China

In Search of Climate Ambition

COP25 China Pavillion

China can lead the way in 2020, but will it?

China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, has the opportunity to enhance global ambition on climate change action this coming year in the run-up to COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. The question is whether it will do so. I attended COP25 in Madrid this month with colleagues and students on behalf of UCLA’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change and …

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Post-Madrid, China And California Have An Opportunity To Lead

As international climate action falters, the two climate leaders can fill the void

Note: this post is co-authored with Fan Dai, director of the University of California’s California-China Climate Institute. With the high-profile failure of last week’s UN climate conference in Madrid, the focus of international action on climate change will need to shift to political leaders of key global economies. We attended the conference in Madrid on …

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Yes, It’s That Time of Year Again

If you read Legal Planet, you know why the work we do matters.

There couldn’t be a more important time for the work we do,  given the urgency of the climate crisis and the ongoing policy disaster in D.C.  Like everyone else, I’m sure you find fundraising appeals annoying.  That’s why we hardly ever do them on Legal Planet. But twice a year doesn’t seem like too much …

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Things to Be Thankful For

Despite the Trump Administration’s efforts, there are rays of hope.

Three years into the Trump Administration, we’re now accustomed to waking up every morning to learn about a new attack on the environment.  But there are also some things to be thankful for. Here’s how I started a similar post in 2017, just a year after the 2016 election: “Overall, it’s been a pretty lousy …

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A New California-China Cooperation on Climate Change

China and the United States are the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world, accounting for some 45 percent of global emissions. The world is unlikely to find a solution to climate change without aggressive action from both. With the Trump administration retreating from climate action, U.S. states and cities are pushing to …

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Launching the California-China Climate Institute

Welcoming a famous new faculty member and a critical new initiative.

I have two exciting announcements to make.  The first is that Jerry Brown has accepted an appointment as visiting professor at the law school and the College of Natural Resources (CNR) at Berkeley.  That appointment would be exciting enough. But it goes hand in hand with my other news: the public launch of the California-China …

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Why are automakers fighting Trump’s emissions rollback?

The answer may lie in the electric vehicle investments the industry is busy making

As we move ever deeper into an all-out legal war between California and the Trump Administration over rollbacks of automobile emissions standards (something Ann, Cara, and Julia have been covering very well), I want to explore in a little more depth why the automakers have been so resistant to Trump’s rollback efforts. The auto industry …

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China’s Energy Transition: Q&A with Barbara Finamore, Senior Attorney and Asia Senior Strategic Director, Natural Resources Defense Council

Barbara Finamore

Barbara Finamore is an attorney and leading expert for Natural Resources Defense Council on a wide range of China climate, energy, and environmental issues. I worked with Finamore to found NRDC’s Beijing office in 2006. In her new book Will China Save the Planet?, Finamore explores efforts by China, today the world’s largest emitter of …

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China in the Global Environment — Q&A with Isabel Hilton, Founder and CEO of chinadialogue.net

Isabel Hilton UCLA Law event

Isabel Hilton is a leading journalist whose current work spotlights the impact of China’s growing economy on people and the environment. Her work has appeared in the Financial Times, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, the New Yorker, and many other publications. In 2006, Hilton launched chinadialogue.net, a groundbreaking website that publishes reporting and analysis …

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Will There Be a Global Environmental Constitution?

Global Pact for the Environment, draft cover

The potential of a proposed Global Pact for the Environment remains uncertain

The 1990s were the heyday of international environmental lawmaking. The 1992 United Nations “Rio Conference” on Environment and Development catalyzed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Convention on Biological Diversity, and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. The decade also witnessed the launch of the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent as well as protocols  …

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