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Full-Text Articles in Law

Contagious Environmental Lawmaking, Natasha Affolder May 2019

Contagious Environmental Lawmaking, Natasha Affolder

Faculty Publications

It is rare to find an environmental law development or ‘innovation’ announced or celebrated without some discussion of its transferability. Discourses of diffusion are becoming increasingly central to the way that we develop, communicate and frame environmental law ideas. And yet, this significant dimension of environmental law practice seems to have outgrown existing conceptual scaffolding and scholarly vocabularies. The concept, and intentionally unfamiliar terminology, of ‘contagious lawmaking’ creates a space for both fleshing out, and problematizing, the phenomenon of the dynamic and multi-directional transfer of environmental law ideas. This article sets the stage for further study of the global diffusion ...


Time To Act: Response To Questions Posed By The Expert Panel On Sustainable Finance On Fiduciary Obligation And Effective Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, Janis P. Sarra, Cynthia Williams Jan 2019

Time To Act: Response To Questions Posed By The Expert Panel On Sustainable Finance On Fiduciary Obligation And Effective Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, Janis P. Sarra, Cynthia Williams

Faculty Publications

While there are numerous strategies to be deployed to move Canada to a financially sustainable future, this study addresses two critically important issues: fiduciary obligation of corporate- and pension-fiduciaries, and national action on environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) financial disclosure, including climate-related financial risk disclosure. The Canadian economy is facing significant challenges and disruptions in the transition to a lower carbon world. Absent clear and innovative steps to ensure our corporations and financial institutions act to address carbon emissions and other environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities, we will be seriously prejudiced in a world that is rapidly moving ...


The Brave New World Of Energy And Natural Resources Development, Donald N. Zillman Jan 2019

The Brave New World Of Energy And Natural Resources Development, Donald N. Zillman

Faculty Publications

The world of energy and natural resources development has changed a great deal over the past 30 months, perhaps more so than in the preceding 30 years. Beginning with the June 2016 vote in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union and continuing through today, there are global signs of increasing emphasis on protecting national sovereignty and less on world efforts to address major environmental and energy issues. Admittedly, the United Nations-based effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions continues to move forward. However, more than a few nations are hinting that they may not live up to their commitments ...


Transnational Climate Law, Natasha Affolder Jan 2019

Transnational Climate Law, Natasha Affolder

Faculty Publications

Climate change leaves little on this planet untouched. The concept of transnational law is no exception. Transnational law has long functioned as a mechanism for illuminating particular legal subjects, processes, and spaces: the empty space left by existing doctrinal perspectives, the relationships between, around and outside of national laws, the importance for law of private actors and the power and powerlessness of those actors. It offers a way of opening our eyes to spheres of normativity other than the nation state and distinct ways of conceiving of the nation state itself. But climate change shatters the idea that jurisdictional borders ...


President Trump, The New Chicago School And The Future Of Environmental Law And Scholarship, Sarah B. Schindler Nov 2018

President Trump, The New Chicago School And The Future Of Environmental Law And Scholarship, Sarah B. Schindler

Faculty Publications

Recent presidents including Bill Clinton, G. W. Bush, and Barack Obama have refined how environmental law has been enacted and carried out. Under President Trump, the scope of public environmental law will most certainly narrow. It seems likely that the future of environmental law will depend not upon traditional federal command-and-control legislation or executive branch maneuvering, but instead upon activating environmentalism through expanded substantive areas and innovative regulatory techniques that fall outside the existing, traditional norms of environmental law and legal scholarship. This chapter is an attempt to acknowledge this monumental change, recognizing that these barriers to traditional environmental regulation ...


The Emperor’S New Clothes: The Variety Of Stakeholders In Climate Change Regulation Assuming The Mantle Of Federal And International Authority, Linda A. Malone Aug 2018

The Emperor’S New Clothes: The Variety Of Stakeholders In Climate Change Regulation Assuming The Mantle Of Federal And International Authority, Linda A. Malone

Faculty Publications

In June 2017, President Donald Trump announced the United States would be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. President Trump believes the United States should be more focused on its economic wellbeing than on environmental concerns. Since being elected, President Trump has, with the help of the Environmental Protection Agency, been rolling back, or attempting to roll back, major climate change regulations. However, this Article points out that due to factors such as international law, the United States Constitution, and the Administrative Procedure Act, one cannotjust simply withdraw from an international agreement, such as the Paris Accord, or take back ...


