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Does the Paris agreement open the door to geoengineering?

Dan Farber, professor of law | December 14, 2015

The Paris establishes an aspiration goal of holding climate change to 1.5°C, with a firmer goal of holding the global temperature decrease “well below” 2°C. As a practical matter, the 1.5°C goal almost certainly would require geoengineering, such as injecting aerosols into the stratosphere or solar mirrors. Even getting well below 2°C is likely to … Continue reading »

The futility of an international climate treaty

Ethan Elkind, associate director, Climate Change and Business Program | March 27, 2015

Call it Kyoto Syndrome, but each year for the past few decades we hear hopeful things about the upcoming negotiations for the “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.” These discussions usually take place in some far-flung world capital, but they seem to always result in a nothing sandwich. In 2009, President Obama embarrassed himself … Continue reading »

Coal power and climate denial

Steven Weissman, associate director, Center for Law, Energy and the Environment | May 17, 2013

What causes certain political figures either to deny the potential for climate change, or deny that human activity is a major cause? That question came to mind while reviewing a new report issued by Ceres entitled Benchmarking Air Emissions for the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the United States. The report does an impressive … Continue reading »

New report on electric-vehicle policies

Ethan Elkind, associate director, Climate Change and Business Program | September 10, 2012

The environmental law centers at UCLA and UC Berkeley Schools of Law today released a new report on industry actions and federal, state, and local policies needed to stimulate long-term, mass adoption of electric vehicles.  “Electric Drive by ’25″ (available from either UCLA Law or Berkeley Law) is the tenth report in our Climate Change … Continue reading »

How much of the grid can be renewable?

Steven Weissman, associate director, Center for Law, Energy and the Environment | June 20, 2012

How far can we go in converting our power supply to renewable sources?  On June 15th, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory provided a partial answer when it released a “Renewable Energy Futures Study.”  The team undertaking this analysis was comprised of experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as from various national labs, … Continue reading »

Could self-driving cars help the environment?

Ethan Elkind, associate director, Climate Change and Business Program | April 11, 2012

As companies like Google pioneer technologies to allow cars to drive themselves, futurists have been imagining a world where autonomous vehicles rule the roadway. Using computer programs, map data, complex sensors, and soon the ability to “see” all vehicles within miles, these cars hold the promise of averting the vast majority of car accidents caused … Continue reading »

The cost of renewable energy put in perspective

Steven Weissman, associate director, Center for Law, Energy and the Environment | November 28, 2011

Would you be willing to pay 3 ½ cents a day to reduce the pollution from the electric power you use by 40%? In a recent article, the San Francisco Chronicle talked about the high price of adding renewable energy to the grid. Citing a study prepared by the California Public Utilities Commission’s Division of … Continue reading »