General

Will Rights of Nature Save The World?

Examining whether granting legal rights to nature could make a difference in how courts understand environmental law

A number of environmental advocates have been pushing a new strategy for environmental protection – seeking to pursue legal rights for elements of nature (such as rivers, lakes, ecosystems, or species), sometimes in alliance with Native American tribes.  This approach is not unique to the United States – rights of nature legal approaches have been …

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Emissions Trading in California: Lessons for China

Emissions Trading in California: Lessons for China

A New UCLA Report for Chinese Regulators and Researchers

We are pleased to announce the release of a new UCLA Law Emmett Institute of Climate Change & Environment report on Emissions Trading in California: Lessons for China. As many of you know, China launched trading for its national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions trading system (ETS) in 2021. By volume of emissions, the Chinese system …

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Whose Interests Count? And How Much?

Whether to consider harms to foreign countries and future generations is controversial. So is how much weight to give harm to the poor.

Should regulators take into account harm to people in other countries? What about harm to future generations? Should we give special attention when the disadvantaged are harmed? These questions are central to climate policy and some other important environmental issues. I’ll use cost-benefit analysis as a framework for discussing these issues. You probably don’t need …

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Remembering Dale Goble

“Father of Wildlife Law” passed away this spring

Dale Goble, professor of law at University of Idaho, passed this April.  There are numerous excellent tributes to Dale’s life, available here, here, and here.  As a co-author of Dale’s on our Wildlife Law casebook, I wanted to add my personal recognition of his life and work. When I first started teaching law over 15 …

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Subnational Climate Action in the UK

As in the U.S., it’s not all about the national government. Not by any means.

Last week, I posted about the British government’s climate policy. In sharp contrast with their American counterparts, British conservatives remain firmly behind the Paris Agreement and supportive of cap-and-trade. In another respect, though, there’s more similarity: in both countries, subnational governments play a key role in climate policy. Here’s what’s happening across Great Britain. Regional …

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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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World-Changing Opportunity for California

$100 Million for Methane Satellites

Governor Newsom’s May Revise budget proposal includes this item: Methane Satellites—$100 million Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund on a one-time basis to expand the number of satellites launched for methane observations, which would provide weekly measurement of large methane emissions in the state and enhance enforcement capabilities. This data will allow California to identify the source …

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Income-targeted environmental policies, Episode 2

Affordable housing and the Transit-Oriented Communities program

This is the second post in a short series on income-targeted environmental policies. You can read the first post, introducing the concept of “Area Median Income,” here. In this second part of my series on income-targeted environmental programs, I want to talk about affordable housing, and one particular housing program, Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC). TOC has …

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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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Governing Emissions Trading in California and China

Two new policy reports from an international research collaboration consider the design and implementation of emissions trading systems in China and California

Carbon markets are at a crossroads. As of 2021, 30 emissions trading systems were in force globally, covering 16–17% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Last year, climate negotiators in Glasgow finalized the Paris Agreement rulebook for international cooperation through carbon markets, clearing the way for the expansion of emissions trading and carbon pricing worldwide. …

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