Allocating Property Interests In Ecosystem Services: From Chaos To Flowing Rivers, Kalyani Robbins Jan 2018

Allocating Property Interests In Ecosystem Services: From Chaos To Flowing Rivers, Kalyani Robbins

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Complementary Authority And The One-Way Ratchet: Ecosystem Services Property, Regulation, And Wildlife Conservation, Kalyani Robbins Jan 2018

Complementary Authority And The One-Way Ratchet: Ecosystem Services Property, Regulation, And Wildlife Conservation, Kalyani Robbins

Faculty Publications

Due to the priorities of the Trump Administration, which are not a great match with those of the conservation community, we find ourselves in a period of rollbacks for all kinds of environmental regulation, including the protection of wildlife. When the federal government fails to adequately regulate, we look to other sources of authority to fill that gap. The first and most obvious place to look is to state and local governments. They are our best hope to avoid hemorrhaging vulnerable species during this presidency. Alas, looking at the realities of state wildlife conservation laws, we see the gaps remain ...


Fiduciary Obligations In Business And Investment: Implications Of Climate Change, Janis P. Sarra Oct 2017

Fiduciary Obligations In Business And Investment: Implications Of Climate Change, Janis P. Sarra

Faculty Publications

Fiduciary obligation, under both corporate law and the common law, requires directors and officers to identify and address climate-related financial and other risks. In fulfilling their obligations to act in the best interests of the company, directors and officers must directly engage with developments in knowledge regarding physical and transition risks related to climate change and how these risks may impact their corporation. Depending on the firm’s economic activities, the risk may be minor or highly significant, but directors and officers have an obligation to make the inquiries, to devise strategies to address risks, and to have an ongoing ...


California's Climate Diplomacy And Dormant Preemption, David L. Sloss Oct 2017

California's Climate Diplomacy And Dormant Preemption, David L. Sloss

Faculty Publications

After President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, Governor Brown issued a joint statement with his counterparts from New York and Washington, announcing that the three governors “are teaming up to fight climate change in response to President Trump’s” withdrawal decision. A few days later, Governor Brown met in Beijing with China’s President Xi Jinping. The Chinese President reportedly “welcomed California’s efforts to work with the Chinese government to help combat global warming.” According to the California government web site, the state is party to a total of 54 “international ...


Grid Modernization And Energy Poverty, Shelley Welton May 2017

Grid Modernization And Energy Poverty, Shelley Welton

Faculty Publications

Grid modernization holds the alluring promise of rationalizing electricity pricing, saving consumers money, and improving environmental quality all at the same time. Yet, we have seen only limited and patchwork regulatory initiatives towards significant grid modernization in the United States. Outside of a few leading states, state energy regulators appear loath to embrace fullthroated versions of the project. This article argues that the underdiscussed problem of energy poverty in the United States is a critical contributing factor in the gap between grid modernization’s possibilities and our regulatory reality. Only by explicitly understanding how the issues of grid modernization and ...


Food And Fertile Ground: Improving Chinese Food Safety Through Environmental Regulation, Brent Domann Jan 2017

Food And Fertile Ground: Improving Chinese Food Safety Through Environmental Regulation, Brent Domann

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Alienation And Reconciliation In Social-Ecological Systems, Ann M. Eisenberg Jan 2017

Alienation And Reconciliation In Social-Ecological Systems, Ann M. Eisenberg

Faculty Publications

After rancher Ammon Bundy’s forceful occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to protest federal “tyranny” in 2016, mainstream commentary dismissed Bundy and his supporters as crackpots. But the dismissal of the occupation as errant overlooked this event’s significance. This conflict: 1) involved a clash over scarce natural resources, of the type that will likely gain more frequency and intensity in the face of climate change; and 2) highlighted the popular idea that the federal government and federal environmental regulations are the enemy of the (white, rural, male) worker. This thread of antienvironmental, anti-federal alienation among many working ...


