International Environmental Law

Pouring Gas on a Five Alarm Fire

That’s Trump’s climate policy in a nutshell. His campaign slogan should be, “Burn, Baby, Burn.”

At a dinner for oil industry CEOs last week, Trump promised to fulfill the industry’s every dream in return for a billion dollars in donations.  We urgently need now is more federal climate action, not less. Yet the reelection of Donald Trump would wipe out years of federal climate action.  It’s important to understand fully …

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How the ICC is Using International Criminal Law to Prosecute Suspects of Eco Crimes

Guest contributor Aria Burdon Dasbach writes that the International Criminal Court is in the process of weighing dozens of suggestions for how to go after global environmental crimes.

There are many different ways that our global society has attempted to address environmental damage and climate change. We fund climate technology startups. We elect representatives that keep the climate in mind. We start nonprofits dedicated to reestablishing our collective sustainable relationships with earth systems. And we litigate in civil and federal courts at the …

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Power of the People: Environmental Advocacy in China

Several of China’s most prominent environmental advocates will join a keynote talk at UCLA Law on the role of civil society in addressing China’s global environmental impacts.

China’s global rise has raised concerns about impacts on the environment in a bewilderingly wide range of issues. These include global climate change, deforestation, impacts on rare and endangered species, harm to fisheries, environmental impacts of overseas infrastructure, mining, and energy sector investments, to name just a few. Popular attention has often focused on Chinese …

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Climate Change and Nigeria

A population explosion. Sluggish economy. Weak governance. Serious climate impacts. What could possibly go wrong?

By the time my youngest granddaughter is thirty, Nigeria will be the world’s third-largest country. It’s also one of the countries that’s least prepared to adapt to climate change, which will be much worse by then. Nigeria’s population is expected to roughly double by 2050, to around 400 million.  The population was previously expected to …

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The ‘Year of Climate’ in International Courts

Guest contributor Rebecca Hamilton previews several opinions that touch on the question of the international legal obligations of States in light of the climate emergency.

“The Year of Climate in International Courts” by guest contributor Rebecca Hamilton was originally published on Just Security This year promises to be the ‘Year of Climate’ in international courts and tribunals with opinions slated to be coming down from the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the International Tribunal …

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The global conversation about solar geoengineering just changed at the UN Environment Assembly. Here’s how.

National flags at UNEA6 in Nairobi

Duncan McLaren and Olaf Corry reflect on the implications of the UNEA-6 non-decision on solar radiation modification for research and governance

As we wrote in part 1, a Swiss-led proposal to the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) to establish an expert group on solar radiation management (SRM) proved divisive and was eventually withdrawn. Here we explore why, and what that means for any global conversation about SRM. SRM has long generated concerns that, as a powerful lever …

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Countries failed to agree first steps on solar geoengineering at the UN. What went wrong?

National flags at UNEA6 in Nairobi

Duncan McLaren and Olaf Corry observed as diplomats in Nairobi wrestled with a resolution on solar radiation management

In the last weeks, diplomats from all over the world were negotiating more than twenty draft resolutions at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA). The Assembly is a biennial intergovernmental meeting which sets the global environmental agenda. It also sets the strategy for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and outlines policy responses to address emerging environmental …

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Misusing Carbon Removal as a Climate Response

Carbon removal is an alluring idea. That also makes it a tempting façade for bad policies.

It seems clear that in some form, carbon removal is going to be an important component of climate policy, especially later in the century to deal with carbon levels that overshoot the targets in the Paris Climate Agreement. The problem is not with the concept but with its misuse.    One of the risks that …

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Ranking Presidents on Climate Change

Seven presidents, seven very different legacies.

Although a 1977 memo alerted Jimmy Carter to the problem of climate change, the first tentative responses to climate change didn’t emerge until he left the White House. Since then, there have been seven very different men in the White House.  You may find the rankings surprising. Here’s how I would rank them, from best …

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We Crossed 1.5 C. Did We Breach the Paris Agreement?

Here’s what the recent rise in global temperature means for international climate targets.

If you’re not a climate scientist—and maybe even if you are—reading news headlines this month has been confounding and a little scary. “In First, Earth’s Temperature Breached Key Threshold Over a 12 Month Period” is how the Wall Street Journal put it. “Earth Just Experienced 12 Months Of Global Temperatures Above Critical 1.5C Climate Threshold,” …

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