Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: Air Quality and Climate Change

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UK Government to Abolish CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme

Relief from the mandatory scheme will reduce the administrative burden on non-energy intensive companies. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) — which first came into operation on 1 April 2010 — will be abolished at the end of the 2018-19 compliance year, pursuant to the CRC Energy Efficiency … Continue Reading

The Chinese Government Announced Measures to Assist With ETS Implementation

Updates underscore China’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions despite government agency reshuffling. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate The Climate Change Department (CCD) of the newly formed Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) has announced its official updates in relation to China’s low carbon-development strategy generally and the National Emissions Trading System (ETS) … Continue Reading

China Releases 2020 Air Pollution Action Plan

The plan’s stricter and more targeted requirements will impact a broader range of provinces, including the Fen-Wei Plains. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China has released a new three-year action plan for 2018 to 2020 to combat air pollution. The previous air pollution action plan, published in 2013, has played a significant … Continue Reading

California Appeals Court: Statewide Emissions Goals May Inform Mitigation Measures

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton, Diego Enrique Flores, and Samantha K. Seikkula In an unpublished opinion issued May 18, 2018, Responsible Development for Water Tank Hill v. County of San Mateo, Case No. A150883, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment … Continue Reading

California Legislature Eyes 100% Clean Energy Target

The California Assembly is expected to vote this summer to establish increased renewable energy targets and set a target of 100% clean energy by 2045. By Marc T. Campopiano, Jennifer K. Roy, Diego Enrique Flores SB 100, Senator Kevin De Leon’s renewable energy bill, would increase California’s already ambitious renewable energy standards by 2030 with … Continue Reading

EU Aims to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Europe’s Buildings with New Directive

Building owners and developers will need to provide energy performance certificates for buildings. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The European Union has published a directive aimed at improving building energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. EU Member States are required to transpose the directive (Directive (EU) 2018/844) by March 10, 2020. The … Continue Reading

Protecting the Environment Under the French Constitution: The Story Continues

Lawmakers will debate an amendment to include the country’s environmental commitments in Article 1 of France’s Constitution. By Fabrice Fages MPs in France have adopted an amendment to include a new paragraph in Article 1 of the French Constitution. The amendment reads: “France acts towards the preservation of the environment and biological diversity, and against … Continue Reading

EU Increases Renewable Energy Target in Preparation for Renewable Energy Directive

The EU has agreed that one third of energy use should be from renewable sources and encourages the use of renewable electricity or biofuels sourced from waste rather than crops. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green After 18 months of negotiations, the EU has increased its renewable energy target from 27% to 32% … Continue Reading

Investing in the Environment — European Commission Announces Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund will promote advanced low-carbon technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote decarbonisation. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green By the end of 2018, the European Commission will set up an Innovation Fund (the Fund) to aid decarbonisation. To achieve this, the European Commission will amend the EU Emissions Trading … Continue Reading

Can China Meet Its Paris Agreement Targets?

Increased manufacturing offshoring and industrial activity may prevent China from reaching its commitments, despite a booming renewable energy sector. By Paul A. Davies, Kimberly Leefatt, and R. Andrew Westgate China’s carbon emissions increased by 4% in the first quarter of 2018 — marking the biggest hike in carbon emissions in the last seven years, according … Continue Reading

EC Refers Member States to ECJ Over Failure to Control Air Pollution

After neglecting to heed an initial warning, six Member States may face financial penalties if they do not reduce pollution levels. By Paul A. Davies, Michael D. Green, and Alexander Wilhelm The European Commission (EC) has referred the UK, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Romania to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for failing to … Continue Reading

IMO Strategy to Halve Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Shipping By 2050

The Initial Strategy provides the first global climate framework for the shipping sector and will support Paris Agreement targets. By Paul Davies, Janice Schneider, and Eun-Kyung Lee Background In April 2018, the Marine Environmental Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted an initial strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in international shipping (Initial … Continue Reading

