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Getting To Green: International Financing For Green Energy Infrastructure In Developing Countries, Zach Fechter, Meagan Corser Jun 2024

Getting To Green: International Financing For Green Energy Infrastructure In Developing Countries, Zach Fechter, Meagan Corser

Texas A&M Law Review

One of the symposium panels discussed financing clean energy projects. One panelist in particular expressed concern about how to build developing countries’ institutional capacity to utilize international financing for green energy. Global institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provide loans to developing countries conditioned on the countries privatizing and deregulating their energy sectors—otherwise known as austerity. While austerity measures may make sense in developed countries, this Comment argues that developing countries often lack the infrastructure needed to effectively utilize international financing precisely because the loans are conditioned on austerity. The World Bank and the IMF …


In Defense Of 2.0°C: The Value Of Aspirational Environmental Goals, Albert C. Lin May 2024

In Defense Of 2.0°C: The Value Of Aspirational Environmental Goals, Albert C. Lin

Texas A&M Law Review

Aspirational goals, such as the Paris Agreement’s goals of avoiding a global temperature increase of 1.5°C or 2.0°C, can be found throughout environmental law. Such goals, though sometimes unrealistic, perform important functions. They may serve as asymptotic directives that guide implementing entities; yardsticks to measure and evaluate progress; expressions of social values; and expanders of policy space. As asymptotic directives, aspirational goals may push actors to achieve more than they otherwise might accomplish. Incorporated into treaties or statutes, they can serve as guideposts for implementing concrete substantive and procedural requirements. With the passage of time, aspirational goals function as yardsticks …


The Climate Moratorium, Keith H. Hirokawa, Cinnamon P. Carlarne May 2024

The Climate Moratorium, Keith H. Hirokawa, Cinnamon P. Carlarne

Texas A&M Law Review

Climate change is our new reality. The impacts of climatic changes, including massive forest fires, floods, drought, severe storms, saltwater intrusion, and the resulting migration of people displaced by such impacts, will continue to ravage communities across the nation into the foreseeable future. In the meantime, communities continue to expand and growth continues unabated in many of the most climate-impacted areas. Given that most communities are unprepared for the onslaught of climate disasters and many continue to increase existing community vulnerabilities through unsustainable growth and development practices, we need legal tools that will provide space to engage in effective adaptation …


Turning Point: Green Industrial Policy And The Future Of U.S. Climate Action, Daniel A. Farber May 2024

Turning Point: Green Industrial Policy And The Future Of U.S. Climate Action, Daniel A. Farber

Texas A&M Law Review

In the first two years of the Biden presidency, Congress passed three massive funding bills, which poured hundreds of billions of dollars into clean energy infrastructure, research and development, and deployment of clean energy. Although these bills are not what lawyers are accustomed to thinking of as “environmental law,” they have the potential to launch a transformation of the energy sector. This development could not have come at a better time, given the Supreme Court’s increasingly skeptical attitude toward federal regulation.

Although the direct effect of these laws will be dramatic, this Article focuses on positive feedback loops that will …


The Evolving International Climate Change Regime: Mitigation, Adaptation, Reflection, Jonathan B. Wiener, Tyler Felgenhauer May 2024

The Evolving International Climate Change Regime: Mitigation, Adaptation, Reflection, Jonathan B. Wiener, Tyler Felgenhauer

Texas A&M Law Review

The complex international regime for climate change has evolved over the past three decades, from the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol through the Paris Agreement and beyond. We assess this evolution from the 1990s to the 2020s, and its potential future evolution from the 2020s to the 2050s, across three main policy strategies: mitigation, adaptation, and reflection. In its first three decades, the regime has focused predominantly on the mitigation of net emissions and on engaging all major emitting countries in that effort. More recently, as progress on mitigation has been slow and as the impacts …


Carrots, Sticks, And The Evolution Of U.S. Climate Policy, Brian Murray, Jonas Monast May 2024

