International Environmental Law

Solar Geoengineering and International Law

Climate Engineering and the Law

May states intentionally alter the entire planet’s climate?

A couple weeks ago, I introduced solar geoengineering (see also 1, 2, 4 in the series). This is a set of proposed technologies that would reduce climate change by blocking or reflecting a small portion of incoming sunlight. It appears that it would be effective in reducing climate change, inexpensive, rapid, and technically feasible. It would […]

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Negative Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the National Academies, and the Law

Negative Emissions Technologies and Reliable Sequestration: A Research Agenda

What does the scaling-up of negative emissions technologies for environmental law?

In my previous posts , I described how most emissions scenarios that are expected to keep warming within 2 or 1.5°C rely on negative emissions technologies (NETs) at large scales and how the new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change addresses NETs (as well as how solar geoengineering could offer an additional means to […]

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Você Fala Português?

Brazil’s New Environmental Crisis Raises Crucial Constitutional and Advocacy Issues

  As Dan noted last week, and as E & E News reports today, Brazil’s President-Elect, Jair Bolsonaro, is not only an authoritarian quasi-fascist (no exaggeration in those terms), but is also horrific for the environment. And that, in turn, is not simply bad for Brazil and South America, but for everyone on the planet. In […]

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American Journal of International Law Publishes Symposium on Climate Change Localism

California rancher Ned Wood unlocks the controls for the photovoltaic solar cells and well pump on Friday, Jul. 24, 2015 in Contra Costa County, CA.

The online alter ego of the American Journal of International Law, AJIL Unbound, has just published its symposium on Climate Change Localism. The symposium explores the implications of subnational actors’ efforts to address climate change. The explosion of initiatives and declarations in recent years outside the federal government, ranging from state and local governments to […]

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Another Scary Election (But Not Here)

An election next Sunday has implications for the entire planet.

I hate to give you something else to freak out about in our current Age of Anxiety, but there’s a very worrisome presidential election next Sunday. No, I haven’t completely lost it – the presidential race isn’t here, it’s in Brazil.  The election pits a dangerous populist against a highly competent but colorless Establishment candidate. […]

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A Potentially Important Climate Change Court Ruling in the Netherlands

Urgenda logo

A Dutch environmental organization surprisingly won its novel climate change lawsuit when the government appealed.

Although I am in the midst of a series of blog posts (1, 2, 3) regarding novel technologies in the recent special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), I take a brief detour to report on a court ruling in the Netherlands regarding climate change. Although I am skeptical of its impact […]

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Negative Emissions Technologies in the New Report on Limiting Global Warming

SR 15 cover

The new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on 1.5°C warming relies heavily on negative emissions technologies.

Last week, I described how the scenarios expected to keep global warming within the 2°C target, which was internationally endorsed in the Paris Agreement, had to assume the use of negative emissions technologies at very large scales. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international assessment body, downplayed this essential fact in its most recent major report, […]

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A Major Challenge for Avoiding Climate Change Hides In Plain Sight

Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage

If we probably cannot keep global warming within agreed-upon limits by reducing emissions alone, how could we?

Next week, the international body responsible for assessing climate change will release a special report on the 1.5°C target, an ambitious, international goal to limit global warming that became part of the Paris Agreement in 2015. The report might mark a significant turning point for how policy makers, the scientific community, and others think about […]

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China at the Global Climate Action Summit

Climate Action from the World’s Largest Emitter

Governor Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit came to a close this past Friday in San Francisco. A large delegation of Chinese government officials, researchers, business leaders and civil society representatives were on hand for the proceedings. Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative on climate change, reaffirmed China’s commitment to action on climate change. While Xie had […]

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Reflections from Climate Conference No. 2: The Global Climate Action Summit

Similarly inspiring, with an added dollop of controversy

Last week’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco was at once exciting, inspiring, thought-provoking, and controversial. While I was reinvigorated to push my career in climate change and environmental law and policy, it also forced me to critically think about the nuances in climate change policymaking. As promised, here is an overview of my […]

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