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Resilient Rhode Island Act of 2014 Sets 85% Carbon Emissions Reduction Goal by 2050, Strongest In the United States

The Rhode Island legislature has passed the Resilient Rhode Island Act of 2014, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], which addresses climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience, and establishes greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets of 10% below 1990 levels by 2020, 45% by...

Governor Cuomo’s Signature Needed to Pass New York Climate Adaptation Bill

Both houses of the New York State legislature have passed the Community Risk Reduction and Resiliency Act, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], but Governor Cuomo has yet to sign the bill into law. The purpose of the bill is to amend certain New York legislation to reflect greater...

UN Climate Summit 2014

By E. Lynn Grayson Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting the Climate Summit 2014 at UN headquarters in NYC. The purpose of the Summit is to engage leaders and advance climate action. The UN's ultimate objective is to rally international support for an ambitious global agreement by 2015 that...

Companies Leading the Charge on Carbon Pricing

By Steven M. Siros While it is unlikely that the 113th Congress will take any action on climate change (especially not in advance of the November 2014 elections), many major public companies aren't waiting for Congressional action and are instead proactively beginning to factor internal carbon...

Proposed Change to State Hazard Mitigation Plans May Require States to Address Future Climate Variability Issues

President Barack Obama made an announcement this summer introducing a plan to improve the nation’s ability to adapt to climate change through investing in and planning a more climate-resilient infrastructure. Included in the announcement were new programs designed to increase the adaptive flexibility...

New CCCL Report: Potential Liability for Climate-Related Measures under the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Columbia’s Center for Climate Change Law has released a white paper entitled Potential Liability for Climate-Related Measures under the Trans-Pacific Partnership . The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is currently being negotiated by twelve Pacific-rim countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada...

Fossil Fuel Divestment Catching On?

Is the tide turning on fossil fuel divestment? Climate Week featured promises, by some big mainstream investors, to start divesting from fossil fuels. Notable announcements included the Rockefeller Brothers Fund , which was built on the Standard Oil fortune. Europe has more than nine fossil fuel divestment...

U.S. Pentagon: Climate Change an Immediate Security Threat

By Jennifer Kalnins Temple The U.S. Pentagon’s latest report, the 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap , calls climate change an immediate threat to national security . The forward, by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel , sets the tone: “Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation...

U.N. Climate Report: Irreversible Change Near Certain

By Jennifer Kalnins Temple Still not worried enough about climate change? Read the latest climate assessment report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This is the fourth and final scientific volume to lay the groundwork for the next international summits in...

DOD Report Confirms Climate Change A Threat To National Security

The Pentagon has released the Department of Defense 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap confirming that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security. The Department of Defense (DOD) views climate change as a "threat multiplier" because it has the potential to exacerbate...

EPA Comments Suggest Emphasis On Creativity And Internalizing Externalities In Climate Strategy

By Jameson Tweedie The American Bar Association's Section of Energy, Environment and Resources held its Fall Conference recently. Noteworthy from a climate perspective were the keynote address by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, along with comments by other officials...

Lynn Grayson Comments on U.S. Climate Change Actions

A European Union publication Interfax recently published an article titled China and US Will Make or Break Climate Deal by Annemarie Botzki. The article discusses the stance of countries around the world on climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and what is likely to happen at the upcoming...

Rising Sea Levels and Prohibited "Takings" - A Different Sort of Climate Change Litigation

A little noted anniversary passed last month. The odd 2009 storm, Nor’Ida (the progeny of a nor’easter and a hurricane), swept along the east coast pounding some areas with record storm surge five years ago in the second week of November. Who is keeping Nor’Ida’s memory alive...

Sea Level Rise Risk Should Be Evaluated For Coastal Infrastructure Projects, According To San Francisco Capital Planning Guidance

Jennifer M. Klein, Esq. Associate Director & Fellow, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law Sea level rise is a “pervasive and increasing threat” and should be evaluated as infrastructure projects are built or modified along San Francisco’s shorelines, according to Guidance adopted...

FERC Directs LNG Facility Applicant To Disclose Climate Change Impacts, As Urged By Sabin Center

Jennifer M. Klein, Esq. Associate Director & Fellow, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) recently directed a company seeking to build a natural gas facility to submit information regarding potential climate change impacts on the...

Four Big Ideas on Climate Change

By Paula Boutis The UN climate convention conference that wrapped up in December in Lima was meant to deliver a draft for a new universal climate agreement to be inked in Paris, France in 2015 and to come into effect in 2020. Before the meeting, hopes were officially high: All eyes will now...

2014 Lima Climate Change Conference: The Lead Up To a Universal Climate Change Agreement

By Andrew B. Schatz , Catherine B. Campbell , and Jesse Medlong , Associates, DLA Piper International climate change negotiations concluded in mid-December in Lima, Peru at the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or Convention...

Threat Of Sea Level Rise In Southeast Florida Calls For Immediate Adaptive Action, Task Force Urges County

By Jennifer M. Klein, Esq. Associate Director & Fellow, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law Sea level rise is an “inevitable consequence” of global warming and requires innovative capital planning, according to a new Report by the Miami-Dade Sea Level Rise Task Force. The Task Force...

New Climate Change White Paper: Electricity Sector Adaptation to Heat Waves

The Sabin Center has published “ Electricity Sector Adaptation to Heat Waves ” by Sofia Aivalioti, a student in the Joint European Master in Environmental Studies – Cities & Sustainability program and a Visiting Scholar at the Center last fall. The white paper takes an up-close...

The Minamata Convention and the Paris Climate Agreement: Insights into Senate-Less Adoption

In 2011, governments around the world committed to deliver a new, universal, and binding greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction agreement for the period beyond 2020 by 2015. This agreement is to be adopted this December at the twenty-first Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention...

Government Officials’ Liability After Extreme Weather Events: Recent Developments in Domestic and International Case Law

Jessica Anne Wentz Associate Director and Postdoctoral Fellow Sabin Center for Climate Change Law In the early morning of February 28, 2010, storm Xynthia hit the French Atlantic coast, overwhelming coastal defenses and flooding over 50,000 hectares of land. The storm caused over one billion euros...

Sabin Center Publishes Comprehensive Assessment of Non-U.S. Climate Litigation

The first comprehensive survey ever conducted of climate change litigation outside the United States has been released by Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. It finds that there is far more climate litigation in the United States than in the rest of the world combined, and...

Attacks on Canadian Climate Scientist Ruled to be Defamation

A trial court in British Columbia has awarded $50,000 CAD (roughly $40,000 USD in current exchange rates) to distinguished climate scientist Dr. Andrew Weaver, finding that a collection of articles had defamed him.[1] The judgment is controlling authority only within British Columbia, but it is still...