Climate Change

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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Here’s a New Acronym: CBAM. You’re Going to be Seeing It a Lot.

European Union flag

The EU has taken a major step to pressure global industries to clean up their act.

In December, the EU provisionally adopted a carbon tariff on imports. The official name is the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, or CBAM for short. The purpose of the mechanism is that EU companies, unlike many in other countries, have to pay a price for the carbon emitted in manufacturing. They need a border adjustment to …

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Tightening the Net

Rainbow fishing nets in Malta

Tackling climate procrastination by closing the loopholes in ‘net-zero’ climate goals

The global stampede to adopt net-zero climate goals continues unabated. As a goal net-zero is achieved when any residual carbon emissions are counter-balanced fully by dedicated carbon removal. Delivered at a global level, this would stabilise global temperatures. Almost 70% of states (accounting for 90% of the world’s economic activity) have adopted net-zero goals, as …

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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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Is Bipartisanship Possible?

An image of the U.S. Capitol Building in the evening.

It’s not easy in today’s polarized politics. But maybe it’s not completely off the table.

We are now, as so often, in a time of divided government. That makes bipartisan cooperation necessary. We are also in a time of hyper-partisanship.  The problem may be compounded by the concessions made by McCarthy to the far Right in order to become Speaker.  Nevertheless, there may be some opportunities for cooperation across party …

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30 Years of U.S. Climate Policy

Here’s a timeline of the victories and defeats since 1992.

Thirty years ago, the United States joined the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The decades since then have been a saga of victories and defeats for U.S. climate policy.  Progress has been made under one President, only to be battered down by the next one. This to-and-fro is a sobering reminder of how …

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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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A Taste of Things to Come

Welcome to 2023. It’s going to be a wild ride.

In the past week, we’ve gotten a glimpse of what the next two years will look like. On the one hand, chaos in Congress. On the other hand, quiet progress toward environmental goals by the Biden Administration.  Both trends are likely to continue throughout this Congress and the second half of the presidential term. The …

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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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LA’s big step toward building electrification

A photograph of Los Angeles, taken at night

Los Angeles is about to require that new buildings be electric, but there’s a bigger decarbonization hurdle waiting.

The City of Los Angeles is going into the new year with a big new building-decarbonization ordinance: starting this year, nearly all new buildings in the city will have to be entirely electric. This means that, with few exceptions, new buildings will need to exclusively use electric appliances, and will not be allowed to contain …

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