Google Earth Engine and Forest Offsets in California Cap-and-Trade

Last week, Google Labs released Google Earth Engine, an online platform for viewing and analyzing satellite imagery and data.  The platform’s strengths are ease of use for viewing images, collaboration tools, and use of Google’s computing infrastructure to analyze the satellite data.  Google intends to use the platform to, among other things, help developing countries …


Environmental Property Rights: Part II

The previous post in this series introduced the idea of environmental property rights. There are a surprising number of EPRs.  A complete listing would include at least nine kinds of EPRs:  In addition to the public trust doctrine and tradable permits (which were discussed in the first part of the series), here are seven more: …


An Important New Working Paper Series

The Energy and Resources Group (ERG) at UC Berkeley has begun a new series of working papers.  The series will feature new research on energy, sustainability, and social justice. The first paper to be posted is “Measuring Emissions Against An Alternative Future: Fundamental Flaws in the Structure of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.”  The …


It’s the Enforcement, Stupid!

We rightly celebrate large legislative environmental victories like the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.  Europeans, too, are proud of accomplishments such as the establishment of the European Union Emission Trading System to address greenhouse gas emissions through cap and trade and the passage of sweeping legislation, …


Making Offsets Transparent

Solve Climate has posted a letter from five state Attorneys General expressing concerns about several provisions of Waxman-Markey (a/k/a ACES).  One suggestion they made, in particular, struck me as very persuasive: [T]he House bill does not require public disclosure of all offset project documentation, including project eligibility applications, monitoring and verification reports for agricultural or …


Offsets and Waxman Markey

Will the massive number of offsets allowed under the proposed Waxman-Markey climate change bill destroy its effectiveness?   Waxman-Markey allows for a huge number of offsets from both domestic and international sources – up to 2 billion tons.   Some analysts estimate that if all of these offsets are used domestic emissions will not begin to decline until …