Carrots, Sticks, And The Evolution Of U.S. Climate Policy, Brian Murray, Jonas Monast

Texas A&M Law Review

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), enacted by Congress in 2022, is the most significant federal investment in decarbonization in U.S. history. The law makes hundreds of billions of dollars available for clean energy tax credits, grants to state and local governments, and other financial incentives for public and private investments. The IRA’s focus on incentives, or “carrots,” marks a significant departure from the emphasis on prescriptive regulations and penalties, or “sticks,” that are prominent in federal and state climate policies that predate the IRA. This Article situates the IRA within the existing climate policy framework and explores the long-term impacts …


Left Behind: Funding Climate Action In The Global South, Chinonso Anozie May 2024

Left Behind: Funding Climate Action In The Global South, Chinonso Anozie

Texas A&M Law Review

Global clean energy transition envisions zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, as set by the United Nations. Consequentially, developed economies have made giant strides in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving full decarbonization. However, the opposite remains true in the Global South, lagging in financing its climate action. Despite being disproportionately impacted by climate change, financial efforts by developed economies and the Global South have failed in placing the latter’s countries at par with clean energy investments of developed countries. Absent adequate financing of climate action in the Global South, the net zero goal will be nothing but a mirage. …


(The Act Of) God’S Not Dead: Reforming The Act Of God Defense In The Face Of Anthropogenic Climate Change, Zachary David Fechter May 2024

(The Act Of) God’S Not Dead: Reforming The Act Of God Defense In The Face Of Anthropogenic Climate Change, Zachary David Fechter

Texas A&M Law Review

Natural phenomena like floods, droughts, and blizzards have a long history of causing damage. But these natural phenomena are now more frequent, intense, and therefore, foreseeable because of anthropogenic, or human-caused, climate change. Owing in part to the greater foreseeability of natural phenomena like weather, scholars believe the act of God defense—which excepts actors from liability when an unforeseeable and irresistible natural phenomenon is the proximate cause of damage—may be dead. Other scholars go further and argue the act of God defense should be dead, as corporate defendants can use it to evade liability even when their acts causally contribute …


The Role Of Data Sharing In Transboundary Waterways: The Case Of The Helmand River Basin, Najibullah Loodin, Gabriel Eckstein, Vijay P. Singh, Rosario Sanchez Jan 2024

The Role Of Data Sharing In Transboundary Waterways: The Case Of The Helmand River Basin, Najibullah Loodin, Gabriel Eckstein, Vijay P. Singh, Rosario Sanchez

Faculty Scholarship

While data and information exchanges theoretically play an effective role in the decision-making process of a shared watercourse, in practice, there are several challenges that prevent riparians from sharing data in an effective and cooperative manner. This chapter seeks to assess why the riparian nations of the Helmand River have failed to adopt an effective data exchange mechanism although both nations signed an internationally recognized bilateral water treaty in 1973. Applying a mixed study approach, the study draws on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to interpret the main obstacles of data sharing between Afghanistan, the upstream state, and Iran, …


Virtual Energy, Joel B. Eisen, Felix Mormann, Heather E. Payne Jan 2024

Virtual Energy, Joel B. Eisen, Felix Mormann, Heather E. Payne

Faculty Scholarship

From employment to education, many areas of our daily lives have gone virtual, including the virtual workplace and virtual classes. By comparison, the way we generate, deliver, and consume electricity is an anachronism. And the electric industry’s outdated business model and regulatory framework are failing. For the last century-and-a-half, we have relied on ever larger power plants to generate the electricity we consume, often hundreds of miles away from the point of production. But the outsized carbon footprint of these power plants and the need to transmit their output over long distances threaten the electric grid’s reliability, affordability, and long-term …


Smoky Wine Variety: How Federal Crop Insurance Hinders Grape Growers Affected By Wildfire Smoke, London T. Weston May 2023

Smoky Wine Variety: How Federal Crop Insurance Hinders Grape Growers Affected By Wildfire Smoke, London T. Weston

