

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