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Can addressing air pollution decrease global warming? You betcha

Prior posts have noted the adverse health impacts from small particles, often referred to generally as PM10 and/or PM2.5. Prior posts have also noted the adverse impact of soot on global warming, which because it is black and absorbs heat warms up the atmosphere and whatever it is coating (e.g., glaciers...

US Governments Propose Wildlife Climate Adaptation Strategy

By Dianne Saxe, Ontario Environmental Lawyer As hundreds of starving sea lion pups wash up on the California coast, and as the Canadian government shuts down research into climate change, a coalition of American federal, state and tribal government agencies has released a National Fish, Wildlife and...

State Net Environmental Law News: California, Washington and Oregon Sign Climate Pact

CA, WA AND OR SIGN CLIMATE PACT: The governors of California, Washington and Oregon signed a pact with the Canadian province of British Columbia last week that commits the four governments to coordinate their policies to battle global climate change. Although the agreement is non-binding, the quartet...

Rating State Hazard Mitigation Plans

The Columbia Center for Climate Change Law has released a report (and accompanying Excel database ) surveying and ranking all 50 State Hazard Mitigation Plans. The Survey considers to what extent and in what manner climate change related issues are incorporated into existing plans. In accordance with...

Governor Jerry Brown Urges Conservation As California Runs Dry

BROWN URGES CONSERVATION AS CA RUNS DRY: With the state facing its worst drought in decades, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) urged Golden State residents last week to cut back their water usage wherever possible. Brown said residents should voluntarily be taking shorter showers, turning off faucets while...

New CCCL Paper- Reverse Environmental Assessment Analysis For The Adaptation Of Projects, Plans And Programs To The Effects Of Climate Change In The EU

By Teresa Parejo Navajas, Associate Professor of Law. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain), Visiting Scholar at the Center for Climate Change Law (Columbia University) Columbia’s Center for Climate Change Law has published a new white paper analyzing the Reverse Environmental Assessment...

Climate Change and US Energy Infrastructure

According to a recent GAO report ( http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/660558.pdf ), US energy infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to a number of different climate change impact effects, increasing the risk of disruptions of energy critical for US economic growth and operation, such as: • Resource...

Judge Endorses Use of the Social Cost of Carbon in NEPA Analysis

In 2010, the U.S. government formed an interagency working group of scientific and economic experts to develop an estimate of the social cost of carbon (SCC). The SCC puts a dollar figure on the damages done or damages avoided for possible scenarios resulting in discrete amounts of carbon dioxide emission...

Council on Environmental Quality Declares That Climate Change is Already Covered in Environmental Impact Review, and No New Regulations Needed

By Michael B. Gerrard The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), signed into law by President Richard Nixon on January 1, 1970, was the first U.S. environmental statute of the modern era. It requires the preparation of environmental impact statements (EISs) for major federal actions that may...

SCCCL and Lamont-Doherty Release New Collaborative Working Paper on “Scientific and Legal Integrity in Advancing a Land-Degradation Neutral World”

It is no secret that the fight against desertification isn’t going well. In the two decades since the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification came into force, desertification has worsened considerably. Many within the desertification community and beyond are calling for a fresh approach...

California Appellate Court Holds that Regional Planning Agency Must Examine the Long-Term Impacts of Its Transportation Plan on Reduction of Greenhouse Gases

By: Daniel P. Selmi*, Visiting Scholar, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and Fritz B. Burns Professor of Law, Loyola Law School In an emphatic opinion, a state appellate court has invalidated the environmental impact report for the first “sustainable communities strategy” prepared...

CEQ’s Revised Draft Guidance on Addressing Climate Change under NEPA: Federal Agencies Should Analyze Both GHG Emissions and Impacts of Climate Change on Proposed Action

On December 24, 2014, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released Revised Draft Guidance on how federal agencies should evaluate GHG emissions and the impacts of climate change when conducting reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).[1] The revised guidance is significantly...

World Bank Sells Record $91M of Green Bonds Tied to “Ethical” Companies

By E. Lynn Grayson The World Bank sold $91 million in green bonds tied to an index of "ethical" companies – its largest offering of green bonds linked to an equity index and the first offered to individual investors. Green bonds were created to increase funding by accessing the...

The Constitutional Foundation for the Clean Power Plan

As members of Congress wisely examine the legal basis for the Clean Power Plan, they should feel confident that the Environmental Protection Agency is acting with a solid constitutional foundation. At a Tuesday hearing of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce...

State Net Capitol Journal – Deepening California Drought Poses Several Challenges

After years of magical thinking about rains that rarely came, California agencies are struggling to combat the state’s prolonged drought through myriad mandates, restrictions and development of alternative sources of water. They have a long way to go. Responding to a fourth year of drought that...

Democratic Senators Introduce Carbon Tax Bill

On Wednesday, June 10, two Democratic Senators (Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Brian Schatz of Hawaii) introduced a bill that would impose a carbon tax of $45 per ton of carbon emissions. For other greenhouse gases, the bill imposes a carbon dioxide equivalent fee. The sponsors claim that the...

EPA Releases Study Stressing Economic Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a report, “ Climate Change in the U.S. – Benefits of Global Action ,” detailing the findings of the EPA’s Climate Change Impacts and Risk Analysis (CIRA) study, a peer reviewed project that seeks to assess climate change risk...

WA Court Affirms Best Available Climate Science As Basis For Emissions Reduction Goals

One year ago, eight young climate activists (ranging from 9 to 14 years old) petitioned Washington State’s Department of Ecology (“the Department”) to adopt and implement stricter greenhouse gas emissions regulations based on the most current and best available climate science. When...

Demand-Side Energy Efficiency in the Final Clean Power Plan

By Jessica Wentz, Associate Director and Postdoctoral Fellow President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have unveiled the final version of the Clean Power Plan —the nation’s first ever federal regulatory standards to address carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from existing...

The Pope’s Environmental Economics

Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home includes a section about the economics of carbon mitigation. Although a small part of the encyclical—one paragraph out of 246—the pope’s economic prescription received extensive coverage from top newspapers...

Model Protocols for Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change on the Built Environment under NEPA and State Equivalents

The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law is releasing a set of model protocols for assessing the impacts of climate change on the built environment under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and state equivalents. The protocols are intended for use in environmental reviews of proposed buildings...

U.S Crackdown on Ivory Trade – Implications for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has proposed an amendment to the African Elephant Rule under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act, which would enforce stricter regulations on the United States ivory trade. If finalized, the rule would prohibit sale or offer for sale of ivory and sport-hunted...

New EPA Report: Climate Change in the United States: Benefits of Global Action

A new EPA report, Climate Change in the United States: Benefits of Global Action , estimates the physical and monetary benefits to the U.S. of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. The report summarizes results from the Climate Change Impacts and Risks Analysis (CIRA) project, a peer-reviewed study...

Proposed Rules Seek to Cut Methane Emissions at Landfills

By Ethan R. Ware , Partner, Williams Mullen EPA has issued a proposed rule and a supplemental proposal to a July 14, 2015 proposed rule that are designed to achieve additional reductions of landfill gas (LFG) and its components, including methane, by lowering the emissions threshold at which emission...

Sabin Center Files Comments on Alaska LNG Project

By Justin Gundlach, Climate Law Fellow The Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project is enormous. It is designed to link natural gas drilling operations on the North Slope of Alaska to liquefaction facilities in Nikiski (south of Anchorage) via an 800-mile pipeline. The Natural Gas Act assigns the...