Archives: Climate Change

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FERC Policy on GHG Impact of Gas Pipelines on Climate Still in Flux

In two recent certificate orders issued on May 20, 2021, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) did not assess the significance of the greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions of natural gas pipeline projects in terms of their contribution to climate change. This seems to be a step back from a March, 2021 order, which indicated that … Continue Reading

The EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive Proposal: What Companies Need to Know

The European Commission has published a proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (2021/0104) (“CSRD”), which forms just one part of a comprehensive package of sustainable finance measures (see our blog here).  The Commission has put forward these measures in response to demand for stronger and wider sustainability reporting standards, over and above what the … Continue Reading

The EU’s Green Capitalism Takes Shape: Taxonomy Screening Criteria and Corporate Sustainability Reporting

The European Commission has presented a package of key enabling legislation on sustainable finance (the “Sustainable Finance Package”).  This includes the much-awaited first technical screening criteria under the Taxonomy Regulation — outlined in the Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act (“TCDA”) — and a proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (“CSRD”), which significantly revises and expands … Continue Reading

Kids and a Sustainable Future

This is the eleventh in our series on the “ABCs of the AJP.” America’s kids are the beneficiaries of many of the provisions of President Biden’s Jobs Plan, and several of the proposals would benefit them and their caretakers specifically.  Children have become a focus point of discussions about climate change, because absent intervention they … Continue Reading

Hastening the Hydrogen Economy

This blog is the eighth in a series, “The ABCs of the AJP.” The latest Energy Transition technology now attracting massive investment and policy attention is “green hydrogen” produced using renewable energy to separate hydrogen from water that can be used both for bulk energy storage and then used to fuel gas-fired power plants or … Continue Reading

Finding the Common Ground for Forests

This blog is the sixth in a series, “The ABCs of the AJP.” One of the key underpinnings of the case for climate legislation is the idea that natural and working lands will suffer without swift and meaningful action. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan (AJP) proposes to “protect and, where necessary, restore nature-based infrastructure – … Continue Reading

Ending Environmental Injustice with Infrastructure Investment

This blog is the fifth in a series, “The ABCs of the AJP.” President Biden’s American Jobs Plan (AJP) would mobilize $2.2 trillion in investment to address climate change and create jobs for Americans. According to the White House, “unlike past major investments, the plan prioritizes addressing long-standing and persistent racial injustice,” in part by … Continue Reading

The Climate Crisis and China

This blog is the third in a series, “The ABCs of the AJP.” An animating principle of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan (AJP) is the urgency to address climate change.  But a cross-current is competition with China.  This comes through not as subtext, but as the stated purpose.  According to the White House, “the President’s … Continue Reading

Building Back Better with Batteries

This blog is the second in a series, “The ABCs of the AJP.” The American Jobs Plan recognizes that a net-zero economy will require significant innovation in and deployment of energy storage technology.  For example, the President’s efforts to decarbonize the power sector by 2035 will include increased reliance of renewable energy sources, which will … Continue Reading

The European Commission Approves the EU Criteria on Sustainable Hydrogen Activities

On April 21, 2021, the European Commission approved “in principle” a Delegated Regulation establishing the criteria under which different economic activities substantially contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation under Regulation 2020/852 on the Establishment of a Framework to Facilitate Sustainable Investment (“Taxonomy Regulation”).  Among other things, the Delegated Regulation defines the climate mitigation and … Continue Reading

The United States’ New Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and the ABCs of the American Jobs Plan (AJP)

Today, on Earth Day, the United States made a bold move to resume international leadership on climate change by announcing the United States’ new target to achieve a 50 to 52 percent reduction in economy-wide greenhouse gas pollution from 2005 levels by 2030.  The President announced the target on the first day of the Leaders … Continue Reading

FERC Assesses Impact of Pipeline Project’s GHG Emissions On Climate Change

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has for the first time ruled on whether the greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted during the construction and operation of a proposed natural gas pipeline has a significant impact on climate change in determining whether to authorize a project as consistent with public convenience and necessity under Section 7 of … Continue Reading

Call Me By My Name: The Importance of the European Commission’s Proposed Climate Change Law

On March 4, 2020, the European Commission delivered the first major climate piece of its European Green Deal: it proposed a “European Climate Law,” which takes the form of a Regulation and establishes a framework for the irreversible and gradual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the enhancement of removals in the European Union.  The … Continue Reading

Climate Change: The EU Moves Towards a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

Last week, the European Commission took a major step to implement the climate aspects of its European Green Deal.  It presented a proposal for a European Climate Law and two consultations on its announced Climate Pact and Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (“CBAM”).… Continue Reading

The Dutch Supreme Court holds that the Netherlands Has a Human Rights Obligation to Mitigate Climate Change: The Urgenda Case

On December 20, 2019, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands confirmed the judgements of a District Court and an Appeal Court requiring the Dutch Government to achieve a reduction of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions of 25% by 2020 compared to 1990, instead of the 20% reduction that the government had envisioned since 2011. The case … Continue Reading

CARB Continues Global Leadership Role on Climate with Adoption of Tropical Forest Standard

After nearly a decade of work, on September 19, 2019, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) endorsed its much anticipated Tropical Forest Standard (TFS). The TFS is a first-of-its-kind framework for assessing jurisdiction-scale offset credit programs that reduce emissions from tropical deforestation and degradation. It is widely expected to serve as a replicable model for … Continue Reading

Rising from the Ashes: How PG&E’s Bankruptcy Threatens the Energy Sector and California’s Progress on Climate Change

With potential liabilities in excess of $30 billion stemming from a series of deadly wildfires that ignited across Northern California in 2017 and 2018, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and its holding company PG&E Corp. (PG&E) filed for Chapter 11 relief in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California on Tuesday. … Continue Reading

Northeast States to Tackle Transportation GHG Emissions

Nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia announced this week a new regional initiative to cap and reduce greenhouse gas pollution from the transportation sector.  Much remains to be decided before the program takes effect, however. Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington D.C.[1] aim to … Continue Reading

COP 24 Round-Up Part Two: Looking Ahead from Katowice

COP 24 negotiations culminated in the 2018 “Paris Rulebook” (“Rulebook”) but fell short of resolving all issues implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement (“Agreement”).  In 2019 and subsequent years, we expect dynamic debates between negotiators on at least five key issues: How to implement voluntary market mechanisms under Article 6 of the Agreement, How to increase … Continue Reading

COP 24 Round-Up Part One: The Paris Rulebook

On December 15, 2018, climate negotiators in Katowice, Poland reached agreement on a “Paris Rulebook” (“Rulebook”) which will implement the Paris Agreement (“Agreement”).  Reactions to the ambitiousness of the Rulebook have been mixed.  Although negotiators found some common ground on specific reporting and transparency rules, they could not reach consensus on implementing more ambitious voluntary … Continue Reading

EPA and CARB Begin Reexamining Heavy-Duty Vehicle Regulations

On November 13, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched its Cleaner Trucks Initiative (CTI), which will decrease nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by updating the existing NOx standard for heavy-duty trucks. EPA’s announcement comes just as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) updated its Heavy-Duty On-board Diagnostic (HD OBD) requirements and prepares to implement … Continue Reading

Governor Jerry Brown signs SB 100 and Executive Order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045

On Monday, September 10, 2018, two days before kicking-off the Global Climate Action Summit he is co-hosting in San Francisco, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 100 (De León), The 100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018, which sets a state policy that eligible renewable energy and zero-carbon resources supply 100 percent (%) of all … Continue Reading
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