France Takes Steps to Address Climate Change Through Constitutional Reform

Intense lobbying surrounds a recent proposal to amend Article 34 of the Constitution. By Paul Davies and Fabrice Fages French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe recently unveiled a series of proposed modifications to the French Constitution that align with President Emmanuel Macron’s campaign platform. The proposals, which were unveiled on April 4, face objections from a … Continue Reading

Latin America Addresses Environmental Priorities at Green Climate Fund Dialogue

Representatives from 19 countries explore climate responses in several areas, including urban development, transportation, renewable energy, early warning systems, and agriculture. By Rosa Espín and Leticia Sitges Nearly 200 participants from 19 different countries recently convened in Colombia for the Green Climate Fund’s (the Fund’s) first Structured Dialogue with Latin America. The meeting, which was … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Finds EIR’s Air Quality Analysis Deficient

By Christopher Garrett, James Erselius, and Samantha Seikkula CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[1] In a partially published opinion[2] issued January 12, 2018, City of Long Beach v. City of Los Angeles, the California Court of Appeal affirmed in part and reversed in part the trial court’s judgment requiring the City of … Continue Reading

France Unveils Circular Economy Roadmap

The multi-pronged plan will encourage a collaborative national effort to dispose of France’s “consume and discard” model. By Paul A. Davies The French Prime Minister recently unveiled the country’s circular economy roadmap. The 50-item scheme, announced on 23 April 2018, is the result of consultation with stakeholders (November 2017 —January 2018) and a two-stage online … Continue Reading

China’s Action Against Plastic Pollution

The government’s plan to tackle internal and imported plastic waste is the latest phase in China’s clean energy commitment. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate Although China’s ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions and air pollution have received global attention and coverage, the country’s significant steps to reduce solid waste pollution have been … Continue Reading

Carbon Markets Must Balance Stability and Adaptability When Implementing Emissions Trading Systems

As China begins to implement its emissions trading system, the country may look around the globe for regulatory guidance. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China established its national emissions trading system (ETS) as a key component of the plan to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement. The country’s participation in the … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Upholds Partial Award of Attorneys’ Fees to Successful CEQA Litigant

By Christopher W. Garrett, Natalie C. Rogers, and Kimberly D. Farbota CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[1] In a published opinion issued January 12, 2018, Heron Bay Homeowners Assn. v. City of San Leandro, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s partial grant of Heron Bay Homeowners Association’s request for … Continue Reading

New Trump Administration Policies on Environmental Enforcement, Settlements, and Clean Air Act Implementation

Webcast addresses recent EPA and DOJ policy developments with important implications for permitting, enforcement, and litigation. By Joel C. Beauvais, Julia A. Hatcher, Karl A. Karg, Claudia M. O’Brien, and Stacey L. VanBelleghem Latham’s Environment, Land & Resources Department hosted a 60-minute webcast on March 29, “New Trump Administration Policies on Environmental Enforcement, Settlements, and … Continue Reading

The Success of China’s Efforts to Decrease Harmful Pollution Levels

China cuts fossil fuel consumption to achieve clean energy goal, but must carefully balance the consequences for Chinese citizens. By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate In tandem with China’s significant economic growth over the past three decades, coal emissions have soared, increasing from 446 million tonnes in 1990 to 2.6 billion tonnes in 2017. Coal … Continue Reading

The European Commission Reviews Free Allocation Rules in EU Emissions Trading System

The EC is seeking feedback on its roadmap for the next EU Emissions Trading System revision. By Paul A. Davies, Lars Kjølbye, Elisabetta Righini, and Guendalina Catti De Gasperi The European Commission (EC) has launched an initiative for the revision of EU-wide rules for the free allocation of emission allowances under the EU Emissions Trading … Continue Reading

China to Expand Environmental Regulatory Authority

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection’s increased authority over climate change and pollution control issues indicates a greater enforcement role for central government. By Paul A. Davies and Andrew Westgate The Chinese government has announced a major reorganization of China’s ministries that comprise the Chinese central government at a session of the 13th National People’s Congress in … Continue Reading
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