The Mystery of the Missing Stay Order

Why is the Supreme Court waiting for weeks to dispose of a demand for extraordinary intervention in a routine situation?

The steel industry applied for Supreme Court intervention on what they claimed was an urgent issue of vast national importance. Chief Justice Roberts requested an immediate government response. That was six weeks ago.  Since then . . . crickets. No doubt you’re on the edge of your seat, wondering about the impending crisis facing the industry and the earthshaking legal issue in the case.  And maybe also wondering why this is the first you’ve heard about it. H...


The COP28 Halftime Report

COP28 facility

Has the annual UN climate conference grown too big to function? Takeaways from Week 1 of COP28 in Dubai.

We’ve reached the midpoint of the annual, two-week international climate conference known as COP (for “conference of parties”), so it’s a good time to reflect on what’s gone down in Dubai.  I’m attending along with a delegation of UCLA Law students and colleagues here to follow a range of issues, from methane regulation to China’s global role to regenerative agricultural practices. Having been to more than a handful of these conferences going back t...


Pearl Harbor Today

82 years after the attack, what is the state of the harbor?

Today is Pearl Harbor Day, the anniversary of the Japanese attack that launched the U.S. into World War II.  Those of us who don’t live in Hawaii may not think much about the harbor, but I started to wonder how things were going environmentally there. The geography is more complex than I had expected. I think of a harbor as just an area where boats can park, maybe in a protected bay. (You can see I'm not very nautical, I guess.) There are actually three large water...


A $1 Billion Investment in the ‘New Forest Economy’

A global group of governors just issued a call-to-action for more flexible funding for forest protection. Here’s why that’s important.

On December 5, as the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change continues full swing in Dubai, Governors, Indigenous Peoples, and other partners of the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF Task Force), launched an urgent call-to-action to finance what they are calling the “New Forest Economy.” This call-to-action seeks to garner an initial $1 billion in investments and support to transform the stat...


Is “carbon management” just another COP-out?

An illustration of a power plant.

Fudging the differences between carbon capture and carbon removal risks weakening climate action

Emissions cuts alone will (almost certainly) not keep the global average temperature rise below 1.5°C. But some optimism remains. Alongside a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels, substantial deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) techniques might avert – or at least limit – overshoot of 1.5°C. At COP 28 this week the US and several partners launched a ‘Carbon Management Challenge’ with an aim to collectively store 1.2 Gt of CO2 by 2030. However, it seems much...


Addressing Corruption In Electric Vehicle Battery Supply Chains

New CLEE/NRGI issue brief offers solutions

In the race to scale up a global supply chain for electric vehicle batteries, mining justice advocates have sought to ensure that the ongoing clean technology minerals boom does not exacerbate longstanding negative impacts from the global mining industry. Chief among these are corruption risks. To provide guidance to electric vehicle purchasers (particularly fleets), advocates, and leaders in "downstream" markets about how to support anti-corruption measures in th...


The New Frontier of Methane Regulation 

A climate and weather satellite

Nations, companies, and NGOs are targeting methane like never before using satellite data. A new UCLA paper outlines what that could mean for regulation. 

Methane is ready for its close-up. The first week of COP28, the UN climate talks taking place in Dubai, saw a handful of big announcements about how world leaders plan to tackle human-made climate change by targeting methane, a powerful short-term climate pollutant. The UCLA Emmett Institute is also drawing attention to the issue of methane. Several members of the Emmett Institute team are at COP28, where we are hosting a side event on methane in conjunction with the...


When Communities Take Over Their Energy Systems

Is Local Control A Good Thing? It's Complicated . . .

This Post was Co-Authored by Sharon Jacobs and Dave Owen. For many decades, most people in the United States have obtained their electricity from a large investor-owned utility company (IOU). They had no real choice. Much of U.S. energy law was built on the belief that the best way to provide electricity was to give investor-owned utilities monopolies over large areas but to require regulators to review and approve those utilities’ rates to prevent pricing that was ...


Climate Change and the Hard-Headed Realist

Henry Kissinger showed that you don’t have to have a shred of idealism to favor climate action.

It’s not surprising that Bernie Sanders said, rather emphatically, that he was not a friend of Kissinger’s.  Yet there was one issue where they did agree:  climate change. If there was one thing that Henry Kissinger stood for, it was the hard-headed “realist” view of foreign policy — a view that prioritizes national interest at all costs, rejecting idealism as weak-minded sentimentality.  Nobody in all his long career ever called him progressive. We alrea...


Why Do Small Changes in Global Temperature Matter So Much?

One problem is that we’ve pursued optimization rather than robustness.

Scientists are warning us that even comparatively small changes in average temperature may have disastrous results. If you turn up your thermostat 2 ºC (about 3.6 ºF), the difference may be noticeable but it’s no big deal. So why is that a scary increase in global temperatures?  Some reasons are physical, particularly the difference between being one degree below freezing versus one degree above.  But another key reason is that we've finely tuned our society to a s...