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

This Note comparatively argues that while both Californian and Australian grape growers lose millions of dollars from crops damaged by wildfire smoke taint, the two countries support and insure their farmers very differently. When both areas of the world are susceptible to the damaging effects of climate change, why are the producers not susceptible to the same type of crop relief? After a careful analysis of the types of insurance the United States and Australian governments offer grape growers, the inequity stands between the systematic approach to insuring citizens against wildfires. In America, federal crop insurance only protects crops touched …


Grid Governance In The Energy-Trilemma Era: Remedying The Democracy Deficit, Daniel E. Walters, Andrew N. Kleit May 2023

Grid Governance In The Energy-Trilemma Era: Remedying The Democracy Deficit, Daniel E. Walters, Andrew N. Kleit

Faculty Scholarship

Transforming the electric power grid is central to any viable scenario for addressing global climate change, but the process and politics of this transformation are complex. The desire to transform the grid creates an “energy trilemma” involving often conflicting desires for reliability, cost, and decarbonization; and, at least in the short run, it is difficult to avoid making tradeoffs between these different goals. It is somewhat shocking, then, that many crucial decisions about electric power service in the United States are made not by consumers or their utilities, nor by state public utilities commissions or federal regulators. Instead, for much …


Fishing And Fisheries Under International Water Law: A Dialogue Between Professor Gabriel Eckstein And Professor Paul Stanton Kibel, Gabriel Eckstein, Paul Stanton Kibel May 2023

Fishing And Fisheries Under International Water Law: A Dialogue Between Professor Gabriel Eckstein And Professor Paul Stanton Kibel, Gabriel Eckstein, Paul Stanton Kibel

Faculty Scholarship

On April 10 and 11, 2023, the Center on Urban Environmental Law (CUEL) at Golden Gate University School of Law hosted a two-day webinar on International Law Aspects of Fisheries and Hydropower in Europe. To open the webinar, Professor Gabriel Eckstein (of Texas A&M University School of Law) and Professor Paul Stanton Kibel (of Golden Gate University School of Law) participated in a keynote dialogue titled Fishing and Fisheries under International Water Law. What follows is a transcription of this dialogue between Professor Eckstein and Professor Kibel.


Species Survival Or The “3s Method”? How The Endangered Species Act Disincentivizes Landowner Cooperation And Threatens The Species It Supposedly Saves, William Edward Mahaffy Apr 2023

Species Survival Or The “3s Method”? How The Endangered Species Act Disincentivizes Landowner Cooperation And Threatens The Species It Supposedly Saves, William Edward Mahaffy

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) places restrictions on landowners when their property harbors endangered species. Though well-intentioned as a method of promoting species recovery, these restrictions actually have the reverse effect. Instead of accepting ESA regulations, landowners secretly eliminate endangered species from their property in what is colloquially known as “shoot, shovel, and shut up.” Collaboration between landowners and agencies is essential for species preservation. This Article illustrates the collaboration options, some within the limits of the ESA and others requiring its reform. The four options analyzed are (1) landowner peer review of species listing procedures, (2) congressional clarification of …


Extinction Or Bust: Improving Species Recovery Under The Endangered Species Act By Amending The Funding Allocation And Recovery Planning Processes, Max Hayashi Feb 2023

Extinction Or Bust: Improving Species Recovery Under The Endangered Species Act By Amending The Funding Allocation And Recovery Planning Processes, Max Hayashi

Texas A&M Law Review

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (“ESA”) is among the most powerful environmental statutes passed in U.S. history and serves as a blueprint for government-sanctioned conservation efforts globally. At its core, the ESA seeks to protect listed plant and animal species by prohibiting actions that harm their chances of survival. While the ESA has generally succeeded in pursuing this goal as implemented, it has also led to a host of problems that undermine its effectiveness and generated widespread discontent among conflicting, disparate stakeholders, including environmentalists, industry groups, government agencies, and private landowners. Criticisms of the ESA generally focus on several …