Do Sagebrush Rebels Have A Colorable Claim? The Space Between Parochialism And Exclusion In Federal Lands Management, Ann M. Eisenberg Jan 2017

Do Sagebrush Rebels Have A Colorable Claim? The Space Between Parochialism And Exclusion In Federal Lands Management, Ann M. Eisenberg

Faculty Publications

This Article asks whether the troubling nature of the Sagebrush Rebellion and similar movements (e.g., their violence, antienvironmentalism, and racist overtones) has made us overly dismissive of a kernel of truth in their complaints. Commentators often acknowledge that federal lands management may be “unfair” to local communities, but the ethical and legal characteristics of the unfairness concern remain under-explored. Although the Sagebrush Rebellion and federal lands communities are far from synonymous, substantial overlap between the complaints and demands of Sagebrush Rebels and the complaints and demands of many regional local (and state) governments suggests that to explore the one ...


Water Governance In Haiti: An Assessment Of Laws And Institutional Capacities, Ryan Stoa Jan 2017

Water Governance In Haiti: An Assessment Of Laws And Institutional Capacities, Ryan Stoa

Faculty Publications

The Republic of Haiti struggles to sustainably manage its water resources. Public health is compromised by low levels of water supply, sanitation, and hygiene, and water resources are often contaminated and unsustainably allocated. While poor governance is often blamed for these shortcomings, the laws and institutions regulating water resources in Haiti are poorly understood, especially by the international community. This study brings together and analyzes Haitian water laws, assesses institutional capacities, and provides a case study of water management in northern Haiti in order to provide a more complete picture of the sector. Funded by the Inter-American Development Bank as ...


Report And Recommendations Concerning Environmental Aspects Of The New York State Constitution, New York State Bar Association Environmental And Energy Law Section, Mary L. Lyndon Jan 2017

Report And Recommendations Concerning Environmental Aspects Of The New York State Constitution, New York State Bar Association Environmental And Energy Law Section, Mary L. Lyndon

Faculty Publications

The purpose of the Report is to inform and enrich understanding of environmental issues which may be considered at a Constitutional Convention (should one occur) or with respect to proposals to amend the Constitution through the legislative process.


The Opportunities And Limitations Of Neutral Carbon Tariffs, Juscelino F. Colares, Ashwin Rode Jan 2017

The Opportunities And Limitations Of Neutral Carbon Tariffs, Juscelino F. Colares, Ashwin Rode

Faculty Publications

Because carbon taxes can lead to loss of competitiveness, applying tariffs on imports from non-carbon-restricting countries helps address the cost disadvantage faced by producers in carbon-restricting countries. Such tariffs, known as border carbon adjustments ("BCAs"), can also help reduce possible carbon "leakage," or the growth in foreign emissions due to increased production of carbon-intensive goods in non-carbon-restricting countries. We demonstrate that BCAs that do not exceed the burdens imposed by carbon taxation on domestic like products could be consistent with World Trade Organization ("WTO") rules. However, "neutral" (i.e., nondiscriminatory) BCAs might still be inefficiently high from a global welfare ...


The Biodiversity Paradigm Shift: Adapting The Endangered Species Act To Climate Change, Kalyani Robbins Jan 2016

The Biodiversity Paradigm Shift: Adapting The Endangered Species Act To Climate Change, Kalyani Robbins

Faculty Publications

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was designed to protect species that had been rendered more vulnerable to extinction as a result of human activity. As such, its implementation has traditionally focused on keeping human beings away from such species and giving the species (and their ecosystems) space to heal on their own. Climate change is altering the landscape everywhere on the globe, rendering the hands-off approach no longer sufficient. Active interventions will become more necessary as we get further into the changing climate. Taking decisive action in response to climate change will also require a fundamental shift in our approach ...


