Climate Change

RIP Jim Mahoney, Climate Champion At Bank Of America

Financial executive helped launch UC Berkeley/UCLA Law “Climate Change and Business Initiative”

Jim Mahoney was perhaps an unlikely climate hero. A senior Bank of America and FleetBoston Financial executive for 25 years who tragically passed away this past weekend at the age of 67 (the result of complications from injuries he sustained in a bicycle accident last year), Jim’s work focused on global corporate strategy and public …

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What Will Harris’s Nomination Mean for the Environment?

She’s been outspoken on climate and EJ issues, but her core interests may be elsewhere.

Kamala Harris has taken some strong positions on climate change and environmental justice.  Her nomination signals the extent to which the Democratic party now embraces those issues.  However, to the extent one can judge from her public record, her highest priority interests have been elsewhere during her time in the Senate. While campaigning for the …

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UCLA Law Faculty Weigh In on Solar Geoengineering Experiment at Harvard

How to engage the public when everyone on Earth is a stakeholder?

  It’s been a surprisingly busy year for solar geoengineering research. In late December, Congress appropriated $4 million to NOAA to study the influence of atmospheric aerosols on climate, with an eye on assessing “solar climate interventions.” In March, Australian scientists ran a trial of a cloud-seeding technology on the Great Barrier Reef that may …

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What’s next for US-China environmental cooperation?

U.S.-China relations are perhaps at their lowest point in decades and there is no end in sight at the moment. Each week brings a barrage of new U.S. federal policy measures aimed at China. Against this backdrop, ChinaFile recently asked a group of China experts to opine on the prospects for U.S.-China relations in coming …

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Hot Spots

Climate change isn’t uniform. Some parts of the U.S. are seeing conditions that won’t hit elsewhere for decades.

Friday’s Washington Post had a fascinating article about climate change hotspots within the United States.  The largest one was on the Western Slope of the Rockies, which has already seen 2 °C of warming.  The story is a reminder that the impacts of climate change will be global and yet also very much local. Before …

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Planning a Green Recovery

Don’t let the opportunity for a green stimulus go to waste.

The economy crashed during the lockdown. Although a recovery has begun,  government action will probably be needed to sustain it. We should seize this opportunity to make progress on sustainability. It’s hard to know the long-term economic impact of the pandemic. As Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Schiller has said, “Big events like a pandemic have …

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Election 2020: State Legislatures

The Outlook for State Climate Policy Might Improve

The key political races aren’t just about the White House or Congress.  Control of state legislatures will also be important in shaping climate and energy policy — not to mention their ultimate effect on the composition of the U.S. House due to redistricting. One of my themes is the importance of state government to climate …

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Guest Blogger John Graham: California Court Decision Will Affect Future Use of Carbon Offsets to Mitigate Emissions of Development

Aerial view in San Diego, California, looking roughly north toward San Diego State University.

The California Court of Appeal Rules San Diego County’s Climate Action Plan Violates CEQA

The challenge to San Diego County’s Climate Action Plan (“CAP”) in Golden Door has been closely watched by many interested in the use of carbon offsets to mitigate GHG impacts in California. Simply put, carbon offsets are mechanisms that reflect off-site GHG reductions—from activities like reforestation—that can, in some cases, compensate for a project’s GHG …

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Climate Litigation 2020

Here’s the state of play and some thoughts about the future.

Trump Administration has been a fertile source of litigation. With the election only about three months away, this seems like a good time to see how things stand in climate-related case.  In a nutshell, climate litigation has been a growth industry under Trump, and the Administration has done poorly in court. The Current State of …

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Wasting Away in Methaneville

Another Trump rollback gets slapped down in court.

A week ago, a federal district court overturned yet another ill-conceived rollback by the Trump Administration. The case, California v. Bernhardt, involved releases of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The legal flaws in the rollback by the Bureau of Land Management, are all too typical of the Administration’s work product. The Administration has repeatedly lost …

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