Climate Choice Architecture, Felix Mormann Jan 2023

Climate Choice Architecture, Felix Mormann

Faculty Scholarship

Personal choices drive global warming nearly as much as institutional decisions. Yet, policymakers overwhelmingly target large-scale industrial facilities for reductions in carbon emissions, with individual and household emissions a mere afterthought. Recent advances in behavioral economics, cognitive psychology, and related fields have produced a veritable behavior change revolution. Subtle changes to the choice environment, or nudges, have improved stake-holder decision-making in a wide range of contexts, from healthier food choices to better retirement planning. But the vast potential of choice architecture remains largely untapped for purposes of climate policy and action. This Article explores that untapped potential and makes the …


Do Not Put All Your Eggs In One Basket: Social Perspectives On Desalination And Water Recycling In Israel, Gretchen Sneegas, Lucas Seghezzo, Christian Brannstrom, Wendy Jepson, Gabriel Eckstein Nov 2022

Do Not Put All Your Eggs In One Basket: Social Perspectives On Desalination And Water Recycling In Israel, Gretchen Sneegas, Lucas Seghezzo, Christian Brannstrom, Wendy Jepson, Gabriel Eckstein

Faculty Scholarship

Israel has set ambitious goals in terms of the widespread adoption of desalination and water recycling technologies. Policymakers in Israel consider these technologies as the key to improve urban water security but knowledge of stakeholder views on this policy approach is not well established. We deployed the Q-methodology, a qualitative–quantitative approach, to empirically determine social perspectives on desalination and water recycling across a wide range of stakeholders in the Israeli water sector. We identified the following four distinctive social perspectives: (1) desalination should be the option of last resort; (2) desalination is moving us to an infinite resource; (3) equating …


Characterizing Legal Implications For The Use Of Transboundary Aquifers, Gabriel Eckstein Nov 2022

Characterizing Legal Implications For The Use Of Transboundary Aquifers, Gabriel Eckstein

Faculty Scholarship

Groundwater resources that traverse political boundaries are becoming increasingly important sources of freshwater in international and intranational arenas worldwide. This is a direct extension of the growing need for new sources of freshwater, as well as the impact that excessive extraction, pollution, climate change, and other anthropogenic activities have had on surface waters. It is also a function of the growing realization that groundwater respects no political boundaries, and that aquifers traverse jurisdictional lines at all levels of political geography.

Due to this growing awareness, questions pertaining to responsibility and liability are now being raised in relation to the use, …


In The Name Of Energy Sovereignty, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez Nov 2022

In The Name Of Energy Sovereignty, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez

Faculty Scholarship

Throughout history, the phrase "In the name of the King" justified actions that trumped the rights of citizens in order to safeguard the interests of the Crown. Today, in the name of energy sovereignty, states deploy the government apparatus to access oil and gas in other parts of the world, build pipelines on private lands, subsidize renewable energy, and nationalize their oil and power industries. States justify each of these actions by noting that they create a sense of energy independence, ensure security, or achieve other social and economic goals. Energy, however, cannot be trapped in one "realm." Its nature …


The Environmental, Social, Governance (Esg) Debate Emerges From The Soil Of Climate Denial, Lawrence J. Trautman, Neal Newman Oct 2022

The Environmental, Social, Governance (Esg) Debate Emerges From The Soil Of Climate Denial, Lawrence J. Trautman, Neal Newman

Faculty Scholarship

It has been almost six decades since Rachel Carson’s ominous warning of pending environmental disaster. During 2019 the United Nations requested urgent action from world leaders, given that “just over a decade is all that remains to stop irreversible damage from climate change.” With every passing year, damage resulting from destructive climate change causes increased pain, suffering, death and massive property loss. During 2020 and 2021 alone, severe weather events have included: destructive fires in California; record breaking freeze, power outage, and threat to the electrical grid in Texas; continuation of disruptive drought in U.S. Western states; and record-breaking high …