The Promise Of The Rule Of (Environmental) Law: A Reply To Pardy's Unbearable Licence, Jocelyn Stacey Jan 2016

The Promise Of The Rule Of (Environmental) Law: A Reply To Pardy's Unbearable Licence, Jocelyn Stacey

Faculty Publications

This short reply clarifies and defends the argument presented in "The Environmental Emergency and the Legality of Discretion in Environmental Law." It responds to the arguments that were made, and that could have been made, in Pardy's critique "An Unbearable Licence".


Preventive Justice, The Precautionary Principle And The Rule Of Law, Jocelyn Stacey Jan 2016

Preventive Justice, The Precautionary Principle And The Rule Of Law, Jocelyn Stacey

Faculty Publications

Despite its largely preventive orientation, environmental law has, with one exception, remained distinct from the burgeoning field of preventive justice. The exception is the precautionary principle, which has become a subject of interest and frequent skepticism amongst preventive justice scholars. The precautionary principle is a central principle in environmental law. Its centrality arises from the pervasiveness of scientific uncertainty in environmental regulation; that is, our inability to reliably predict the consequences of our policy choices on environmental and human health. The precautionary principle squarely addresses the question of how we ought to proceed in the face of unavoidable uncertainty. This ...


Beyond Science And Hysteria: Reality And Perceptions Of Environmental Justice Concerns Surrounding Marcellus And Utica Shale Gas Development, Ann M. Eisenberg Jan 2015

Beyond Science And Hysteria: Reality And Perceptions Of Environmental Justice Concerns Surrounding Marcellus And Utica Shale Gas Development, Ann M. Eisenberg

Faculty Publications

The debate surrounding the use of hydraulic fracturing (also known as “fracking” or “HF”) to extract natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale deposits is often characterized as a tension between economic development and environmental risks. But frequently missing from this dichotomy is the fact that the concerns of many who oppose HF use extend beyond the purely “environmental,” and also include concerns about issues such as “the natural resource curse” and losing autonomy. These concerns ring of “environmental justice” rather than “environmentalism.” Environmental justice espouses the belief that no group should bear disproportionate environmental consequences resulting from industrial ...


Weed And Water Law: Regulating Legal Marijuana, Ryan Stoa Jan 2015

Weed And Water Law: Regulating Legal Marijuana, Ryan Stoa

Faculty Publications

Marijuana is nearing the end of its prohibition in the United States. Arguably the country’s largest cash crop, marijuana is already legal for recreational use in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington DC. Between now and election day 2016, an additional 14 states may place marijuana legalization initiatives on their ballots. In addition, 23 states and Washington DC have legalized medical marijuana, with up to seven states pending legislation. The era of marijuana prohibition is rapidly coming to a close.

At the same time, traditional doctrines of water law are struggling to cope with the modern realities of water ...


A Sour Battle In Lago Agrio And Beyond: The Metamorphosis Of Transnational Litigation And The Protection Of Collective Rights In Ecuador, Manuel A. Gomez Jan 2015

A Sour Battle In Lago Agrio And Beyond: The Metamorphosis Of Transnational Litigation And The Protection Of Collective Rights In Ecuador, Manuel A. Gomez

Faculty Publications

This article intends to explore the interplay between different dispute processing mechanisms and fora in the realm of transnational litigation, through the lens of the Chevron-Ecuador legal saga. My goal is to discuss the transformation of a transnational complex case and the challenges faced by the parties, their procedural strategies, and the perceived advantages of the different mechanisms. In this regard, I will also address the development of mechanisms for the protection of diffuse rights involving the environment; the role of the courts in supervising compliance with judicial remedies, their engagement in activities that go beyond their traditional role as ...


Droughts, Floods, And Wildfires: Paleo Perspectives On Disaster Law In The Anthropocene, Ryan Stoa Jan 2015

Droughts, Floods, And Wildfires: Paleo Perspectives On Disaster Law In The Anthropocene, Ryan Stoa

Faculty Publications

Humanity’s impact on the earth has become so pronounced that momentum is building toward adopting a new term for the modern geological age — the “Anthropocene.” The term signifies that human activity has reached a scale that it is now a planetary force capable of shaping ecosystems and natural processes. And yet, anthropocentric natural resources management and environmental lawmaking in the United States reveals a lack of control in managing natural systems and fostering resilience to extreme events. These systems do not easily conform to the whims of reactionary environmental policies. Droughts, floods, and wildfires, in particular, are often conceptualized ...


