International Environmental Law

We Can’t Count on Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Prevent Dangerous Climate Change

Last week’s climate summit yielded little in the way of action. Photo via UNFCCC.

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 — …

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A Continent on Fire Ignores Climate Change

Conditions in Australia keep getting worse. The government offers platitudes.

Australia is remarkably exposed to climate change and remarkably unwilling to do much about it. Conditions keep getting worse. Yet climate policy in Australia has been treading water or backpedalling for years, as I discussed in an earlier post. Let’s start with the temperature.  The Guardian reports that in the year up to July 2019, …

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Netherlands’ Supreme Court Demands More Emissions Cuts

Urgenda logo

However, today’s ruling will likely have little direct impact

Today the Netherlands’ supreme court sided with an environmental organization and ruled that the Dutch government has an obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions more aggressively. This is being widely praised by environmentalists and others concerned about climate change.  However, this historic ruling will likely have little impact on actual emissions, at least directly. At …

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Post-Madrid, China And California Have An Opportunity To Lead

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 …

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Guest Blogger Divya Rao: Confronting Reality: A Lack of Accountability at COP25

Action at Madrid COP25

The Support of Toyota and Other Manufacturers for the Trump Administration’s Policy Rollbacks Shows the Need to Confront Corporate Decisionmaking on Energy and Climate

As Cara Horowitz and Idalmis Vaquero discussed in their blog posts, the true highlight of COP 25 has been the numerous youth and indigenous interventions, actions, and disruptions. After spending four days at the COP, I came away from the events surprised by the level of corporate visibility and greenwashing in the side events, but …

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COP-Out 25: Why Madrid’s Failure May Not Really Matter

Carbon markets are unlikely to be central to global decarbonization efforts

The 25th United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP) in Madrid ended largely in failure on Sunday, with the parties unable to come to agreement on provisions governing a potential international carbon market. How big a deal is that failure? Like my UCLA Law colleagues, I attended the conference in Madrid and witnessed similar dynamics …

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Disorientation, Rage, Despair – and Hope? The Contradictions of COP25

COP25

Personal Notes on the Conference of the Parties in Madrid

As you’ve seen from several recent posts (and more to come), the UCLA Law Emmett Institute has had an observer delegation – as we do every few years – at the 25th annual Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC). I’ve been there with faculty colleagues Cara Horowitz and …

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BoJo versus Trump on Climate

Why is the GOP such an outlier on climate change?

Boris Johnson is like Trump in many ways, including a casual disregar for truth, but they’re not alike on climate change. Right after his victory, Johnson renewed his pledge to make the UK carbon-neutral by 2050. He called for “colossal new investments. . . to make this country the cleanest, greenest on earth, with the …

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Guest Blogger Idalmis Vaquero: Women of Color Leading Climate Justice at COP 25

COP 25 photo Global South women and young feminist meet the climate crisis: alternatives, solutions and narrative

Young Advocates Call For More Inclusive and Culturally Responsive Negotiations

Four years after the Paris Agreement was adopted by member countries of the United Nations Framework on Convention on Climate Change, countries are still working out the details on how they will reduce their carbon emissions. This year the Conference of the Parties (COP) 25 is taking place in Madrid, Spain under the leadership of …

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Climate Change, Ozone Depletion, and the New York Times

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 …

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