Climate Change

News & Analysis as of

Maritime greenhouse gas emissions – update on the outcome of MEPC 69

In our March alert on this subject, we looked ahead to the 69th meeting in London of the Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) (MEPC 69). MEPC 69 has now taken...more

Stanford declines to divest fossil fuels

Should university endowments be invested in fossil fuel companies? Or should they divest such holdings? Universities across the U.S. are considering these questions....more

Dialogue on Carbon Pricing and the World Bank Spring Meetings with Citizens Climate Lobby at S&W

On April 14, S&W hosted a stakeholder dialogue sponsored by the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), Partnership for Change and the Nobel Peace Prize Forum as a part of the ancillary discussions surrounding the spring International...more

Climate change Regulation Starts to Take Shape in Washington State

In 2015, the Washington Legislature failed to act on Governor Jay Inslee’s cap-and-trade proposal to limit the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Since then, all branches of Washington State government, as...more

Environmental Notes - April 2016

EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance recently proposed changes to its National Program Manager (NMP) Guidance that, in part, would revise EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) for federal fiscal...more

When Attorneys General Attack: AGs’ Aggressive Investigation of Climate Change Disclosures, and Getting Your Insurer to Provide...

Who’s afraid of New York’s Martin Act? Right now, a lot of Wall Street and energy industry companies, that’s who. Why are they concerned about the Martin Act? Because it grants the New York State Office of the Attorney...more

I Wish for a Happy Earth Day

April 22nd marked Earth Day, an annual celebration of environmentalism. The headline event of Earth Day 2016 was having 175 countries sign the Paris Agreement, which represents a global commitment to reducing greenhouse gas...more

Consideration of Force Majeure in Construction Contracts

Before entering into a construction contract, consider how force majeure events are evolving in today’s world. Have you looked the risk of climate change causing more frequent unusual or severe weather? What about the...more

DOE Announces Upcoming International Energy Agency Webinar On Climate Impacts Of Bioenergy

On April 21, 2016, DOE and IEA Bioenergy (IEA) presented a webinar, Bioenergy - Is It Good for the Climate?, which discussed the climate benefits of bioenergy and the impact of bioenergy on atmospheric CO2 levels....more

China One of First Countries to Sign Paris Agreement

China, along with leaders from more than 150 countries, signed the Paris Climate Change Agreement in New York on April 22, 2016. New York Signing Update - Following final negotiation on December 12, 2015, April 22,...more

Alberta Budget 2016: Climate Leadership Plan Implementation

Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan (Plan) was released on November 22, 2015. The Plan represented a dramatic and fundamental shift in Alberta’s approach to climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) issues, including to achieve...more

Private Equity Goes Green

In December 2015, world leaders met to negotiate the Paris Agreement. Setting aside whether the Paris Agreement goes too far, not far enough or is just right, one cannot dispute that government commitments to limit an...more

State AGs Announce Climate Change Investigations - ExxonMobil Challenges Subpoena on Constitutional Grounds

Several state attorneys general (“state AGs”) have recently announced investigations into energy companies’ securities disclosures about the risks climate change poses to their businesses. In November 2015, Peabody Energy...more

EU to Fast-Track 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Post-COP 21

The Paris Agreement, adopted by 195 countries following the 21st session of the Conference of Parties (COP 21), is the first multilateral agreement on climate change that covers almost all of the world’s emissions. The Paris...more

Children’s Crusade to Combat Climate Change Continues

A federal magistrate judge in Oregon has kept alive the dreams of a group of young plaintiffs—aided by environmental advocacy groups—to compel government action against climate change. Like a similar case brought by the same...more

A Substantive Due Process Right to Climate Change Regulation? What’s a Lonely Apostle of Judicial Restraint To Do?

Late last week, Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin concluded that the most recent public trust case, which seeks an injunction requiring the United States to take actions to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations to 350 parts per...more

China’s 13th Five-Year Plan – Planning for a Greener Economy

China’s 13th Five-Year Plan – Planning for a Greener Economy - Last month China’s thirteenth “Five-Year Plan” (FYP13) was approved, setting out a social and economic development blueprint for the country for the next...more

Canada/US Policy Scan 2016

Earlier this year, US President Barack Obama welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his delegation, the first official visit by a Canadian PM to the US in nearly two decades. By mid-summer of this year, the two...more

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ordered to Reconsider Delisting of N. American Wolverine

The courts continue to be busy issuing significant Endangered Species Act (ESA) rulings. In the latest one, issued in early wolverineApril, the U.S. District Court for Montana, Missoula Division, in Defenders of Wildlife v....more

Climate Change and the ESA: Protecting the Wolverine in the Face of Uncertainty

Under the Endangered Species Act, a species is “threatened” when it is “likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future.” As scientists continue to predict that climate change will alter habitat over the...more

The Wolverine Takes on Climate Change: Montana District Court Remands Withdrawal of Proposed Listing Rule

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana vacated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) August 13, 2014 withdrawal of its proposed rule to list the distinct population segment of the North...more

Water Turning To Blood; Flies; Hail? How About Water-borne Illness, Extreme Weather, and Actual Plague?

Passover starts later this month. Just in time, the U.S. Global Change Research Program has given us an updated list of plagues. What’s fascinating is that the new list actually bears a certain similarity to the biblical...more

China Gives Green Light for Green Bonds

China launched a green bond pilot initiative via the Shanghai Stock Exchange, encouraging further foreign investment in a rapidly growing asset class and paving the way for issuances by non-financial institutions....more

U.S., China to sign Paris climate agreement

The U.S. and China have announced plans to sign the international climate change agreement reached in Paris last December. The Paris Agreement, adopted at the "COP21" U.N. Conference on Climate Change, establishes a...more

U.S. and China Pledge to Sign Paris Climate Accord on April 22

Last week, President Barack Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping announced that their two countries would sign the global climate accord on April 22. Senior U.S. officials noted that the commitment to cut carbon emissions...more

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