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On the Brink of a “Mass Exodus,” Can International Law Adequately Protect “Climate Refugees”?

Dana Dabbousi

June 27th 2024

As climate change experts increasingly warn that the world is approaching a breaking point, the question feels less theoretical and more urgent: can international law offer answers to the prospect of mass displacement in relation to climate change? This paper provides a concise overview of the conversation, examining the variety ...

The Carbon Footprint of the Whiskey Industry: is Federal Preemption at Odds with Environmental Health?

Dana Dabbousi

February 21st 2024

In Mulberry, Tennessee, residents have begun noticing the growth of a suspicious black fungus. The most likely culprit? Whiskey. This article explores the various challenges and opportunities associated with the community’s use of state law to address the growth of this fungus and find recourse for themselves.

California’s Ban on Climate-Informed Models for Wildfire Insurance Premiums

October 19th 2021

Popular news outlets have effectively covered how homeowners living in high fire risk areas find it increasingly difficult to obtain property insurance. However, there is very little public discussion of, and little scholarship on, how California’s rules against using current and future risk data – including cutting edge climate science ...

Food for Thought: The International Seed Treaty as a Tool to Promote Equity and Biodiversity in a Changing Global Climate

August 21st 2021

While much attention is shed upon the climate crisis, intimately intertwined—and arguably a bigger threat to human stability—is the biodiversity crisis. In particular, current industrial agricultural systems accelerate biodiversity loss and amplify climate change, which in turn intensifies widespread food insecurity and has left over 800 million people without adequate ...

Networked Federalism: Subnational Governments in the Biden Era

March 12th 2021

Subnational governments, working with non-governmental advocates, drove climate action during the Trump administration while rebuffing federal rollbacks. Under the Biden administration, focus may initially shift towards the federal government, but the subnational network is critical to continued progress on climate change. I use the term “networked federalism” to describe how ...

Colluding to Save the World: How Antitrust Laws Discourage Corporations from Taking Action on Climate Change

July 27th 2020

“The loftiest of purported motivations do not excuse anti-competitive collusion among rivals. That’s long-standing antitrust law.” So begins a USA Today opinion piece by Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General and head of the Antitrust Division. Delrahim was defending a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into four major automakers who had ...

The New(Clear?) Electricity Federalism: Federal Preemption of States’ “Zero Emissions Credit” Programs

ELQ Journal

April 27th 2018

Joel B. Eisen* Two pending federal appellate cases involving Illinois and New York laws, Old Mill Creek v. Star and Coalition For Competitive Electricity v. Zibelman respectively,[1] involve the conflict between federal authority over the electric grid and state laws supporting nuclear power plants. The issues are nearly identical in ...

The Electric Grid Confronts the Dormant Commerce Clause

ELQ Journal

April 17th 2018

by Sam Kalen & Steven Weissman Many modern energy dialogues gravitate toward a conversation about the present status of the jurisdictional divide between state and federal authority over the regulation of wholesale sales of energy. A March 3, 2017 Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) article began by observing how the ...


ELQ Journal

March 22nd 2018

By Sarah L. Fine This post is part of the Environmental Law Review Syndicate (ELRS). As the old saying goes, whiskey is for drinking—water is for fighting over. I. Introduction The mythic Dead Sea—the highly salinated, low-altitude lake of international interest and importance—is drying up.[1] Although the Jordan Rift Valley, where ...

Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Transportation Sector: A Cap-and-Invest Approach

ELQ Journal

March 7th 2018

James D. Flynn* This post is part of the Environmental Law Review Syndicate (ELRS). I. Introduction In recent years, states in New England and the mid-Atlantic region have made significant progress in reducing climate change-inducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the electricity generation sector.[1] This has largely been the result of ...

Opportunities to Address Climate Change in the Next Farm Bill

ELQ Journal

November 28th 2017

  Sara Dewey,[2] Liz Hanson,[3] & Claire Horan[4] This post is part of the Environmental Law Review Syndicate (ELRS). Original article can be found here. Introduction The Farm Bill affects nearly every aspect of agriculture and forestry in the United States. Therefore, its next reauthorization offers an important opportunity to better ...

The Case for Cap-and-Trade: California’s Battle for Market-Based Environmentalism

ELQ Journal

November 8th 2017

Theodore McDowell* This post is part of the Environmental Law Review Syndicate (ELRS).  The California Cap-and-Trade program has been a beacon of success for market-based environmentalism. The program masterfully incorporated the lessons learned from previous cap-and-trade initiatives by more precisely allocating emission allowances and by setting higher price floors for auctions. ...

The SB 32 Scoping Plan Update, Waivers, and ZEVs

ELQ Journal

May 14th 2017

Garrett Lenahan This post is part of the Environmental Law Review Syndicate (ELRS).  I. Scoping Plan Background Two prominent pieces of Californian legislation that seek to address climate change are Assembly Bill 32 ("AB 32") and Senate Bill 32 ("SB 32"). AB 32 required California to reduce its greenhouse gas ("GHG") ...

Funding Adaptation: Financing Resiliency Through Sea Level Derivatives

ELQ Journal

April 18th 2017

  Sevren Gourley*            Sevren Gourley is the Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Environmental Law Journal. This post is part of the Environmental Law Review Syndicate (ELRS).  Coastal municipalities are struggling to address the uncertain future risks created by sea level rise. Conventional models of ex ante protection and ex post relief are ...

An Autopsy of the Clean Power Plan

ELQ Journal

April 12th 2017

John Copeland Nagle* [ download PDF ] The Clean Power Plan (CPP) was supposed to be great. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) celebrated its regulation as “a historic and important step,” “fair, flexible and designed to strengthen the fast-growing trend toward cleaner and lower-polluting American energy,” providing “national consistency, accountability ...

Climate Change Regulation Through Litigation: New York’s Investigation of ExxonMobil under the Martin Act

Computer Courage

February 24th 2017

Chris Erickson Chris Erickson is a Junior Editor of the Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law at the University of Michigan Law School. This post is part of the Environmental Law Review Syndicate (ELRS). In November 2015, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman began an investigation into whether ExxonMobil ...

The Legislative History of the National Park Service’s Conservation and Nonimpairment Mandate

ELQ Journal

December 19th 2016

Caitlin Brown Caitlin Brown is a 3L at Berkeley Law and Co-Editor in Chief of Ecology Law Quarterly. This post is part of the Environmental Law Review Syndicate (ELRS).   Introduction The National Park Service manages over 84 million acres of land divided between 413 different sites, and in 2015 ...

Our Money is Safe, but the Planet Is Not: How the Carbon Bubble Will Cause Havoc for the Environment, but Not the Stock Market

ELQ Journal

December 13th 2016

Breanna Hayes Breanna Hayes is the Managing Editor of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law. This post is part of the Environmental Law Review Syndicate (ELRS).                  I.              Introduction Human use of fossil fuels dates back to prehistoric times.[1]  Before the Industrial Revolution, ...

The Importance of GIS in Emergency Management

ELQ Journal

November 27th 2016

Monika Holser Monika Holser is a 2L at UCLA School of Law. This post is part of the Environmental Law Review Syndicate (ELRS). GIS (geographic information system) is a computer system for “capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on the Earth’s surface.”[1]  It allows multiple layers of ...

Adapting the Paris Agreement

ELQ Journal

April 18th 2016

Bonnie Smith Bonnie Smith is the Staff Editor at the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law. This post is part of the Environmental Law Review Syndicate. Introduction For the first time in the history of international climate negotiations, adaptation has its own article in a legal text. Even more striking is ...

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