International Environmental Law

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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Youth Energy at Madrid COP

Report from the UCLA Law delegation

Along with my UCLA Law colleagues Ted Parson, Alex Wang, and Siyi Shen, I’m in Madrid with three intrepid law students for the annual conference of the major international treaty addressing climate change, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.  As these conferences go, this iteration was expected to be pretty sleepy. The conference remains …

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Why Don’t States Implement the Polluter Pays Principle?

Pollution, public domain image from user pelotte at pixabay.

An economic analysis suggests why not

Some time ago, I was thinking about the “polluter pays” principle of international environmental law. In this, the source — not its receiving victim — of pollution or other environmental harm should pay for any remediation done and for ending the pollution.  Yet despite the principle’s normative appeal, countries (or “states” in the language of …

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Climate Policy at Midcentury — Africa

If we’re not careful, African emissions could rival those of China and India today.

If current projections hold and nothing is done to change the trend, Africa could emit as much carbon as the U.S. or even China today. We can’t allow that to happen.

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The US’s Departure from the Paris Climate Agreement is Not Such a Big Deal

Trump digs coal. Public domain image via Wikicommons.

The impacts of Pres. Trump’s action will be symbolic, not substantive

Soon after entering office, President Donald Trump promised to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. He did so yesterday, which was the first day that he may. This is unfortunate but not as great a tragedy as it might appear, at least substantively. This is because both of the Agreement’s content and …

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What to Expect from Trump’s Second Term

Basically, a second term would be like Trump’s first term, but worse.

Here we are, one year from Election Day. As of now, there is a significant chance that Trump will be reelected in 2020, though experts disagree on the precise odds.  In terms of the environment, what would his second term look like? The President. It’s conceivable that Trump might rethink his policy positions after reelection, …

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