International Environmental Law

Negative Emissions Technologies in the New Report on Limiting Global Warming

SR 15 cover

The new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on 1.5°C warming relies heavily on negative emissions technologies.

Last week, I described how the scenarios expected to keep global warming within the 2°C target, which was internationally endorsed in the Paris Agreement, had to assume the use of negative emissions technologies at very large scales. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international assessment body, downplayed this essential fact in its most recent major report, […]

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A Major Challenge for Avoiding Climate Change Hides In Plain Sight

Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage

If we probably cannot keep global warming within agreed-upon limits by reducing emissions alone, how could we?

Next week, the international body responsible for assessing climate change will release a special report on the 1.5°C target, an ambitious, international goal to limit global warming that became part of the Paris Agreement in 2015. The report might mark a significant turning point for how policy makers, the scientific community, and others think about […]

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China at the Global Climate Action Summit

Climate Action from the World’s Largest Emitter

Governor Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit came to a close this past Friday in San Francisco. A large delegation of Chinese government officials, researchers, business leaders and civil society representatives were on hand for the proceedings. Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative on climate change, reaffirmed China’s commitment to action on climate change. While Xie had […]

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Reflections from Climate Conference No. 2: The Global Climate Action Summit

Similarly inspiring, with an added dollop of controversy

Last week’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco was at once exciting, inspiring, thought-provoking, and controversial. While I was reinvigorated to push my career in climate change and environmental law and policy, it also forced me to critically think about the nuances in climate change policymaking. As promised, here is an overview of my […]

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Trump Administration Announces Revisions of NAFTA with Strengthened Environmental Provisions

Revised Environmental Obligations in Preliminary Agreement With Mexico Appear to Track Environmental Chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has just announced that it reached preliminary agreement with Mexico for a renegotiated NAFTA. The 24-year old trade agreement between Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. was a major topic during the 2016 presidential campaign and has been a centerpiece of USTR activity in the Trump administration. The […]

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: California and Sub-National Action

Post #11 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the eleventh post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] In 2015, about a year and a half before the international climate meetings in Paris, Jerry Brown met with […]

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The Social Cost of Carbon – Revisited

The case for using global rather than simply U.S. impacts.

The estimated harm done by a single ton of carbon in the atmosphere – the “social cost of carbon” — is a key factor in setting climate policy. The Trump Administration is trying to get its estimate as close to zero as possible. A key part of this effort is to exclude from consideration the […]

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International Court of Justice recognizes and values ecosystem services (sort of)

In a judgment announced on February 2nd, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the very first time decided a compensation claim for environmental damage. Equally important, it took a close look at whether ecosystem goods and services are compensable under international law. The decision is both carefully considered and deeply frustrating. There have, of […]

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Canada and Mexico Aren’t Waiting for Us

Like the rest of the world, they’re moving ahead on the climate change issue even without us.

[for unknown reasons, this didn’t post correctly earlier, though it did go out to email subscribers] Our national government is trying to beat a hurried retreat from addressing climate change. But our neighbors in Canada and Mexico are pressing forward. Both of them need to do more, but nevertheless they contrast very favorably with our […]

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Pineapples and Preparing for the Future at COP23

Guest post by Eric Sezgen, UCLA Law student

As Alex’s previous blogpost states, there was a sense of urgency at this COP. Urgency had observable consequences all around the conference and was not only embraced but enhanced by Fiji’s presidency. You could see this even in the COP’s logo. Whereas the COP logo is usually a sleek and trendy design to look good […]

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