Climate Adaptation

Dear 1L . . .

You couldn’t have picked a more critical time to come to law school, for the country, the planet, and our future.

Dear 1L: You’ve gotten to law school at a crucial time for the future of the planet. The good news is that you’re arriving at a pivotal point when your work as a lawyer can make a big difference. The bad news is that we have a dwindling amount of time to get the situation …

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The Major Money Doctrine 

Senate passes biggest climate legislation ever.

In June, the Supreme Court trimmed EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gases. The Court used the “Major Question Doctrine,” which says that issues of “vast political and economic significance” must be decided by Congress.  Senate Democrats gave their response on Sunday: the Major Money Doctrine. They passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which provides over …

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Climate Adaptation Moves Toward Center Stage

There’s an increasing bipartisan move to fund climate resilience.

The big news today is the deal with Manchin to  provide billions of dollars of funding for clean energy. Manchin’s vote will be needed because no Republican Senator will vote for the bill.  In contrast, funding for climate resilience has drawing power even for Republicans. It seems to be true that, in Bob Dylan’s words …

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Will Russia “Win” the Climate Crisis?

It’s complicated. But probably not.

The conventional view is that climate change is going to be a great thing for Russia.  The reason is pretty obvious: a lot of Russia is cold and icy right now; warming will be an improvement. That’s likely to be true in some ways, but warming may be a mixed blessing. Whether what is good …

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My Kind of Town

Climate change is coming to Chicago and Lake Michigan.

“My kind of town, Chicago is my kind of town.” Or so Frank Sinatra sang. I’m not sure he really felt that way himself, but the song rings a chord with me.  I didn’t grow up in Chicago but we visited frequently to see my parents’ families. Chicago is also, as it turns out, ground …

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Mexico y el Cambio Climático

There is much to celebrate today. But Mexican climate policy may not be one of them.

This being Cinco de Mayo, it seems like an appropriate time for a look at Mexico’s climate challenges.  Mexico’s carbon emissions are about the same as those of Texas, the highest-emitting US state. Per capita emissions, however, are far lower, given Mexico’s much larger population. Mexico is also highly vulnerable to climate change. What’s the …

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Turning Wildfire Treatment Debris Into Marketable Wood Products

New report & May 9th webinar offer solutions to reduce emissions and improve wildfire resilience

Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) and UCLA Law’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change & the Environment are releasing today a new policy report: Branching Out: Waste Biomass Policies To Promote Wildfire Resilience and Emission Reduction. The report offers solutions to develop a sustainable market for the residual waste material generated …

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Future Shock

The latest IPCC report contains crucial new information about how soon and how bad climate impacts will be.

When the IPCC released its latest climate science report a few weeks ago, many commentators observed that the report should heighten our sense of urgency about climate action. Most of that discussion was at a very general level. It’s worth taking a closer look at some key findings and their policy implications. Here, I want …

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California needs water law reform

Time to update 19th century law to meet 21st century reality

California’s water law was developed in the 19th century. It has not been comprehensively reformed since, despite substantial population growth, changing social values, and the appointment 45 years ago of a blue-ribbon commission to recommend changes. Now the “new normal” of the anthropocene promises reduced water availability coincident with increased demand. It is past time …

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Sea Level Rise Legislation Gets Second Chance

Imperial Beach, CA

Senator Ben Allen introduces SB 1078, drawing on vetoed SB 83 (2021)

This week, Senator Ben Allen introduced SB 1078, a bill that would create a Sea Level Rise Revolving Loan Pilot Program to help coastal cities plan proactively for the effects of climate change.  The law draws heavily from the framework of SB 83, which students in the California Environmental Legislation and Policy Clinic worked on, …

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