General

Common Ground on Climate: Understanding the US-China Joint Statement

After months of growing geopolitical tensions, the US and China have finally found something to agree on: the need to confront the climate crisis. In fact, two days of meetings last week in Shanghai between US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and his counterpart, Special Climate Envoy Xie Zhenhua have culminated in the …

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U.C. Davis School of Law Hosts “CEQA at 50” Conference on April 16th

CEQA at 50 logo

Virtual Event Commemorates Past, Predicts Future of the California Environmental Quality Act

Now a half-century old, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) remains California’s most important, cross-cutting and controversial environmental law.  Originally patterned on the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act, CEQA has over the decades become a more powerful law than its federal counterpart.  And while numerous other states have adopted their own “little NEPA” statutes, CEQA …

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Guest Contributors Kelsey Manes & Ashley Sykora: State Should Clean Up Los Angeles Parkways Impacted by Exide Pollution

Parkway garden in Los Angeles

Communities for a Better Environment and UCLA Environmental Law Clinic Urge State Agency to Reevaluate Inequitable Cleanup Proposal

We are UCLA Law students enrolled in the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic, a class in which students work on behalf of community and environmental groups to help advance client goals through legal advocacy. This semester, we worked with Communities for a Better Environment, a community-based environmental justice organization that works in heavily polluted …

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More NYC Oil

Second Circuit Creates Climate Change Preemption

A quick follow-up to Dan Farber’s post this morning regarding the Second Circuit ruling in City of New York v. Chevron.  I represented the State of California in the 2011 case, AEP v. Connecticut, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal common law applied to interstate climate change pollution (emissions of greenhouse gases), …

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Solar Geoengineering and Public Engagement Trolling

Illustration of the SCoPEx balloon and gondola

A first test of a long-planned outdoor solar geoengineering experiment has been delayed–again. Why?

It has been a busy week in solar geoengineering. Last week, the US National Academies released a report that offers recommendations for a research program and for governance of research. (A few of us will post our thoughts on the report here soon.) Here I discuss developments regarding outdoor solar geoengineering experiments, of which there have …

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A Preview: Major Property Rights Case Currently Before U.S. Supreme Court

Decision in Cedar Point Nursery Could Imperil Key Health, Safety & Environmental Programs

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a major property rights case from California: Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid.  That litigation arises in a labor law context.  But, depending on how the Court rules, the case could have major, deleterious impacts on a wide array of health, safety and environmental programs. …

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The Kolbert Report

Elizabeth Kolbert’s new book asks what it means to protect nature in the Anthropocene.

Elizabeth Kolbert’s new book, Under a White Sky, opens with the story of the battle to keep invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.  The problem exists because of two earlier interventions with nature.  A century ago, we reversed the flow of the Chicago river to keep the city’s pollutants out of Lake Michigan …

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Deconstructing the Supreme Court’s First Environmental Law Decision of the Year (Sort Of)…

…And Newly-Arrived Justice Barrett’s First Majority Opinion

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its first environmental law-related decision of its current Term–U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service v. Sierra Club.  I say “environmental law-related” because the heart of the case concerns whether certain federal government documents are disclosable to the public under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  But the case …

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“NIABYs” Obstruct Important Climate Change Research

Not in my backyard

Some activists say “not in my backyard,” but strident opponents of solar geoengineering argue “not in anyone’s backyard.”

A peculiar type of activism is manifesting with regard to solar geoengineering. This proposed set of technologies to reduce climate change has been subject to only a few outdoor experiments. One has been in the pipeline for almost a decade: The Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx) would involve the launch of a balloon into the …

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China’s 14th Five-Year Plan: A Missed Opportunity to Chart a Path to Carbon Neutrality?

Every five years China releases its blueprint for social and economic development and gives the world a preview of what’s to come. This year, on the heels of President Xi Jinping’s commitment to make China carbon neutral by 2060 and with the UN’s Conference of the Parties (COP 26) quickly approaching, expectations were particularly high …

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