International Environmental Law

Earth Day, 2017 Should Be The Next Massive Rally

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The 47th Earth Day falls this year on April 22, a Saturday.  The fortuity of a weekend date makes Earth Day the perfect opportunity to marshall the energy of the wildly successful Women’s marches around the world to demand that Congress and the Trump Administration protect our planet (hat tip to Emmett Fellow Julia Forgie […]

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Guest Blogger David Spence: Another Take on the Tillerson Nomination

Hearings on the nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be President-elect Donald Trump’s Secretary of State are scheduled to begin on January 11th.  The nomination puts Tillerson and his company at the vortex of a whirlwind of public grievances about ExxonMobil’s positions on climate science and Russian influence over American politics and policy.  While […]

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The Ninth Circuit’s Top Environmental Law Decisions of 2016

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Climate Change, Endangered Species Act, NEPA, Constitutional Challenges Dominate Court of Appeals’ Docket

In 2016, at least, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was the most important and influential court in the nation when it comes to environmental law.  That’s true for two reasons: first, the U.S. Supreme Court only issued one significant environmental law decision last year, in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes […]

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2016: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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“But except for that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” It’s an old joke, for all I know going back to 1865. That was 2016,too, in a way. Like Mrs. Lincoln’s evening at Ford’s Theater, 2016 contained a lot of good things, some bad things, and then disaster. Here’s a list of each. The […]

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Tillerson and Perry – It’s Complicated

Donald Trump

They’re not as bad as you might think. Relatively speaking.

The immediate environmentalist reaction to Rex Tillerson and Rick Perry — Trump’s choices to run the Departments of State and Energy — is that these are disastrous choices, like Trump’s selection of climate change denier Scott Pruitt to run EPA.  That’s understandable.  After all, Tillerson is the CEO of Exxon. As to Perry, the Washington Post headline says […]

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Conflicting News about President-Elect Trump and Climate Change

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Transition Team Uniformly Anti-Climate but Trump Signals Open Mind to NY Times

Today we got a sliver of hope from President-Elect Trump about remaining in the Paris Agreement.  He also acknowledged a connection between human activity and climate change, something obviously at odds with his campaign rhetoric.  Trump told the New York Times he would “keep an open mind” about the U.S. commitment to the Paris Agreement.  He […]

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All Eyes on the Subnationals

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After the election of Trump, state and local leaders have to step up

As my colleague Ethan Elkind pointed out in a blog post the other day, the most viable path forward in the fight to slow (cause we’re kind of past the ability to prevent) climate change after the election of Donald Trump as President on Tuesday will be at the sub-federal level. As Ethan pointed out, […]

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Obama’s Remarkable Environmental Achievements

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When you look at the whole of his legacy, it’s a stunning record.

When he leaves office in January, President Obama will have compiled a remarkable record of environmental achievements. The record spans everything from climate change to endangered species and ocean protection. We can only hope that next Tuesday’s election doesn’t undo many of these gains. Here is a list, in no particular order, of twenty of […]

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Confronting the “Emissions Gap”

Long-term thinking and short-term deficiencies in climate change mitigation

With the Paris Agreement now ratified by 86 countries, and entering into force this Friday, countries have defined their first targets—the first round of nationally determined contributions (NDCs). The United States has pledged to reduce GHG emissions 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. This initial round of NDCs is significant, but represents only a short timeframe and […]

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October Surprises: A Month of Major Advances in Climate Policy

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October has seen major strides toward controlling greenhouse gases.

As the campaign seems to get more and more awful, I thought you might like to hear some good news. Behind the tumult of the campaign, there has been real progress in addressing climate change in the U.S. and around the world.  In particular, there were four major advances just this month. The first is that […]

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