There is much to celebrate tomorrow on Cinco de Mayo. But probably not Mexican climate policy.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (generally known as AMLO) could be described as a left-leaning populist. Like other populist leaders, he has not been friendly to climate action. In November, Mexico ramped up its 2030 commitment under the Paris Agreement from 22% to 35%. That sounds like great news, but there may be less to …CONTINUE READING
Proposed changes will make CBA more climate friendly.
Last week, the Biden White House released proposed changes in the way the government does cost-benefit analysis. CBA has been a key part of rule making for forty years. The proposal is very technical and low-key, but the upshot will be that efforts to reduce carbon emissions will get a leg up. In particular, the …CONTINUE READING
‘Yes’ under some reparation theories, ‘no’ under others.
At the international negotiating session in Egypt, demands for climate reparations — “Loss and Damage” in UN lingo — were front and center. The debate was focused on the obligations of developed countries. But there was another issue percolating in the background: Does China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, have an obligation to compensate poorer …CONTINUE READING
An unfamiliar concept for most that just might make cost-benefit analysis more progressive.
A technique called equity weighting could make regulation more progressive. Implementing this technique may be harder than it sounds, however, for a variety of practical, legal, and political reasons. Agencies might do best to use equity weighting as a way to check their regulatory decisions rather than as their main decision tool.CONTINUE READING
Why race is an important factor to consider
Last Friday, the White House Council on Environmental Quality released its long-awaited Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool. The screening tool will guide the Biden Administration’s implementation of its Justice40 Initiative that directs that 40 percent of certain federal investment programs benefit disadvantaged communities. However, like may legal scholars predicted and the White House foreshadowed, …CONTINUE READING
Even if we miss our targets, simply shaving or flattening the carbon curve would be worth fighting for.
Although lacking the same eloquence, today’s post is in the spirit of Churchill’s famous speech promising that Britain would “fight on the beaches, … we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” My point is this: No matter how many battles we end up losing in the fight to stop carbon emissions, we …CONTINUE READING
Is climate change itself a form of colonialism?
“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” That’s what we learned in my grade school. Today, Columbus Day remains a day of celebration for some but has become a symbols of colonialism for others. Rather than entering that debate, I’d like to reflect on how issues of colonialism might relate to climate change. The study …CONTINUE READING
Environmental action has become linked to the fight against inequality. But there are different visions of this linkage.
Equality concerns have loomed large in American thought for at least the past decade, exemplified by demonstrations against “the one percent” and the Black Lives Matter movement. These concerns have also moved toward center stage in environmental law. This has been a major shift in emphasis that seems likely to reshape the meaning of environmentalism. …CONTINUE READING
Are the two in conflict? What should we make of the attacks on Mary Nichols?
Mary Nichols, the frontrunner to head EPA, was knocked out of contention earlier this week. She would have been a formidable choice to implement Biden’s climate policies. For that reason, it wasn’t clear whether she would have the votes to get through the narrowly divided Senate. But she was ultimately taken down by the fierce …CONTINUE READING
If the goal is to give decision makers the tools to make better decision, a single-dimensional metric isn’t the way to go.
One key issue facing Biden on January 20 will be the role of the the White House regulatory czar. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is a tiny White House agency that is virtually unknown to the public. Yet it exercises outsized influence. OIRA is charged with screening all proposed government regulations using a strict …CONTINUE READING