The Environmental Emergency And The Legality Of Discretion In Environmental Law, Jocelyn Stacey Jan 2015

The Environmental Emergency And The Legality Of Discretion In Environmental Law, Jocelyn Stacey

Faculty Publications

This article argues that environmental issues confront us as an ongoing emergency. The epistemic features of serious environmental issues – the fact that we cannot reliably distinguish ex ante between benign policy choices and choices that may lead to environmental catastrophe – are the same features of an emergency. This means that, like emergencies, environmental issues pose a fundamental challenge for the rule of law: they reveal the necessity of unconstrained executive discretion. Discretion is widely lamented as a fundamental flaw in Canadian environmental law, which undermines both environmental protection and the rule of law itself. Through the conceptual framework of the ...


Banning Lawns, Sarah B. Schindler Jan 2014

Banning Lawns, Sarah B. Schindler

Faculty Publications

Recognizing their role in sustainability efforts, many local governments are enacting climate change plans, mandatory green building ordinances, and sustainable procurement policies. But thus far, local governments have largely ignored one of the most pervasive threats to sustainability — lawns. This Article examines the trend toward sustainability mandates by considering the implications of a ban on lawns, the single largest irrigated crop in the United States.

Green yards are deeply seated in the American ethos of the sanctity of the single-family home. However, this psychological attachment to lawns results in significant environmental harms: conventional turfgrass is a non-native monocrop that contributes ...


Comparing The Clean Air Act And A Carbon Price, Nathan D. Richardson, Arthur Fraas Jan 2014

Comparing The Clean Air Act And A Carbon Price, Nathan D. Richardson, Arthur Fraas

Faculty Publications

Over the last half-decade, a variety of federal legislative proposals for limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been put forward, most of which would set a price on carbon. As of early 2013, the one politically plausible policy appears to be a carbon tax, passed as part of a larger fiscal reform package. Meanwhile, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun regulating GHG emissions from a variety of sources using its authority under the Clean Air Act. It may be necessary to choose between these two policies, however. The Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill that failed in 2009 would have preempted ...


Responsible, Renewable, And Redesigned: How The Renewable Energy Movement Can Make Peace With The Endangered Species Act, Kalyani Robbins Jan 2014

Responsible, Renewable, And Redesigned: How The Renewable Energy Movement Can Make Peace With The Endangered Species Act, Kalyani Robbins

Faculty Publications

One of the most promising routes to a sustainable energy future, as well as climate change mitigation, is the development of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar energy, and hydropower. Indeed, scientists have proposed plans to move completely (100 percent!) to these energy sources within a couple of decades. Mark Z. Jacobson and M.A. Delucchi, scientists from Stanford and U.C. Davis, have outlined a plan to achieve this goal, thereby “eliminating all fossil fuels”. Hydroelectric power already provides almost one-fifth of the world's electricity, and wind and solar development is rapidly picking up as well. However ...


Governing The Ungovernable: Integrating The Multimodal Approach To Keeping Agricultural Land Use From Swallowing Ecosystems, Kalyani Robbins Jan 2014

Governing The Ungovernable: Integrating The Multimodal Approach To Keeping Agricultural Land Use From Swallowing Ecosystems, Kalyani Robbins

Faculty Publications

As the population grows, so does the conflict between demand for agricultural productivity and the need to maintain healthy ecosystems. Unfortunately, this concern alone does not motivate the agricultural industry to operate in a more environmentally friendly manner, nor is it an industry that has proven amenable to strict regulation. Indeed, any such effort must face one of the mightiest lobbies of all time. As it functions today, agriculture is unsustainable and at risk of wiping out more than its fair share of our already dwindling biodiversity. As demand increases, there is the potential for it to get worse than ...


Subsidiarity In Principle:Decentralization Of Water Resources Management, Ryan B. Stoa Jan 2014

Subsidiarity In Principle:Decentralization Of Water Resources Management, Ryan B. Stoa

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.