Although reducing emissions remains essential, it is time to focus on additional responses
Last month, representatives of all countries gathered for their annual meeting to prevent climate change. Despite the motto “Time for Action,” the New York Times described it as “one of the worst outcomes in a quarter-century of climate negotiations.” Should we be surprised? Disappointed? Despairing? I believe that insufficient cuts in greenhouse gas emissions — …CONTINUE READING
Trump’s Scientific Advisory Board Slams Proposed EPA Rules
Trump has appointed most of the members of EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), many of them selected from industry. That effort to stack SAB in favor of deregulation apparently wasn’t a complete success. In draft reports issued this week, the SAB scathingly criticized those efforts and even went so far as to give a nod …CONTINUE READING
A bad year in many ways, but with promising signs for the future.
It’s been a tumultuous and often grim year in terms of environmental protection. The Trump Administration continued its onslaught against environmental protection, completing major regulatory rollbacks. Nevertheless, there were some rays of sun through the darkening clouds. State Initiatives. Progress as the state level continued, as it has throughout the Trump Administration. New York State …CONTINUE READING
A recent report from the Petroleum Administrator relied on incorrect and incomplete legal assumptions about the City’s potential liability to oil and gas operators. Here’s why it matters.
This week, Sean Hecht and I (in our capacity as attorneys in the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic at UCLA School of Law) sent a letter on behalf of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust to Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, and the Los Angeles City Council. (Our letter built …CONTINUE READING
As international climate action falters, the two climate leaders can fill the void
Note: this post is co-authored with Fan Dai, director of the University of California’s California-China Climate Institute. With the high-profile failure of last week’s UN climate conference in Madrid, the focus of international action on climate change will need to shift to political leaders of key global economies. We attended the conference in Madrid on …CONTINUE READING
Like many humans, the Twenty-First Century’s teenage years were stormy.
“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” That pretty much sums up the ten years from January 2010 to January 2020. As the decade began, Barrack Obama was in the White House and the Democrats controlled Congress but were one vote short of a filibuster-proof majority in the House. Under …CONTINUE READING
Reflections on Stopping Speeding Locomotives and Falling Off Cliffs
In my last post, I sketched a few of the many intense tensions and contradictions swirling around this year’s Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC). In this post, I’ll try to make some sense of the biggest tension of all, one that folks working on climate are …CONTINUE READING
Like Canute & the ocean, Trump may wave his hands, but he can’t stop the tide.
Coal is just about the worst possible way of generating electricity in terms of its climate impacts. It’s also a serious public health hazard due to the particulates, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides it produces. Thus, reducing the use of coal is a high priority. How did we do in 2019? The short answer is …CONTINUE READING
The Montreal Protocol offers lessons for climate change, but not a role model
In an extended piece yesterday, The New York Times editorial board wrote that “The World Solved the Ozone Problem. It Can Solve Climate Change. The same tools that fixed the ozone hole — science, innovation and international action — can address.” Although the editorial was mostly correct, it missed what I believe to be the …CONTINUE READING
The move toward renewables is continuing despite Trump.
Despite the efforts of the Trump Administration, renewable energy has continued to thrive. Key states are imposing rigorous deadlines for reducing power generation from fossil fuels. Economic trends are also supporting renewables. In the first half of 2019, Texas produced more power from renewables than coal. Texas may be content to rely on market forces, …CONTINUE READING