Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: Air Quality and Climate Change

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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

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
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