General

California Year In Fire Report

A Multi-Dimensional View of Wildfire Impacts

On behalf of CLEE and the Climate and Wildfire Institute (CWI), and with additional support from the Moore Foundation, I am pleased to announce publication of the California Year in Fire Report.  Wildfire and the risk of wildfire impact far more than acres burned.  This Report is an effort to provide a more multi-dimensional view …

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Ranking Presidents on Climate Change

Seven presidents, seven very different legacies.

Although a 1977 memo alerted Jimmy Carter to the problem of climate change, the first tentative responses to climate change didn’t emerge until he left the White House. Since then, there have been seven very different men in the White House.  You may find the rankings surprising. Here’s how I would rank them, from best …

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We Crossed 1.5 C. Did We Breach the Paris Agreement?

Here’s what the recent rise in global temperature means for international climate targets.

If you’re not a climate scientist—and maybe even if you are—reading news headlines this month has been confounding and a little scary. “In First, Earth’s Temperature Breached Key Threshold Over a 12 Month Period” is how the Wall Street Journal put it. “Earth Just Experienced 12 Months Of Global Temperatures Above Critical 1.5C Climate Threshold,” …

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Evaluating Voluntary Agreements in the Bay-Delta Watershed

Satellite image of California, centered on the Bay-Delta watershed. The Central Valley shows up prominently, with green agricultural fields rimmed by drier brown land, surrounded by mountains.

by Nell Green Nylen, Felicia Marcus, Dave Owen, and Michael Kiparsky

Updates to flow and other regulatory requirements for California’s Bay-Delta watershed are long overdue.  For much of the last 12 years, state political leadership has prioritized efforts to develop voluntary agreements (VAs) with water users over completing updates to the watershed’s water quality standards.  Now the State Water Resources Control Board has restarted the regulatory …

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7 Reasons California Should Get Tougher on Methane from Dairies

A dairy cow

California lawmakers should rethink the role of dairy digesters in the state’s dairy and livestock mitigation strategy.

Even though California aims to decrease the emissions of methane, dairy operations are rewarded for creating, and capturing, more and more of the planet-warming super pollutant in the form of manure-derived biogas. Today, California lawmakers declined to correct that perverse incentive, but they still have opportunities to rethink the state’s embrace of digesters as its …

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Climate Justice, Climate Finance and Pragmatism for Tropical Jurisdictions at COP28

Exploring the urgency of subnational climate action: insights from COP28 on financing tropical forest conservation, indigenous empowerment, and sustainable livelihoods by the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force network.

The Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF Task Force) engaged in the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Dubai, marking a pivotal moment in the global climate dialogue. This significant international forum serves as a crucial platform where nations, subnational entities, and …

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The Year Ahead in California Climate Laws

Facing a $37.9 billion deficit, California’s 2024 legislative session is likely to be about minor fixes, cleanup bills, and the ballot box. Plus: Will 2023’s disclosure bills get funded?

  Though I do not have a crystal ball — wish I did! — there are some clear markers we can evaluate to foresee environmental priorities, and possibilities, as we start another exciting year in the California Legislature.   The California Legislature kicked off the 2024 session on January 3 with notable changes in leadership. Robert Rivas, who …

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Judicial Activism and Climate Change: An Unhealthy Combination

The trial judge in the Juliana case won’t give up, no matter what higher courts say..

An Oregon federal judge has convinced herself that climate change is a constitutional issue.  After what promises to be a lengthy trial, Judge Aiken plans to decide whether U.S. energy policy passes constitutional muster. While I have no doubts about her sincerity and good intentions, her opinion itself shows why her courtroom is not the …

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Election 2024: Climate Action vs. Radical Deregulation

Voters should consider the radical, right-wing deregulation agenda that would await on Day One of a second Trump administration.

The Iowa Caucuses are 12 days away. The South Carolina Republican Primary comes 5 weeks later. And just two weeks after that is Super Tuesday. In the lead up to all these primary contests, anti-democracy candidate Donald Trump continues to march toward capturing the GOP nomination with a commanding lead in national polls. While headlines …

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The U.S. Supreme Court & Environmental Law in 2024

Numerous Key Environmental Issues and Doctrines Will Confront the Justices This Year

As we begin 2024, it’s useful to identify and assess the many environmental issues that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide this year.  It seems likely that the conservative majority of the justices will erode or, perhaps, dramatically jettison longstanding principles of environmental law and policy in the coming months. Summarized below are …

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