California

How California (and the World) Get to 30×30

COP15 in Montreal ended with a pledge to protect 30 percent of the planet by 2030. UCLA student analysis shows what we can learn from California’s own plan.

By Ashley Anderson, Elana Nager, and Madeline Ward As 2022 wound down, the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) convened in Montreal. The conference ended with around 190 of the world’s nations adopting the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, which establishes four goals and twenty-three targets to be achieved by 2030. The most prominent of these …

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What Is Water Use, Anyway?

We Have Met The Enemy, And He Is Us

We all know the story, and the percentages:  of water used by human beings in California (i.e. not going to environmental uses), agriculture uses a whopping 80%. So it makes little sense to call on urban users to conserve, so the story goes, until ag goes first. Certainly nonprofits like Food and Water Watch think …

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Are Front Lawns Unconstitutional?

In California, They Are

Textually, this is not difficult. Article X Section 2 of the California Constitution reads: The right to water or to the use or flow of water in or from any natural stream or water course in this State is and shall be limited to such water as shall be reasonably required for the beneficial use …

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How Much Rain is L.A. Capturing?

Local measures like Measure W are working. But more needs to be done to capture stormwater and rainwater.

At least nine atmospheric rivers blasted California between December 20th and January 15th, causing flooding and extensive damage, while also delivering much needed precipitation to our parched state. The Los Angeles County Public Works Department announced recently that more than 33 billion gallons of stormwater have been captured in the early months of the winter …

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The fight over California’s greenhouse gas and ZEV car standards continues

UCLA Clinic files amicus brief on behalf of Sen. Carper and Rep. Pallone to uphold standards

Of the many achievements of California’s legendary legislator Fran Pavley, one of the most remarkable is then-Assemblywoman Pavley’s modest bill, AB 1493, which directed California to become the first jurisdiction in the country to control greenhouse gas emissions from cars.  That bill, introduced in 2001 and passed the next year, told the California Air Resources …

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My Farewell to UCLA

Leaving UCLA to join Earthjustice is exciting, and bittersweet, for me

This will be my final Legal Planet post as a member of the UCLA faculty. After 20 wonderful years at UCLA School of Law, directing our Environmental Law Center and Wells Clinic and then co-directing our Emmett Institute with Cara Horowitz, I’m leaving to join Earthjustice as the managing attorney of the organization’s California Regional …

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What Would King Do?

California “YIGBY” Bill Could Empower Churches To Add Affordable Housing

As Martin Luther King day ends here on the west coast, the role of churches and religious institutions looms large. King’s activism arose out of his spiritual commitment. And in California, it looms large in a surprising way concerning the built environment. Land use is (in)famous for its acronyms: NIMBY, BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere …

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Plutocracy Comes Home To Roost

Gavin Newsom Abandons His Climate Commitments To Favor His Billionaire Contributors

Well, well, well, what a surprise: not. Last year, when he single-handedly defeated Proposition 30 but falsely claiming it was a handout to Lyft, Gavin Newsom claimed it was unnecessary because of the state’s investments in clean energy. This was also false, since under its own estimates, the state would be nearly 1 million chargers …

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Advances in State Climate Policy

Despite the distractions of a national election, there were important developments around the country.

Last year, Congress took its first big step into climate policy by passing blockbuster spending measures. Nonetheless, many states are ahead of the Feds in climate policy. There were important developments in a multitude of states. California remained a hotspot for climate action. In terms of transportation emissions, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved …

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ 10 Most Important Environmental Law Decisions of 2022

Climate Change, Water Rights, Environmental Justice & Federalism Issues Highlighted the Ninth Circuit’s Prodigious Environmental Docket This Year

I’ve shared in previous posts my view that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is–after the U.S. Supreme Court–the most influential court in the nation when it comes to environmental and natural resources law.  That’s true for two related reasons: first, the sprawling Ninth Circuit encompasses nine different states (including California) and …

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