U.S. Supreme Court Revisits, Tightens Regulatory Takings Limits on Land Use Regulation

California Homeowner's Takings Challenge to County's Traffic Impact Fee Heads Back to State Court

On April 12th, the U.S. Supreme Court revisited a constitutional doctrine near and dear to its institutional heart: when and under what circumstances does a land use permit condition violate the Fifth Amendment's Takings Clause? In yet another "regulatory takings" case from California, the Supreme Court wound up not answering that precise question.  Instead, the justices unanimously ruled that the California state courts had applied the wrong constitutional stand...


California Wins Major Clean Air Act/Climate Change Case in D.C. Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals Rejects Red States' Challenge to California's CAA "Waiver Authority"

  This week California and the Biden Administration's Environmental Protection Agency won a critically-important environmental lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.  The case involves a constitutional challenge brought by a coalition of conservative ("red") states to E.P.A.'s delegation of federal Clean Air Act (CAA) authority for California to adopt regulations limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from motor vehicles and mand...


Shanahan, Kennedy and Climate Change: Unanswered Questions

It’s clear that RFK Jr.’s running mate has good intentions and an interest in climate issues. But not much is clear beyond that.

In a flare-up between former allies last week, Rep. Ro Khanna, a progressive Democrat, asked Nicole Shanahan to think twice about continuing as RFK Jr.’s running mate.  His argument was that the campaign could ultimately send Donald Trump back to the White House, risking the destruction of U.S. climate efforts. The resulting public exchange is revealing about what motivates independent candidates like Shanahan. It also points to a conundrum for the Kennedy-Shanahan...


Power of the People: Environmental Advocacy in China

Several of China’s most prominent environmental advocates will join a keynote talk at UCLA Law on the role of civil society in addressing China’s global environmental impacts.

China’s global rise has raised concerns about impacts on the environment in a bewilderingly wide range of issues. These include global climate change, deforestation, impacts on rare and endangered species, harm to fisheries, environmental impacts of overseas infrastructure, mining, and energy sector investments, to name just a few. Popular attention has often focused on Chinese government action (or lack thereof) and the behavior of Chinese companies “going out” ...


Not All Community Benefits Are Created Equal

Technical Assistance for Underserved, Environmental Justice, and Tribal Communities Will Be Key to Ensuring Meaningful California Offshore Wind CBAs

CLEE has just released a new report, Offshore Wind & Community Benefits Agreements in California: CBA Examples, detailing the CBA and other community provisions in California’s offshore wind leases, as well as examples of CBA precursors and models from other industries. Read it here. As California offshore wind moves forward, there are opportunities for underserved, environmental justice, and tribal communities to secure benefits and community investment (if com...


Climate Change and Nigeria

A population explosion. Sluggish economy. Weak governance. Serious climate impacts. What could possibly go wrong?

By the time my youngest granddaughter is thirty, Nigeria will be the world’s third-largest country. It’s also one of the countries that's least prepared to adapt to climate change, which will be much worse by then. Nigeria’s population is expected to roughly double by 2050, to around 400 million.  The population was previously expected to double again by 2100, but the current estimate is that it will reach “only” about 550 million.  In the meantime, China�...


A Total Eclipse of the Heat

The eclipse mania gripping U.S. media and the entire nation is an opportunity to gaze in awe at the climate crisis we’ve unleashed and talk about our collective response.

Millions of Americans traveled this week to the path of totality to hunker down with loved ones and total strangers to gaze upwards at one of the most amazing astronomical events of our lives and share something like a transcendent, spiritual experience. I hope we can collectively reckon with another terrifyingly awesome atmospheric event: the hottest year. Multiple relentless heat waves occurred in 2023, with much of the globe experiencing 20 more “heatwave day...


No, EVs are Not Worse for the Planet

There's an electric car culture war raging. It doesn't hurt to say obvious things, like that electric cars reduce driving costs and pollute far less than gas-powered cars.

If you have somehow managed to escape the frenzied political headlines about electric vehicles, first I envy you and second, I must regrettably inform you that the EV has become an acronym of partisan rancor on par with IVF, DEI, and CRT. There’s a lot of reasons for this electric car culture war: President Biden has made EVs central to his climate and economic policies. They intersect with labor politics and growing tensions with China. And cars remain a symbol of...


Ranking the Candidates’ Focus on Energy & Climate

Some campaign websites mention these issues only in passing. Others went into more detail.

I thought it would be helpful to provide some kind of objective measure of how much various candidates focus on energy and climate. I based this on how extensively they discuss these issues on their websites. By this ranking, Biden came in first — surprisingly, ahead of progressives Jill Stein and Cornel West. Also surprisingly, RFK Jr. and Jill Stein came in last in terms of focus on climate change. In fairness, Stein endorsed the general idea of a Green New Deal b...


The ‘Year of Climate’ in International Courts

Guest contributor Rebecca Hamilton previews several opinions that touch on the question of the international legal obligations of States in light of the climate emergency.

"The Year of Climate in International Courts” by guest contributor Rebecca Hamilton was originally published on Just Security This year promises to be the ‘Year of Climate’ in international courts and tribunals with opinions slated to be coming down from the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, and the International Court of Justice. The European Court of Human Rights wil...