Climate Change

Green Stimulus and the Challenge of Chinese Coal

https://chinapower.csis.org/energy-footprint/

Why are so many new coal power plants still being constructed in China?

During this Earth Week, it is encouraging to see glimmers of environmental ambition in various jurisdictions around the world. The EU is rolling out a European Green Deal with the goal of “striving to be the first climate-neutral continent.” South Korea, the world’s 7th largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter, recently announced a 2050 net zero …

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Fighting to Preserve the Clean Power Plan

Ted Lamm and Sean Hecht Co-Author Amicus Brief on Behalf of Clean Air Act Expert Tom Jorling

On Monday, Sean Hecht and I filed an amicus brief with the DC Circuit in the legal challenge to the Trump Administration’s attempt to repeal and replace the Clean Power Plan. (We filed the brief in our personal capacities and not on behalf of our respective institutions. Dan Farber also contributed valuable input.) Our client …

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Deferred Planetary Maintenance

It’s easy to put off long-term problems when there’s a crisis.  Much too easy, actually.

Long-term problems get short shrift in a crisis. That’s true of infrastructure repair; it’s also true of climate change.  Like deferred maintenance, climate change just gets bigger the longer it’s put off. I often see the fruits of deferred maintenance on the Berkeley campus. Building conditions are a huge problem at Berkeley. Whenever there’s a …

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Seven Months to Election Day (and Counting)

You may have forgotten, but the clock is still ticking.

You may not have been focused on this, but there will be a Presidential election seven months from today.  The stakes are enormous for environmental law.  In fact, those stakes can be measured in megatons of carbon.  There’s no question about Trump’s approach to environmental regulation. As of the beginning of this year, ninety-five environmental rollbacks …

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A Tearful Trump Rues Climate Denial

Greta Thurnberg Given Free Mar-a-Lago Lifetime Membership

Tears ran down his face as Trump paused in the middle of an unscheduled coronavirus briefing late last night. He turned to reporters saying, “Climate change. It’s a disaster. Who knew? It’s a real disaster. I alone can fix this!” Stunned White House aides attributed the comments to a telephone conversation that evening between Trump …

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Deciphering the SAFE Rule

When the agencies say x, they mean y

I’m one of many environmental lawyers this morning poring over the just-released final rule rolling back federal fuel economy and climate emission standards for cars.  I’m finding it helpful to create a key, of sorts, to the Orwellian language I’m encountering.  Here you go!  Happy reading, everyone.   What it says   What it means …

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Still Not SAFE

The Trump administration moves ahead with plans to roll back Obama-era fuel economy standards.

After months of delay, the Trump administration has reportedly chosen this coming week—in the middle of a nationwide crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic—to finally release the second part of its two-part rollback of Obama-era automotive fuel economy standards.  This isn’t the only environmental rollback action the administration is planning to take during the coming …

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Uncertainty in the Age of Coronavirus

There’s a lot we don’t know at this point. How should we deal with that?

Knowledge about the coronavirus is limited but growing. In the meantime, how should we cope with this uncertainty?  I can’t give you psychological advice, but I can say something about how to think about this uncertainty. How to make decisions under uncertainty is something we know a lot about from the environmental sphere. Uncertainty is …

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Global Crisis and the Urgency of Phasing Out Oil and Gas Production

Considering long-term climate needs in near-term crisis responses

As the covid-19 crisis threatens a global recession and sharply cuts travel demand, compounding the damage caused by the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, US and international oil prices are hitting historic lows, driving turmoil throughout the industry and threatening a rash of bankruptcies, stranded projects, and job losses. These recent developments …

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Heathrow’s Third Runway and Airport GHG Emissions

California’s potential opportunity to lead through local action

Late last month, a UK court blocked a proposed new runway at London’s Heathrow Airport, ruling that the project conflicted with the national government’s commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement. The court held that project planners improperly failed to assess the proposal’s consistency with the UK government’s ratified plan to help meet the Paris target …

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