Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: Air Quality and Climate Change

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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

China Plans New Energy Ministry to Replace the National Energy Administration

China’s new energy ministry demonstrates the country’s continued commitment to environmental protection and renewable energy. By Paul A. Davies and Andrew Westgate Recent comments from senior communist party leaders indicate that the Chinese government intends to establish a new Ministry of Energy to streamline and consolidate authority for energy-related issues. The responsibility for these issues … Continue Reading

CEQA Developments: How New Proposed Regulations and Streamlined Legislation Will Impact California Projects

Webcast addresses recent developments involving the California Environment Quality Act. By Marc Campopiano, Chris Garrett, and Winston Stromberg The Project Siting & Approvals Practice hosted a 60-minute webcast on February 21, “CEQA Developments: How New Proposed Regulations and Streamlined Legislation Will Impact California Projects.” Speakers provided an overview of the proposed updates to the California … Continue Reading

Diesel Ban Poised to Cut Pollution in German Cities

German cities face driving bans for diesel passenger cars in order to meet European Union air quality limit values. By Joern Kassow The German Federal Administrative Court recently made a fundamental ruling stating that diesel driving bans are generally admissible. German cities may consider general off-limit areas for diesel fueled cars, as well as partial … Continue Reading

EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Highlights Opportunities for Financing New Economy*

Transparency regarding mitigation and financing rules likely to be key hurdles to overcome in achieving climate goals. By Rosa Espin, Paul Davies, and Michael Green The European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, recently commented on momentum in the European Union (EU) regarding climate change and the action that countries across the … Continue Reading

German Coalition Talks Hint at Key Elements of German Environmental Policy 2018-2021

A coalition government would likely focus on energy, transportation, and the automotive industry to meet Paris Agreement targets. By Joern Kassow and Patrick Braasch Background After the 2017 German parliamentary elections, the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) faced difficulties in forming a new government. However, the parties have now agreed on … Continue Reading

European Commission Releases a New Plastics Strategy

The ambitious proposal aims to ensure all plastic packaging is reusable or recyclable by 2030. By Paul Davies, Michael Green and Betta Righini Background Amid increasing scrutiny of plastic waste, the European Commission (the Commission) has released a for plastics in a circular economy (the Strategy). The Strategy builds upon the European Union’s (the EU’s) … Continue Reading

UK Government Launches 25-Year Environment Plan

Long-awaited 25-year environment plan aims to “restore” nature and eliminate plastic waste. By Paul Davies and Michael Green The UK government has announced its long-awaited 25-year environment plan (the ‘Plan’). Having originally said it would publish the Plan by the end of 2016, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) subsequently delayed the … Continue Reading

Climate Action 100+: Global Investors Continue Focus on Climate Change Disclosure

By Joshua Bledsoe, Sara Orr, and Bobbi-Jo Dobush Major investors with collective control of more than US$26.3 trillion are continuing to push for an increase in public companies’ governance, oversight, and disclosure of climate-related risk. Unveiled on December 12, 2017 at the One Planet Summit in Paris, the Climate Action 100+ is designed to promote the … Continue Reading

California Continues to Drive Toward Lower NOx Standards for Heavy-Duty Diesels

By Arthur Foerster and Jamie Friedland On January 12, 2018, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will conduct a public workshop regarding CARB staff’s potential amendments to California’s heavy-duty vehicle (HDV) emission warranty requirements. According to CARB staff, the workshop will focus on potential changes to Title 13, California Code of Regulations, Section 2036, and … Continue Reading

Land Use Sector and CEQA Projects Targeted for Greenhouse Gas Reductions in Proposed Scoping Plan Update

By Marc Campopiano and Shannon Cheng A proposed Scoping Plan Update released by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) targets the land use sector and development projects for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions. The proposed update was spurred by the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 32 and Assembly Bill (AB) 398, which codified California’s goal of reducing … Continue Reading

German Court Will Take Evidence in Groundbreaking Climate Change Case

By Joern Kassow and Patrick Braasch Latham has previously written about the Lliuya v. RWE AG case, in which a Peruvian farmer has sought damages from German energy giant RWE for climate change effects in his home country. The Higher Regional Court of Hamm indicated during oral hearings that it would likely proceed to take … Continue Reading

EU Urged to Tighten Regulation of Pharmaceutical Pollution

By Michael Green and Paul Davies A coalition of medical and environmental groups has called upon the European Commission (EC) to propose specific legislation that will address pollution, in particular, by active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). This political development highlights the complex debate currently taking place over how to identify and address the effects of APIs. … Continue Reading

German Energy Giant May Be Directly Liable for Climate Change Impact

By Jörn Kassow and Patrick Braasch A German appeals court has indicated in a groundbreaking civil action that major CO2 producers may be directly liable for global environmental damage caused by climate change. Mr Saúl Luciano Lliuya, a Peruvian farmer, has alleged that RWE AG, Germany’s second-largest electricity producer, is responsible for the impact of … Continue Reading

European Commission Emphasises Environmental Issues in 2018 Work Programme

By Michael Green and Paul Davies Following decision C(2017)7124 of the European Commission (EC), the EC has launched its Work Programme for 2018 (WP 2018). WP 2018 outlines plans for achieving the EC’s primary policy objectives during the next 12 months — with particular attention to environmental issues. WP 2018 outlines four “Focus Areas” (FAs) … Continue Reading

GAO Releases Climate Change Report

By J.P. Brisson, Michael Dreibelbis, and Chris Antonacci On October 24, 2017, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the auditing agency of the US Congress, released a report on climate change titled, “Information on Potential Economic Effects Could Help Guide Federal Efforts to Reduce Fiscal Exposure” (the Report). GAO prepared the Report at the request of … Continue Reading

First Subsidy-Free Solar Farm Opens in UK

By Paul Davies and Michael Green The first solar farm has successfully launched in the UK without government subsidisation. Clayhill Solar Farm, a 10 megawatt (MW) site near Flitwick in Bedfordshire, is capable of generating enough power for 2500 homes. Clayhill’s developer, Anesco, is a private company specialising in the design and development of solar … Continue Reading

China Dominates Global Investments in Renewable Energy

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate Market research has long recognized China as the largest investor in its own domestic renewable energy industry. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, China invested US$102 billion in 2015 alone. However, a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) found that China’s dominance in renewables … Continue Reading
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