Climate Change

Getting to 2050

A roadmap for achieving an 80% emissions cut.

To do its part in keeping climate change to tolerable levels, the United States needs to cut its carbon emissions at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.  That’s not just a matter of decarbonizing the electricity sector; it means changes in everything from aviation to steel manufacture, and reducing not only CO2 but also […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Revive Challenge to Oregon Clean Fuels Program

Legal Challenges to Oregon & California Vehicle Fuel Carbon-Intensity Standards Close to the End of the Line, Clearing Path Forward to Transformative Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transportation Sector

This past Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of a federal appeals court decision upholding the legality of Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program. That decision finally frees Oregon’s program from uncertainty from what was seen as a significant legal challenge. The program, modeled after the similar California Low Carbon Fuel Standard developed by the California […]

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Phase Changes in Public Opinion

Public opinion on an issue like climate change can sometimes flip quickly. Here’s why.

You might think that the public’s view of an issue – climate change for instance – would evolve continuously as events occur and information becomes available. That often may be the case, but sometimes public opinion can change relatively quickly. A prime example is the legitimacy of same-sex marriage, which went from being a weird, […]

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In Defense of Live Carbon

Why Stopping Deforestation May be the Hardest and Most Important Part of the Climate Change Challenge

When contemplating the enormous challenge of global climate change, it is sometimes helpful to think about a simple model of the global carbon budget (see figure below).  These admittedly reductionist schematics distinguish between sources, sinks, and reservoirs.  Fossil hydrocarbons from the geological reservoir–call this dead carbon—are extracted and burned to generate energy, emitting vast amounts […]

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Climate Change and Your Family’s Future

How much climate change will you see in your lifetime? How about your kids? 

If you think about yourself and the two generations after you, a lot depends on your current age, whether you already have kids, etc.  To keep this from getting too complicated, let’s focus on someone who was born in the US at the start of the millennium, in 2000.  To simplify, I won’t specify gender […]

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ARPA-E: Surviving and Thriving Despite Trump

Trump keeps trying to kill it, but the energy innovation hub keeps on going.

In the long run, supporting energy innovation is among the most important things the federal government can do to address climate change. Naturally, Trump wants to end that. In what has become an annual ritual, his most recent budget proposal calls for eliminating the  Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).  The agency’s mission is to support […]

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Pouring More Concrete Just Increases Traffic, Part The Millionth

In Other News, Water Is Wet

  Department of Duh: Five years ago this month, a northbound carpool lane opened on the 405 freeway, between the 10 and 101 freeways, widening 10 miles of the interstate. It took half a decade to construct and cost more than $1 billion. Since then, average northbound drive times through the Sepulveda Pass have increased at all […]

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From Brussels to the Bay: Sustainable Finance in the EU & California

Berkeley Law Conference on Thursday, May 23rd, with State Controller Betty Yee, European Commission Director Mario Nava & CLEE’s Dave Jones

Join Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) and the European Union for a roundtable discussion on regulatory developments in sustainable finance and responsible investment. Hear from European Commission Director Mario Nava, of DG FISMA (the European Commission department responsible for EU policy on banking and financial services) on the state of […]

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HR 9: The First Climate Bill to Pass the House In a Decade

What you need to know about the bill.

Last Thursday, for the first time in a decade, the House of Representatives passed a climate change bill.  HR 9, the Climate Action Now Act, passed on a vote of 231-190. The heart of HR 9 is section 3, which blocks the use of any federal funds to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.  Section 4 […]

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International Conference On Electric Vehicles & Urban Residents

Register Today For UC Berkeley Law Event On June 4th & 5th, Co-Organized By University of Paris

Policy makers and industry leaders have a tough challenge making electric vehicles accessible for the world’s urban residents. Many apartment dwellers lack access to dedicated spots with electricity to charge the vehicles, while other city residents may need access to shared EVs to get around city streets. Unless EV leaders can solve these challenges, global […]

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