Paris agreement

Trump and Climate Change

There’s Nothing Good to Be Said About It

A Trump Presidency is a disaster for U.S. leadership on climate change. There’s no other way to spin this election.  Myron Ebell, the head of Trump’s EPA transition team, thinks that President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is illegal, the Paris Agreement unconstitutional and that climate change “is nothing to worry about.”  Though most of the …

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Obama’s Remarkable Environmental Achievements

When you look at the whole of his legacy, it’s a stunning record.

When he leaves office in January, President Obama will have compiled a remarkable record of environmental achievements. The record spans everything from climate change to endangered species and ocean protection. We can only hope that next Tuesday’s election doesn’t undo many of these gains. Here is a list, in no particular order, of twenty of …

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Confronting the “Emissions Gap”

Long-term thinking and short-term deficiencies in climate change mitigation

With the Paris Agreement now ratified by 86 countries, and entering into force this Friday, countries have defined their first targets—the first round of nationally determined contributions (NDCs). The United States has pledged to reduce GHG emissions 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. This initial round of NDCs is significant, but represents only a short timeframe and …

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October Surprises: A Month of Major Advances in Climate Policy

October has seen major strides toward controlling greenhouse gases.

As the campaign seems to get more and more awful, I thought you might like to hear some good news. Behind the tumult of the campaign, there has been real progress in addressing climate change in the U.S. and around the world.  In particular, there were four major advances just this month. The first is that …

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Trump, Sanders Voters and Climate Change

If you need even one reason to vote for Clinton, climate change ought to suffice

I don’t pretend to understand the allure of Donald Trump.  I am an unabashed  supporter of Hillary Clinton.  I appreciate that many people I know and respect are Bernie Sanders supporters.  I am hoping that, once Clinton officially becomes the  Democratic candidate for President, Sanders supporters will work hard to elect Clinton as President, even …

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The Decision to Halt the Implementation of the Clean Power Plan is Outrageous

And Inconsistent with the Law

As I wrote earlier today, there is nothing good to be said about the U.S. Supreme Court decision today that halted the implementation of the President’s Clean Power Plan.  The decision is a huge blow to the President’s climate agenda, it’s a setback for the Paris Agreement and it is a bad sign that the …

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Initial Thoughts on the Supreme Court Staying the Clean Power Plan

Short Answer: There’s Nothing Good to Say About it

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 half-page order, dealt the Obama Administration a big blow today by preventing its Clean Power Plan from going into effect until the case can be heard on its merits.  We know from the order that the Court split in the usual way, with the four more liberal members of the Court …

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Want an Economy-Wide Cap on U.S. Climate Emissions? Consider This Corner of the Clean Air Act

New report on Section 115 of the Act suggests an interesting post-Paris approach

A largely-untapped provision of the Clean Air Act authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop and implement an economy-wide, market-based program to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions and achieve the Obama Administration’s Paris Agreement pledge, according to a report released today by several coordinating law school centers, including the Emmett Institute at UCLA.  See …

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Does the Paris Agreement Open the Door to Geoengineering?

If we’re serious keeping warming “well below 2°C, geoengineering may be necessary.

The Paris establishes an aspiration goal of holding climate change to 1.5°C, with a firmer goal of holding the global temperature decrease “well below” 2°C. As a practical matter, the 1.5°C goal almost certainly would require geoengineering, such as injecting aerosols into the stratosphere or solar mirrors. Even getting well below 2°C is likely to …

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China and the Paris Agreement

The Long Road from Copenhagen to Paris

Six years ago in Copenhagen, China was seen as the spoiler. A widely read article claimed that China had “wrecked” the Copenhagen deal. One of China’s lead negotiators suggested that American envoy Todd Stern was “ignorant,” lacking in “common sense” or “extremely irresponsible.” What a difference a few years can make. On Saturday in Paris, …

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