international environmental law
A short history of climate action in Europe’s economic powerhouse
We need to understand the history of climate action as we plan for the future. In terms of climate leadership, Americans tend to think of California. At the global level, however, Germany has its own claim to a leadership role, particularly in its early support for renewable energy. It has helped to shape EU climate …CONTINUE READING
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
The original plan involved top-down global and US emission limits. They never happened.
When the campaign to cut carbon emissions began in the last decade of the 20th Century, there seemed to be a clear path forward. International negotiations would begin with a framework convention, followed by a later global agreement capping carbon emissions. Within the US, Congress would enact legislation cutting carbon emissions. By the end of …CONTINUE READING
The year-end law gives a boost to climate-related spending
The omnibus spending bill is by no means a “climate law.” Because it spans the entire government, though, it has many provisions relating to climate change. They aren’t dramatic step forward. But the fact that they can pass as part of a bipartisan spending law is a sign of how climate change is slowly becoming …CONTINUE READING
What’s Happening in the World’s Second Largest Country?
India is home to 1.39 billion people, just below China but growing faster. By some projections, it will have the second largest economy in the world by 2050. In terms of climate policy, however, it doesn’t get nearly as much attention as China. That’s understandable in terms of India’s current carbon emissions, which are now …CONTINUE READING
As in the U.S., it’s not all about the national government. Not by any means.
Last week, I posted about the British government’s climate policy. In sharp contrast with their American counterparts, British conservatives remain firmly behind the Paris Agreement and supportive of cap-and-trade. In another respect, though, there’s more similarity: in both countries, subnational governments play a key role in climate policy. Here’s what’s happening across Great Britain. Regional …CONTINUE READING
The environment is also a victim of the Russian invasion — perhaps to the point of being a war crime.
Memorial Day began as a day to commemorate the Civil War dead, then became a day to commemorate the dead from many wars. But war’s toll goes beyond direct harm to humans. The environment also suffers. On top of its human tragedies, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is also wreaking environmental havoc. One source of …CONTINUE READING
Courts in other Western countries are stepping up to the climate challenge.
The atmosphere for climate litigation in our Supreme Court is decidedly chilly. Some of its peers in other countries have taken a much different approach. US lawyers tend to be inward focused, adept at understanding our own legal system but largely unaware of developments elsewhere. Here, I want to briefly summarize some key rulings. Germany. …CONTINUE READING
Last week featured some remarkable developments relating to climate policy.
Some events last week sent a strong signal that the tide is turning against fossil fuels. Each of the events standing alone would have been noteworthy. The clustering of these events dramatizes an important shift. To paraphrase Churchill, this may not be beginning of the end for fossil fuels, but at least it is the …CONTINUE READING
A lot will need to be done to undo Trump’s harm to global cooperation. Here’s a start.
Trump’s hostility domestic environmental regulation is notorious. He also stalled or backpedaled on the international front. Here are seven steps that President Biden could take to remedy the situation. Rejoin the Paris Agreement. The U.S. needs to immediately rejoin the Paris Agreement. It also needs to update its climate target, because we can do a …CONTINUE READING