Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: Air Quality and Climate Change

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China’s Global Supergrid to Enable Free Flow of Electricity Internationally

The proposed initiative will allow the provision of clean energy on a global scale by 2050. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate The Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) initiative, originally developed by Liu Zhenya, the chairman of the Chinese State Grid Corporation, is dedicated to promoting global energy interconnections in a sustainable manner. The … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Overturns Specific Plan EIR for Inadequate Air Quality Impact Mitigation

By Christopher H. Norton, Lucas I. Quass, and Derek Galey CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[I] In an unpublished opinion issued July 10, 2018, Sierra Club v. County of Kern, Case No. F071133, the California Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s decision and remanded for the issuance of a new writ … Continue Reading

China Reinforces Renewable Energy Commitment With Significant European Wind Investments

Chinese investors continue to build knowledge of the wind sector through European investment. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China has traditionally focused more on developing coal and hydroelectric power, which provide relatively constant output, instead of wind and solar, which depend on whether conditions. However, recently, government-owned power producers have begun making … Continue Reading

Viewpoints Video Examines California’s Cap-and-Trade Program

Harvard professor Robert Stavins joins Latham partner Bob Wyman to review key climate change mitigation policies. California’s climate change mitigation program is widely viewed as one of the most comprehensive of its kind — encompassing a cap-and-trade component and a series of complementary measures with specific performance targets for important sectors such as motor vehicles, … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Strikes Down EPA Coal Ash Rule Provisions

Decision may significantly impact active and inactive unlined and clay-lined coal ash impoundments, likely requiring closure or retrofit. By Claudia M. O’Brien and Stijn van Osch The D.C. Circuit this week struck down parts of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) rule for not being sufficiently protective of the environment. The decision … Continue Reading

European General Court Accepts Landmark Climate Change Litigation

Individuals join growing global trend of citizens bringing climate change litigation in a bid to hold governments to account. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The European General Court has agreed to hear a legal challenge to EU climate legislation for inadequate targets for reducing climate change. Ten families from around the world … Continue Reading

China’s “War Against Pollution” Intensifies in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region

Approximately 1,000 manufacturing firms in Beijing will close by 2020. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China’s anti-pollution efforts have intensified in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, which is known for its problems with smog. In fact, Premier Li Keqiang has identified Beijing and Hebei as key areas in the “war against pollution.” The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei … Continue Reading

China Targets Company Polluters and Officials Who Fall Short of Their Duties

The Chinese government and legislature are increasing pressure on local government officials and companies to reduce pollution in China. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China’s legislature is targeting companies responsible for pollution, and has ordered local judiciaries and lawmakers to implement revised rules and enforce penalties against those who break them. Air … Continue Reading

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
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