LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Dutch Court Orders National GHG Reductions

By Michael B. Gerrard This morning the Hague District Court issued its decision in a lawsuit brought by the Urgenda Foundation against the State of the Netherlands. The court ordered the Dutch state to limit annual greenhouse gas emissions from the country to 25% below 1990 levels by 2020. The...

Sabin Center Convenes Workshop on Development of Model Protocols for Assessing Climate Change Impacts during NEPA Reviews

By Jessica Wentz, Associate Director and Postdoctoral Fellow Climate change and its effects on temperature, precipitation, storm patterns, sea level rise, and other environmental processes have important implications for the construction, maintenance, and operation of buildings and infrastructure...

State Net Climate Change News: California, Hawaii Lead Way on Climate Change Targets

Prodded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and led by California and Hawaii, states are tackling climate change and promoting renewable energy. But the fossil fuel industry and skeptical Republicans are pushing back. Hawaii last month became the first state to establish a goal of relying...

Floods in Texas, Flood Mapping, Flood Dollars

By J. Wylie Donald Floods on the Rio Blanco recently demonstrate the link to climate change, but not in the way you think. It was a horrible Memorial Day weekend in Hays County, Texas. At least three people died from the worst flooding seen since 1922. The Rio Blanco crested at 43 feet, 30 feet...

IEA Proposes “Bridging Strategy” to Achieve Global Peak in Energy-Related GHG Emissions By 2020

The International Energy Agency (IEA- an autonomous organization which works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 29 member countries and beyond) has issued a special report entitled “Energy and Climate Change” which proposes a “bridging strategy” that could...

Obama’s Clean Power Plan: “There is such a thing as being too late”

In a passionate announcement last month (it’s worth watching ), President Barak Obama unveiled the United States’ plan for doing its part to combat climate change: the Clean Power Plan (the “Plan”). The Plan sets out to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions from...

EPA Report Benefits of Global Action

The Dutch Climate Case: Beginning of a New Era of Climate Litigation?

In a worldwide first, the Hague District Court has ordered the Dutch government to cut its greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by at least 25% compared to 1990 levels by the end of 2020. The decision, an English translation of which can be found here , has been widely reported and discussed (including in...

New Working Paper Examines UN Security Council’s Role in Addressing Climate Change

In a new working paper , Sabin Center intern Dane Warren examines the authority of the United Nations Security Council to address global climate change. The paper considers what actions the Security Council has taken with regard to climate change thus far, and what actions the Security Council could...

Brown Says Climate Change Could Lead to Mass Migration

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said last week that the ongoing impacts of climate change could soon spark in the Americas the same kind of human mass migration currently underway in Europe, where hordes of refugees are fleeing to escape the civil war in Syria. Brown’s comments came in regard...

Studies Link Rejection of Established Climate Science with Conspiracist Ideation

A new psychology study has strongly linked rejection of the scientific consensus on climate change to conspiratorial thinking. The study, led by Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky, builds on his previous research connecting a general belief in conspiracy theories with denial of established findings on climate change...

Hillary Clinton’s Climate Change Plan

Hillary Clinton’s climate change plan , recently released, centers on two goals: installing 500 million solar panels by 2021, and, relatedly, adding enough electric generation capacity from renewable sources to supply all residential electricity needs. The plan appears ambitious: the solar power...

Towards an Integrated Approach to Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation

By Michael Burger Recently I traveled to Vientiane, Laos, to give a presentation at the National Workshop on Disaster and Climate Change Law. The workshop, convened by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Disaster...

Potential Liability of Governments for Failure to Prepare for Climate Change

As governments turn a blind eye to the accumulating risks of climate change, do they expose themselves to potential legal liability? A new working paper by former Sabin Center fellow Jennifer Klein explores three possible legal claims against state and local governments for their failure to prepare for...

Heat in US Prisons and Jails: Corrections and the Challenge of Climate Change

The Sabin Center has published Heat in US Prisons and Jails: Corrections and the Challenge of Climate Change . This groundbreaking paper, written by visiting scholar Daniel Holt, addresses two important but largely neglected questions: How will increased temperatures and heat waves caused by climate...

Climate Change as a Charitable Investment?

Mitigating climate change is going to require unlocking new sources of finance to fund the innovative technologies that will take us to a low-emissions future. Program related investments (PRIs), investments that support charitable activities while also offering the potential return of capital, are one...

Litigation Seeking Climate Scientists’ Emails for “Transparency” Has Been Secretly Paid for by the Coal Industry

In March 2015, an Arizona trial court validated the University of Arizona’s denial of massive records requests by Energy & Environment Legal (“E&E Legal”), which sought 13 years of climate scientists’ emails under Arizona open records laws.[1] E&E Legal, formerly named...

PA Climate Impacts Assessment Update

In 2008, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed the Pennsylvania Climate Change Act (Act 70), [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this Act: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], which directed the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to conduct a study of the potential impacts...

Federal Agencies Acknowledge the Importance of Preparing Infrastructure for Climate Change But Rarely Act on Climate Projections

Jessica Wentz Associate Director and Postdoctoral Fellow Although it has become more common for agencies in preparing environmental impact statements (EISs) to acknowledge the impacts of climate change on a project and its affected environment, it is still quite rare for agencies to accurately...

EPA Focuses on Methane Leaks as Climate Change Takes Center Stage

In the September 2015 edition of the US EPA’s Compliance Alert, EPA reported that it and state investigations had identified Clean Air Act compliance concerns regarding significant emissions from storage vessels, such as tanks or containers, at onshore oil and natural gas production facilities...

Meeting China’s Climate Goals: An Expert Discussion

The Sabin Center and the Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP) recently co-hosted a panel discussion on Meeting China’s Climate Goals . The event was convened to discuss how China can shift its economy away from coal-fired power generation, improve energy efficiency, and increase the share of low...

Petition to Philippines Human Rights Commission Seeks Investigation into “Carbon Majors” for Human Rights Violations

Greenpeace Southeast Asia and the Philippine Reconstruction Movement have filed a Petition with the Philippines’ Commission on Human Rights (CHR or Commission) on behalf of 13 organizations and 20 individuals. The Petition makes several allegations and requests. At its core is a claim that 50 of...

Lahore High Court Orders Pakistan to Act on Climate Change

Ashgar Leghari, a farmer from Pakistan, sued the national government for failure to carry out the 2012 National Climate Policy and Framework. The Lahore High Court ruled that “Climate Change is a defining challenge of our time and has led to dramatic alterations in our planet’s climate system...

Designing a Climate Change Displacement Coordination Facility: Key Issues for COP 21

Since the first draft negotiating text was released last spring, the inclusion of a “climate change displacement coordination facility” in the anticipated Paris agreement has been on the table. Recently, in the wake of the migrant crisis in the Middle East and Europe, the prospect has gained...

Climate Scientist Threatened with Investigation by Member of Congress for Purported “Partisan Political Activity”

By Lauren Kurtz A climate scientist who was the lead signatory on a letter to President Obama, supporting a proposed RICO investigation of some corporate opponents to action on climate change, has himself been threatened with a Congressional investigation by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). Rep. Smith –...