Climate Change

Lights Out, Everybody’s Home

Protecting California’s Most Vulnerable from Climate Effects

Today, rather than walking to campus, I’m home learning the features of Zoom Conference to conduct meetings and classes remotely: UC Berkeley’s campus is shut for its second day in a row, as Pacific Gas and Electric seeks to minimize risk of a wildfire (and associated liability) in the present high wind conditions. Even as […]

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Planned Outages, Planning for Resilience, and Reducing Emissions

The power shutoffs begun yesterday by Pacific Gas & Electric across swaths of Northern California, cutting electricity for hundreds of thousands of Californians, are many things: a serious risk for vulnerable and immobilized populations; an economic hit for local businesses; a tremendous inconvenience for everyone; both an outrage and industry best practice, according to Governor […]

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Sixth International Geoengineering Governance Summer School, 2019

A brief report from a recent Emmett-convened event

As the severity of climate change risks and the inability of current efforts to adequately limit risks become clear, geoengineering technologies – active large-scale environmental interventions to reduce disruptions caused by elevated greenhouse gases – are increasingly receiving attention and generating controversy. These proposals would either remove and sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide or modify the […]

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Let Discovery Begin!

Unless the Supreme Court intervenes, discovery can begin in the Baltimore climate nuisance case

The oil companies that have fought cities around the country that have filed climate change nuisance cases against them may finally have to tell plaintiffs’ lawyers about what they knew about the connection between climate change and their business activities, when they knew  it, and what they did in response.  The Fourth Circuit Court of […]

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Climate Politics Down Under

Australia is leaping from the frying pan into the fire.

Australian climate politics has been strange if not chaotic.  And in terms of climate policy, things seems to be going from bad to worse. This is partly a function of general political upheaval. In an enlightening 2018 paper, three University of Melbourne law professors (Baxter. Milligan, and McRae) traced the developments from 2007 to 2016. […]

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In Defense of Live Carbon II: Subnational Leadership in the Fight Against Tropical Deforestation

From California to Brazil, state and provinces around the world are stepping up to fight tropical deforestation.  They need and deserve more support.

The fires burning in Brazil and the broader Amazon basin have shined a spotlight on the role of forests and land use in the climate change challenge.  For the first time in many years, the fate of tropical forests and their connection to our common future have captured the public imagination around the world.  There […]

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The filibuster and climate change legislation

Should we eliminate the Senate filibuster to advance climate change legislation

As the Democratic Presidential primary season has unfolded, a number of the candidates have argued for eliminating the filibuster in the Senate completely.  (It is currently gone for confirmation of nominations of judges and executive branch officials, but remains for substantive legislation.)  So has former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. One of the key […]

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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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Defending the Environment, Deep in the Heart of Dixie

It’s not hospitable territory for environmental work, but some law schools are still trying.

National environmental groups tend not to devote many resources to the Deep South.  State governments and often courts are barren ground for environmental arguments.  And.the local activist community is also thin.  Law schools are also fewer in number than in the Northeast or Pacific Coasts.  So what’s going on in those schools in the environmental […]

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