The Commission tries to make it OK to talk about – not do – solar geoengineering. Its report proposes a moratorium, coupled with efforts to carefully build knowledge.
In this, my third post on the recently released report of the Climate Overshoot Commission, I’ll discuss their treatment of the most challenging and controversial part of their mandate, Solar Geoengineering or Solar Radiation Modification (SRM). As I noted in my introductory post on the Commission, I served as an advisor to the Secretariat and my students in the UCLA International Climate Law and Policy Clinic provided research and analytic support to the Secretariat. ...CONTINUE READING
Scholars don’t know the answer. Nor, apparently, do the federal courts of appeals.
In West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court used the "major question doctrine" to overturn Obama’s signature climate change regulation. Once an issue reaches a certain level of significance, the Court says, Congress generally would want to make its own decision rather than allowing an agency like EPA to decide. Scholars have criticized the opinion for its lack of clarity about what makes an issue “major.” I decided to check out the court of appeals opinions...CONTINUE READING
Anyone who thinks otherwise has never met a real live academic. We can barely conspire about where to eat lunch.
Among the host of conspiracy theories out there, a perennial one depicts climate science as a global hoax perpetuated by scientists. There are thousands of climate scientists around the world, which is an awful lot of people for a secret conspiracy. But even if there were only forty or fifty, a successful conspiracy of any kind would probably be well outside their capabilities. I speak as someone who, over the course of my career, has attended hundreds of faculty meet...CONTINUE READING
Guest contributor Mollie Cueva-Dabkoski reflects on working as a summer law intern at Our Children’s Trust on the Held v. Montana case.
It’s been three months now since 16 young plaintiffs suing the state of Montana for climate harms piled into a Helena courtroom so small that the attorneys worried whether everyone would fit. (They did.) And it’s been one month since the Montana First District Court determined that the state of Montana had indeed violated Montana youth’s right to a “clean and healthful environment” by collaborating with the fossil fuel industry. But the historic decision...CONTINUE READING
California's climate and consumer protection lawsuit against Big Oil was made possible by the past work of journalists. What's the state of climate journalism now?
The state of California has joined the party. By “party” I mean the increasingly ambitious climate liability litigation against Big Oil. And when California shows up at the party, the volume goes way up. There’s already been a lot of smart analysis on the legal arguments (including by UCLA's Cara Horowitz here). I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge that this case was made possible, in large part, by journalists. “I didn’t know.” That’s how Go...CONTINUE READING
California's Subnational Initiative
At Climate Week New York yesterday, California announced a significant new initiative for Subnational action on methane. The UC Berkeley Center for Law, Energy, and Environment (CLEE) helped develop the Initiative, so I’m particularly pleased to highlight it. Methane As has been discussed previously in Legal Planet, methane is a colorless, odorless, flammable gas. It is the main component of “natural gas” and is produced predominantly by the agriculture, en...CONTINUE READING
The Commission’s recommendations on emissions include a fossil phaseout much stronger than anything now proposed, which could materially advance climate action.
Continuing my discussion of the report of the Climate Overshoot Commission released last week, today I dig into their recommendations on mitigation. As you may recall, the Commission’s informal (but serious) job description was to speak of elephants in the room and unclothed emperors: to say things that are true and important about climate risks and responses that other, more political constrained bodies cannot. If you take this job description for statements and apply...CONTINUE READING
IRA’s early impacts have been dramatic, and there’s a consensus that it will bend the US emissions curve downward.
My last blog post looked at some of the steps taken to implement the Inflation Reduction Act. Confirming initial projections when the law was passed, models now predict that IRA will significantly cut emissions by 2030. The impact by 2035 is likely to be even greater. Despite the IRA's substantial assist to emission cuts, we will need additional policies to push emissions 50% below 2005 levels. The immediate impact of the IRA has been dramatic. According to the Rh...CONTINUE READING
Sorry, no president can single-handedly fix climate policy. And certainly not with this Supreme Court.
With Biden two-thirds of the way through his term in office, he seems to be catching a lot of flack from climate activists. On Sunday, thousands of angry demonstrators gathered to protest Biden’s U.N. visit. “If you want our vote if you don’t want the blood of our generations to be on your hands, end fossil fuels.” Another said the president “is in a unique position to be a leader to end the fossil fuel movement globally.” Echoing the protesters, an op-ed in ...CONTINUE READING
Small farmers and rural residents are calling for a boycott against Bolthouse and Grimmway Farms. Here’s what it says about California's effort to manage groundwater.
When California lawmakers enacted the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in 2014, it was an effort to tame the wild, wild west of water. Nearly a decade later, there’s been some progress creating local sustainability plans, but Big Ag corporations are still hogging water and bullying smaller groundwater users. Look no further than the fight heating up in the Cuyama Valley, where small farmers and rural residents are calling for a boycott of carrots produced...CONTINUE READING