Ecosystems

What the Supreme Court Left Standing

No, the Court didn’t eliminate EPA’s ability to fight climate change.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in the West Virginia case left many people with the impression that it eliminated the government’s power to regulate carbon emissions. There are quite a number of areas of climate law that the Supreme Court has left untouched. Here’s the EPA authority the Court hasn’t touched: EPA’s jurisdiction over greenhouse gases.  …

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California Adopts Nation-Leading Legislation to Cut Plastic Pollution

Less than 10 percent of the world’s plastic waste is recycled. Photo credit: Bo Eide, Flickr

Extended producer responsibility law will reduce single-use waste and shift responsibility to industry

In a welcome reprieve from news coming out of the Supreme Court, here’s an uplifting story from the Golden State: On Thursday, Governor Newsom signed SB 54, a comprehensive piece of legislation aimed at significantly reducing single-use waste. The law will affect just about every type of plastic packaging you see walking down the supermarket …

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Desalination: An Essential Part of California’s Water Future

Coastal Commission’s Recent Rejection of Huntington Beach Desalination Project Misguided

Let me begin this commentary with a disclaimer: I was an early and strong proponent of Proposition 20, the successful 1972 California voter initiative measure that enacted the Coastal Act and created the California Coastal Commission (albeit temporarily).  I supported with equal enthusiasm the state Legislature’s 1976 enactment of legislation making both the Coastal Act …

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California Releases Draft Plan to Reach Carbon Neutrality by 2045

California’s Draft 2022 Scoping Plan is an ambitious, affordable, and actionable plan for addressing climate change

California’s lead climate and air quality agency published a comprehensive draft plan yesterday for how the state could reach its carbon neutrality goals by no later than 2045. The California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update (Draft Plan) assesses both California’s progress toward meeting its 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target …

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Olá Jeff

Governor of Amazonas calls on Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos (and other wealthy business leaders) to invest in a sustainable tropical forest economy

A new video from the governor of Amazonas kicks off with an informal salutation: “Olá, Jeff.” Directed at Jeff Bezos, the founder and former CEO of Amazon, the video is narrated in the voice of the Amazon rainforest and contrasts the activities and value of the mega corporation with that of the world’s largest tropical …

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Governors Launch Action Plan to Reduce Deforestation and Improve Lives in Forested Regions

Wilson Lima, Governor of Amazonas and chair of the GCF Task Force 12th Annual Meeting, introduces the Manaus Action Plan alongside other governors and high-level representatives. Photo credit: GCF Task Force

Manaus Action Plan for a New Forest Economy advances ambitious action at Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force 12th Annual Meeting hosted by state of Amazonas

For more than a decade of leadership and innovation, member states and provinces of the Governors’ Climate and Forests (GCF) Task Force have been developing strategies, programs, investment plans, and new legal structures to address tropical deforestation, embark on a low-emissions development path, and benefit their populations and the climate. These governments have developed jurisdiction-specific, …

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St. Paddy Meets Modern Environmental Law

It’s not a match made in heaven.

Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications An tAire Comhshaoil, Aeráide agus Cumarsáide Irish Republic March 17, 470 AD. Dear Mr. Saint Patrick, According to credible reports that have reached this office, you have been involved in the export (“banishing”) of snakes (reptiles of the suborder Serpentes) from Ireland.  We are unable to find an …

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Can we govern large-scale green infrastructure for multiple water benefits?

Yolo Bypass Aerial View

by Lidia Cano Pecharroman, Christopher Williams, Nell Green Nylen, and Michael Kiparsky

Green infrastructure is increasingly emphasized as an alternative, novel path for water infrastructure. The possibilities are intriguing: Can we transition from a landscape dominated by siloed grey infrastructure (think concrete and steel, constructed for one or a few key outcomes like water supply or flood control) to one that centers natural processes in water infrastructure …

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The Latest Chapter in Los Angeles’ Century-Long Water War With the Eastern Sierra’s People & Environment

LADWP’s Unilateral Revocation of Water Allocation to Mono County’s Farmers & Ranchers Triggers County’s CEQA Challenge

There LADWP goes again. Recently the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power announced it was walking away from its longstanding obligation to provide Mono County residents and the environment with a tiny fraction of the water it transports from Mono County to LADWP’s urban customers in Los Angeles.  When efforts by county officials to …

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Reforming the California Endangered Species Act

Updating the state’s landmark biodiversity law for the twenty-first century

California has a rich heritage of biodiversity, with many species found nowhere else in the world (including the iconic giant sequoia trees).  But California’s biodiversity faces grave threats – pressures from development that eliminates habitat; water shortages that harm aquatic species in California’s rivers; and climate change impacts that are shifting and altering habitats, among …

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