Region: International

We Crossed 1.5 C. Did We Breach the Paris Agreement?

Here’s what the recent rise in global temperature means for international climate targets.

If you’re not a climate scientist—and maybe even if you are—reading news headlines this month has been confounding and a little scary. “In First, Earth’s Temperature Breached Key Threshold Over a 12 Month Period” is how the Wall Street Journal put it. “Earth Just Experienced 12 Months Of Global Temperatures Above Critical 1.5C Climate Threshold,” …

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Climate Justice, Climate Finance and Pragmatism for Tropical Jurisdictions at COP28

Exploring the urgency of subnational climate action: insights from COP28 on financing tropical forest conservation, indigenous empowerment, and sustainable livelihoods by the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force network.

The Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF Task Force) engaged in the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Dubai, marking a pivotal moment in the global climate dialogue. This significant international forum serves as a crucial platform where nations, subnational entities, and …

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The Environmental Gifts of the Magi

Clean air. Clean water. We receive these public goods every day without payment, as gifts from everyone to all of us.

One of the Christmas classics is the Jimmy Stewart movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. Stewart’s character is feeling suicidal, until he learns how much he has unknowingly helped others and how grateful they are. It’s heartwarming if also very corny. There’s a flip side to that story: the need to remember how much others have contributed …

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COP28: “The Methane COP”

Methane was at the center of COP28. Here are some of the most relevant announcements of this year’s Conference of the Parties.

By far, the most ubiquitous figure at COP28 was that of John Kerry. The U.S. climate envoy strolled through the labyrinthine and confusing alleys of Dubai’s Expo City wearing an impeccable suit despite the almost 100-degree Fahrenheit winter weather of the United Arab Emirates. When he wasn’t walking, he was talking about methane, earning him …

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Yes, It’s That Time of Year Again

If you read Legal Planet, you know how much the work we do matters. Now is the time to support it.

Like everyone else, I’m sure you find fundraising appeals annoying. That’s why we only do them two days a year on Legal Planet.  But there couldn’t be a more important time for the work we do. This has been the hottest year on record. It’s really now or never to address climate change. That means …

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Centering Public Health at the UN Climate Talks

A pollution pod at COP28

Guest Contributor Meleana Chun-Moy reflects on COP28 and the growing recognition of the intersection between the climate crisis and human health.

The climate crisis is a public health crisis, and it finally seems global leaders have recognized that fact. With the backdrop of the first-ever Health Day at the annual UN climate conference, air quality in Dubai soared, as PM2.5 pollution reached 155 micrograms per cubic unit. The World Health Organization states the annual average concentrations …

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A Big Year on Legal Planet

Planet Earth evolving

Here are the 12 most popular topics in environmental law and climate policy on Legal Planet based on our most-read posts from 2023.

It’s an understatement to say that 2023 was a transformative year for the U.S. climate movement. We saw rapid implementation of landmark federal climate laws, a series of big actions on methane emissions, a deal on Colorado River water usage, and bigger-than-expected climate victories in Sacramento. EPA’s control of toxic chemicals was tested, the U.S. …

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What EXACTLY Did the UN Conference Decide?

OK, I’m a lawyer: I think it’s important to look at the text.

Having read a lot of takes on the outcome of the latest UN climate conclave, I wanted to see for myself what the agreement says. The key provision in the latest international agreement on emissions reduction is section 28 of Article 2(A)..  It states the position of the Conference of the Parties — the consensus …

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Food and Farming Makes the Menu at UN Climate Talks

Guest contributor Antonia Moure Richard of UCLA Law reports that regenerative agriculture was a big focus of COP28, but industrial farming was largely ignored.

At the United Nations climate conference known as COP28, it was easy to come to the realization that we must confront every aspect of the climate crisis, and we must do it right now. That includes transforming our food systems. Agriculture has historically been left out of the conversation at COP. That changed this year …

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How much should we worry about climate tipping points?

A new report suggests climate tipping events may be inevitable, and urges transformative approaches to climate policy

It’s hard to keep up with the deluge of climate news around COP28. Climate damages are growing. Carbon budgets are running out. Temperature records are being re-written. Despite new pledges, climate action remains hugely insufficient and grossly unfair. And the world may be unable to avoid passing critical climate tipping points. That last comes from …

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