International Environmental Law

China in the Global Environment — Q&A with Isabel Hilton, founder and CEO of chinadialogue.net

Isabel Hilton UCLA Law event

Isabel Hilton is a leading journalist whose current work spotlights the impact of China’s growing economy on people and the environment. Her work has appeared in the Financial Times, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, the New Yorker, and many other publications. In 2006, Hilton launched chinadialogue.net, a groundbreaking website that publishes reporting and analysis […]

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Bottoms-Up! An Emerging New Governance System (2)

Bottom-up appraches aren’t just fallbacks when top-down fails. They have their own strengths.

  There are some obvious advantages to top-down climate police, whereby a uniform global climate policy is adopted at the global level and then seamlessly implemented by nations, or whereby a similar process takes place at the national level.  Of course, this top-down model requires first global agreement on a uniform policy and then effective […]

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Bottoms-Up! An Emerging New Governance System (1)

In the past twenty years, climate policy has taken an unexpected form. Here’s what to expect.

There’s been a major change in the way environmental governance works, which is most obvious in terms of climate policy. We initially expected climate policy to be set at the international level, followed by incorporation into national legislation, and implementation by agencies and lower levels of government like states.  But this top-down governance scheme isn’t […]

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Will There Be a Global Environmental Constitution?

Global Pact for the Environment, draft cover

The potential of a proposed Global Pact for the Environment remains uncertain

The 1990s were the heyday of international environmental lawmaking. The 1992 United Nations “Rio Conference” on Environment and Development catalyzed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Convention on Biological Diversity, and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. The decade also witnessed the launch of the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent as well as protocols  […]

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No Restrictive Language on Gene Drives

Convention on Biological Diversity

Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity reject a moratorium-like decision

The recent news in international environmental negotiations has been dominated by this month’s  Conference of Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. (See UCLA’s Ted Parson setting the stage, the New York Times article, and Carbon Brief’s detailed report.) The recent COP of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) flew somewhat under the […]

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Climate Negotiations Start in Poland: Setting the Stage

Much at Stake in COP-24, Including Negotiation of Paris Rulebook to Implement 2015 Commitments

This week and next, negotiators are meeting in Poland for the big annual international climate-change meeting. This meeting, formally, is the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 1992 treaty that provides the foundation for all official international action on climate change, and informally is called “COP-24.” It […]

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Good News From India

While we’ve been obsessing about Trump, India has made great strides in renewable energy.

We get so focused on the problems in our own country that it’s easy to lose track of what’s happening globally. It turns out that while we’ve been mired in our own travails, India has been making remarkableprogress on renewable energy. What happens in India has tremendous significance. It is now the most populous country […]

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Don’t Believe Everything That You Read

CNN solar geoengineering tweet

Solar geoengineering is often inaccurately portrayed in the media

If you had followed the climate change news over the weekend, you might have been shocked to see headlines such as “Scientists Prescribe a Healthy Dose of Sulphate Particles to Promote Global Cooling on the Cheap.” CNN tweeted that “Harvard and Yale scientists are proposing that we tackle climate change by dimming the sun.” And […]

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Solar Geoengineering and International Law

Climate Engineering and the Law

May states intentionally alter the entire planet’s climate?

A couple weeks ago, I introduced solar geoengineering (see also 1, 2, 4 in the series). This is a set of proposed technologies that would reduce climate change by blocking or reflecting a small portion of incoming sunlight. It appears that it would be effective in reducing climate change, inexpensive, rapid, and technically feasible. It would […]

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Negative Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the National Academies, and the Law

Negative Emissions Technologies and Reliable Sequestration: A Research Agenda

What does the scaling-up of negative emissions technologies for environmental law?

In my previous posts , I described how most emissions scenarios that are expected to keep warming within 2 or 1.5°C rely on negative emissions technologies (NETs) at large scales and how the new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change addresses NETs (as well as how solar geoengineering could offer an additional means to […]

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