Faculty Take on New Roles at Emmett Institute
This month, the Emmett Institute is thrilled to welcome two of our core faculty members, William Boyd and Alex Wang, to new roles at the Institute. Both will serve as faculty co-directors alongside our faculty director Ted Parson. In their new roles, Prof. Wang and Prof. Boyd will help lead the Emmett Institute’s ambitious research, …CONTINUE READING
New climate legislation sets a high bar for other states.
On Wednesday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a package of four clean energy bills. These bills move Oregon to the forefront of climate action. These laws ban new fossil fuel plants and set aggressive targets for the state’s two major utilities, requiring emission cuts of 80% by 2030, 90% by 2035 and 100% by 2040. …CONTINUE READING
In terms of business size, small may not be beautiful where the environment is concerned.
There has been a surge of concern about how big business may be undermining competition at the expense of consumers and workers. Two signs are Biden’s big executive order on competition and the appointment of antitrust hawk Lina Khan to head the FTC. Paradoxically, however, big business may be better for the environment. According to …CONTINUE READING
The future of effective climate policy requires balancing equity, efficiency, political feasibility, and technological innovation
In the prior blog post in this two-part series, I talked about how current debates on climate policy that are focused on equity and efficiency are inadequate. Today, I’ll explain how we might advance political feasibility through climate policy, how that is connected to technological innovation, and how we must necessarily balance between all four …CONTINUE READING
There’s a simple reason why it’s so hard to take bold climate actions nationally.
Gallup has studied environmental attitudes in America for several decades. Their historical compilation is very revealing about our present political situation. It sheds light on why it’s been so hard to develop momentum for real change at the national level, and also about why there’s so much more of a push for change within the …CONTINUE READING
Moving the debate beyond equity and efficiency
As Congress debates two large pieces of legislation – both a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a partisan reconciliation package – a key question is the extent to which either piece of legislation (assuming it is enacted) addresses climate policy. And the recent flooding in Europe, the wildfires in the western US and Russia, and more …CONTINUE READING
Here’s what we can (probably) expect.
The Delta Variant sounds like the title of one of those Robert Ludlum thrillers, like The Bourne Identity. Actually, though, it’s a lot scarier. The Delta variant of the coronavirus is rapidly becoming dominant. What are its characteristics and what can we expect from its spread? The first thing to know is that the Delta …CONTINUE READING
China and the EU took important steps forward this week.
This week has seen some big climate moves on opposite sides of the world. The EU has proposed a major new climate plan. Meanwhile, China is ready to go live with its emissions trading system. The U.S. is at risk of being left behind. The EU’s proposal is impressive. The goal is to cut net …CONTINUE READING
Could ecocide become the fifth crime to be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court?
Last month, a panel of international lawyers chaired by Philippe Sands and Dior Fall Sow launched our proposal for a new crime of ‘ecocide’ – an international crime of environmental destruction that would sit alongside genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression at the International Criminal Court. The idea of ecocide …CONTINUE READING
We actively shape major Earth systems, with increasingly powerful technologies. We should face up to it.
Stewart Brand–a contender for the most interesting living person in the world–famously opened the Whole Earth Catalogue in 1969, “We are as gods and might as well get good at it.” Importantly (and often misunderstood), he meant not that we are gods, but instead that technologies have given humanity powers that had previously been exclusive …CONTINUE READING