The IPCC Should Just Say 1.5 C is Dead
The big takeaway from the IPCC’s latest report is that we’re still falling behind and must do hard things to catch up. It’s time to communicate that differently.
“There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future for all,” according to the IPCC’s AR6 Synthesis Report. That phrase spoke to the parent in me, though maybe not for the sentimental reason you might think. Most mornings I find myself repeating some version of “there is a rapidly …
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Stakeholder Engagement in California Offshore Wind Development
State leaders have an opportunity to forge a national example on stakeholder engagement and energy justice.
As California continues to develop plans for floating offshore wind (OSW) implementation, state leaders have an opportunity to forge a national example on stakeholder engagement and energy justice. California can achieve this, not just by (for example) incorporating environmental justice (EJ) principles into agency analysis and planning or by increasing consultation with tribal entities, but …
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Why the Bay Area’s Zero-Emission Appliance Rule is a Big Deal
BAAQMD’s trailblazing rule will ban the sale of new gas furnaces and water heaters to combat nitrogen oxide pollution. It marks a big victory for public health and the planet.
Air quality officials in the San Francisco Bay Area just made history by moving to adopt the nation’s first rules phasing out new gas-fueled water heaters and furnaces in homes and businesses within about eight years. This action serves as a major step in the effort to curb health-harming and planet-warming emissions from buildings. Several cities …
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Solar Geoengineering in the News — Again and Again
An update on the serious and the silly
Solar geoengineering has been prominent in the news lately. It looks like the long-predicted spike of attention to these potential climate responses may finally be starting – with many attendant opportunities for controversy and confusion. For background on solar geoengineering, why it’s important to research, and what the debates over it are, check out various …
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Cap and Trade Heats Up—For Better or Worse
Prices are high and markets are proliferating as program designers lean away from the more controversial elements of carbon trading.
This past year has been big for cap-and-trade-style systems, and that momentum looks like it’s continuing in 2023. Recently, we’ve seen new programs start up in Oregon and Washington, a proposal in New York State for new carbon markets, and sustained high prices in existing programs in California and the Northeast. Although these programs differ …
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Tribal Energy Sovereignty in California
California’s energy agencies hold joint hearing with Tribal governments.
On Thursday, March 2, 2023, California’s principal energy agencies – the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) – held a first-of-its-kind, joint en banc hearing at Cal Poly Humboldt with Tribal government leaders and all 10 commissioners of the CEC and CPUC. In a world where on-the-ground collaboration between governments …
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Top 5 Climate Reasons To Reduce Driving, Even With Electric Vehicles
Sprawl and EVs still have significant carbon costs
California and other jurisdictions have been moving to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) as a climate solution. Yet some pro-sprawl interests question whether this is necessary, given the advent of electric vehicles. It’s fair to ask: if all vehicles are “zero emission,” do we really need to care any more about how much driving we …
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Climate Policy’s “Plan B”
As the initial top-down approach failed, a new approach to climate policy crystalized.
My last blog post told the story of the original top-down approach to climate policy. It was supposed to feature binding restrictions on carbon emissions in a global treaty and federal legislation. By 2012, it was plain that neither half of this “Plan A” strategy was in the offing. Building on trends that had begun …
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Climate Policy at the Turn of the Century: The Death of “Plan A”
The original plan involved top-down global and US emission limits. They never happened.
When the campaign to cut carbon emissions began in the last decade of the 20th Century, there seemed to be a clear path forward. International negotiations would begin with a framework convention, followed by a later global agreement capping carbon emissions. Within the US, Congress would enact legislation cutting carbon emissions. By the end of …
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Need Quick Climate Solutions? Check Out Our “Climate Break” Podcast
Berkeley Law production also airing every Thursday on NPR-affiliate KALW in San Francisco
Climate change news is often quite depressing, with frequent stories on the science and ever-worsening impacts. What gets lost in this otherwise important coverage is the amazing and inspiring tales of innovation and solutions happening all around us, in every sector and walk of life. That’s why Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the …
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