International Environmental Law

International Court of Justice recognizes and values ecosystem services (sort of)

In a judgment announced on February 2nd, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the very first time decided a compensation claim for environmental damage. Equally important, it took a close look at whether ecosystem goods and services are compensable under international law. The decision is both carefully considered and deeply frustrating. There have, of […]

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Canada and Mexico Aren’t Waiting for Us

Like the rest of the world, they’re moving ahead on the climate change issue even without us.

[for unknown reasons, this didn’t post correctly earlier, though it did go out to email subscribers] Our national government is trying to beat a hurried retreat from addressing climate change. But our neighbors in Canada and Mexico are pressing forward. Both of them need to do more, but nevertheless they contrast very favorably with our […]

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Pineapples and Preparing for the Future at COP23

Guest post by Eric Sezgen, UCLA Law student

As Alex’s previous blogpost states, there was a sense of urgency at this COP. Urgency had observable consequences all around the conference and was not only embraced but enhanced by Fiji’s presidency. You could see this even in the COP’s logo. Whereas the COP logo is usually a sleek and trendy design to look good […]

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Seeking Salvation at the COP

Guest post by Sunjana Supekar, UCLA Law student

“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.”  These words, attributed to famed anti-racist activist Angela Davis, permeated my thoughts as I walked through the halls of the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany (referred to as the “COP,” for conference of parties). The major question for this year’s […]

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A Sense of Urgency at COP 23

Guest post by Alexandra Gay, UCLA Law student

Christiana Figueres, the former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC who is widely credited with the success of COP 21 in Paris in 2015, launched a global initiative earlier this year called Mission 2020. The overall goal of the initiative is to ensure that global CO2 emissions reach a “turning point” by 2020 and begin to […]

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Dispatch from the Bonn UN Climate Conference

So what’s up with the Paris Agreement now that the U.S. has announced its intent to withdraw? The main annual UN conference on climate change is underway in Bonn, Germany, and UCLA Law is on the ground here. We’ll be reporting this week on what we see and hear. This conference, which serves as the […]

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Environmental Protection and the Rule of Law

A Report from the Second Inter-American Congress on Environmental Rule of Law

I am back from attending the Second Inter-American Congress on Environmental Rule of Law, hosted by the Supreme Court of Chile in Santiago and planned by the Organization of American States, UN Environment, IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law, and other partners. For the past five years since the 2012 Rio+20 conference (20 years after the […]

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Energy & Climate Are Hot News

Some of it is bad news — but despite Trump, there are many positive signs.

Climate and energy issues have been hot topics in the news. Consider yesterday’s issues of the NY Times and the Washington Post. Of course, both papers have featured coverage of the G20 conference. They emphasized that the U.S. is isolated internationally by its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Trump was unable to get […]

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Did Trump Just Accidentally Endorse Climate Action?

There’s a hidden zinger in the G-20 statement about curtailing greenhouse gases.

It escaped everyone’s notice, possibly including the U.S. delegation, but buried in the G-20 Declaration is an endorsement of the need to cut greenhouse gases.  This paragraph precedes the two reflecting disagreements about the Paris Agreement, and this particular paragraph purports to reflect the views of all twenty leaders, including Trump. There are three paragraphs […]

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Climate Policy Canadian-Style

Canada is setting a great example to its southern neighbor.

Despite our geographic proximity and close economic ties, Canada doesn’t get a lot of press attention in the U.S. But unknown to many, Canada has been taking aggressive steps forward in climate policy. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected Trump’s decision in no uncertain terms: We are deeply disappointed that the United States federal government has […]

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