U.S. Supreme Court Denies Government’s Request for Stay in Climate Change Suit Brought by Minors

On July 30, 2018, the United States Supreme Court denied the federal government’s request for a stay in the climate change lawsuit brought by 21 children, pending in the U.S.D.C. for the District of Oregon, known as the Juliana matter. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2015 against President Obama and numerous federal agencies, alleging that the executive branch contributed to climate change in violation of the children’s rights under the Fifth and Ninth Amendments to the Constitution and an
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Kivalina and AEP Claim Another Victim – New York Climate Change Suit Falls

Like the proverbial acid relentlessly burning its way through materials in which it comes in contact, the relentless reasoning underlying the Am. Elec. Power Co., Inc. v. Connecticut, 564 U.S. 410 (2011) (AEP) and Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobile Corp., 696 F.3d 849 (9th Cir. 2012) (Kivalina) climate lawsuits has claimed another victim. After taking out the lawsuits filed by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland earlier this summer (Order), Kivalina and AEP now have been used to eliminate the climate change suit filed by the City of
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Kivalina and AEP Strike Again – Oakland and San Francisco Climate Change Suits Dismissed

By Order dated June 25, 2018, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed the lawsuits filed by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland seeking compensation from five of the world’s largest energy producers for the costs of adapting to climate change allegedly caused in part by these companies’ sale of fossil fuels. This dismissal brings to an end, at least temporarily, to two of the fourteen second-generation climate change lawsuits that have been filed
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400 Months and Counting – Warm Temperatures Continue!

Despite the miserable cold and wet April weather experienced by most of the eastern half of North America, April 2018 turned out to be the third warmest April on record, continuing a streak of 400 continuous months (33 years) where the monthly average temperature was above the 20th century average. Only April 2016 and April 2017 were warmer. Nine of the 10 warmest Aprils have occurred since 2005. Especially notable was the possibility that the city of Nawabshah, located in
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California Second Generation Climate Change Suits — Back to the Future with Federal Common Law?

An interesting battle currently is playing out in the California courts involving what can be considered a “second generation” of climate change suits that seek to hold producers of greenhouse gases responsible for the costs that government entities are forced to expend in adapting to climate change. In July 2017, three California government entities — Marin and San Mateo Counties, along with the City of Imperial Beach — filed suit in California Superior Court against some of the world’s largest
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The Push for Repeal of Environmental Regulations: One Year into the Trump Administration, Where Do We Stand?

As we move a little more than a year into the Trump Administration, it probably is time to take a look at where we are in regards to the administration’s publicly stated goal of repealing environmental regulations, many of which are related to climate change. In that context, the New York Times, National Geographic Society, Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, and Harvard University’s Environmental Law Program, are great sources, providing useful tracking information and updates regarding
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New York City Sues Big Oil Over Effects of Climate Change

Earlier this month, the New York City government (the City) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against five of the world’s largest publically traded oil companies. The complaint alleges that the defendants significantly contributed to climate-change through the sale of oil and gas products over the years, resulting in property damage and subsequently forcing the City to incur other costs associated with weather-related prevention efforts, now and in the future. Specifically,
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The Social Cost of Carbon — A Crucially Important Number Few Have Heard of and its Potential Impact on Environmental Regulations

There is a number few have heard of underlying many environmental regulations that are directly related to climate change — the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC). As noted in a recent article in The Economist, climate economists refer to the SCC as “the most important number you’ve never heard of.” Essentially, the SCC attempts to capture in a single number how much “damage” a one-ton release of CO2 today will have in the future, expressed in today’s dollars. Of course,
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July 2017 Tied for Warmest Month on Record; Gives Further Support to Recently Released Climate Change Special Report

Following the release by the New York Times of a draft copy of a Climate Change Special Report (CSSR) prepared to provide the scientific basis of the upcoming 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment—as if perfectly planned for maximum effect, according to an analysis released on August 15 by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS)— July 2017 was the warmest July on record (since 1880), and statistically tied with the warmest month on record of August 2016.  (GISTEMP Team, 2017: GISS
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Recent Efforts in California to Address Climate Change – New Twists on Established Strategies

As the world continues to confront the reality of a changing climate resulting from anthropogenic (human caused) releases of greenhouse gasses since the dawn of the industrial age, efforts to slow the increase of average global temperatures and combat the worst effects of that temperature rise have taken various tracks — from large-scale international agreements such as the Paris Accord (COP23) and the Kyoto Protocol, to legislative attempts such as cap-and-trade programs, to lawsuits based on international, federal, and state
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