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 […]
International Environmental Law
Yup, international diplomacy is slow. One year ago, at their last meeting, the parties to the Montreal Protocol decided to proceed with negotiating an amendment to the treaty to limit HFCs. They negotiated that amendment in several sessions over the past year, and adopted it last Friday at the end of their 2016 meeting in […]
How one step could avoid 0.5°C of warming
Today, with what could be very little fanfare, the world may take one of its largest steps yet to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, all by phasing out a little-discussed chemical used in refrigeration and air conditioning – hydroflourocarbons. Hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, are considered a “short-lived climate pollutant” or “super climate pollutant,” a […]
In only 25 years, a dynamic new field of law has taken root.
Climate Change Law, the first volume of Elgar’s Encyclopedia of Environmental Law has just appeared. There are a number of excellent edited collections about aspects of climate change law. What distinguishes this one is that breadth of the coverage, including both international and domestic aspects of carbon reduction and adaptation to climate change. The book confirms how quickly climate change […]
This past week, I hosted a workshop at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. This is the idyllic Bellagio beside the shores of Lake Como in Italy rather than the one in Vegas with the cool fountains. For Star Wars fans, it is across the lake from the site of the wedding scene at the end […]
Suggestive Links Between Gender Equity and Sustainability
I suppose that the holy grail of environmentalism, and environmental scholarship, is integrating equity concerns with global priorities. The environmental justice movement has sought to do this, sometimes with success and sometimes less so. Now Jennifer Duncan of Landesa, one of the most innovative think tanks focusing on land rights and the Global South, thinks […]
Thoughts from the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawai’i
I am writing this weekend from a sunny spot in the Pacific, from the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Honolulu. For the uninitiated, the IUCN—International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources—is a global union of governments and non-governmental organizations (including over 1300 member institutions, organizations, and countries worldwide) focused on the conservation of […]
Jill Stein and her party call for a 40% cut in U.S. carbon emissions in the next four years.
Although the Green Party doesn’t seem to be pulling a lot of voters at this point, it seems only fair to include them in the roundup of the parties’ environmental positions. As you could infer from the name, the Green Party puts a very high priority on environmental quality. Interestingly, the current party platform is dated […]
The new British government is turning sharply against environmental protection.
The Brexit vote elevated Theresa May to the Prime Minister’s office. One of her first steps has been an attack on environmental protection. In what the Guardian called the “most radical shakeup in the shape of Whitehall for years.” She abolished the Department for Energy and Climate Change and moved its functions into the Department for Business, Energy […]
The challenge of developing and decarbonizing at the same time
Mexico has been busy. Or at least, its energy and environmental ministers have been. Over the last several years, Mexico has held its first auction for renewable energy contracts, opened its energy market to private competitors, and increased its renewable energy capacity by more than thirty times the level in 2008. At the same time, […]