Current Challenges In The Rio Grande/Río Bravo Basin: Old Disputes In A New Century, Regina M. Buono, Gabriel Eckstein Aug 2022

Current Challenges In The Rio Grande/Río Bravo Basin: Old Disputes In A New Century, Regina M. Buono, Gabriel Eckstein

Faculty Scholarship

The Rio Grande River traverses 2000 kilometres of the international border between Mexico and the United States. The river and its tributaries are governed by a series of border treaties and institutions, as well as under the domestic laws of each nation. Often lauded for enabling innovative and collaborative governance, in recent years the complicated regime has come under pressure as domestic and international water governance institutions struggle under the strain of climate change, population growth, and other stressors on water supply and demand in the region. This chapter considers three of the major challenges currently facing the Rio Grande …


Ownership Concentration: Lessons From Natural Resources, Vanessa Casado-Pérez Aug 2022

Ownership Concentration: Lessons From Natural Resources, Vanessa Casado-Pérez

Faculty Scholarship

Concentration of ownership over land or other resources is both a sign and a cause of inequality. Concentration of ownership makes access to such resources difficult for those less powerful, and it can have negative effects on local communities that benefit from a more distributed ownership pattern. Such concentration goes against the antimonopoly principles behind the homesteading land policies and the legal regimes that regulate many natural resources. This Essay suggests that where concentration is a concern, one might draw lessons for reform by looking to the field of natural resources law, which employs a range of deconcentration mechanisms affecting …


Come Hell Or No Water: The Story Of Sandbranch And The Unincorporated Community Fight For Public Services, Daeja Pemberton Jun 2022

Come Hell Or No Water: The Story Of Sandbranch And The Unincorporated Community Fight For Public Services, Daeja Pemberton

Student Scholarship

Sandbranch is the only unincorporated community left in Dallas County, and the residents of this majority-Black, impoverished community have had their cries for basic necessities—such as clean, running water—largely ignored. With the County and the City of Dallas not remedying the problem so far, there is a question as to who is responsible for providing water and other public services to the community’s eighty residents. As it currently stands, Texas law simply permits local governments to offer assistance to unincorporated communities but does not mandate that affirmative measures be taken to ensure that these communities are provided for. What is …


Lumpy Social Goods In Energy Decarbonization: Why We Need More Than Just Markets For The Clean Energy Transition, Daniel E. Walters Jun 2022

Lumpy Social Goods In Energy Decarbonization: Why We Need More Than Just Markets For The Clean Energy Transition, Daniel E. Walters

Faculty Scholarship

To avoid the worst consequences of global climate change, the United States must achieve daunting targets for decarbonizing its electric power sector on a very short timescale. Policy experts largely agree that achieving these goals will require massive investment in new infrastructure to facilitate the deep integration of renewable fuels into the electric grid, including a new national high-voltage electric transmission network and grid-scale electricity storage, such as batteries. However, spurring investment in these needed infrastructures has proven to be challenging, despite numerous attempts by regulators and policymakers to clear a path for market-driven investment. Unchecked, this problem threatens to …


Natural Transplants, Vanessa Casado-Pérez, Yael R. Lifshitz Jun 2022

Natural Transplants, Vanessa Casado-Pérez, Yael R. Lifshitz

Faculty Scholarship

Policymakers are constantly faced with the complex task of managing novel challenges. At times, these challenges result from new technologies: Consider fights over allocating air rights for drones or decisions about how to share scarce vaccines in a pandemic. Other times the resources are old, but the challenges are new, such as how to fairly allocate water in times of unprecedented drought or previously undesirable rare earth minerals that are in demand for modern manufacturing and energy production. Often, instead of carefully tailoring a regime to the new resource, decisionmakers simply rely on mechanisms they are familiar with. When jurisdictions …


Can You Dig It? Yes, You Can! But At What Cost?: A Proposal For The Protection Of Domestic Fossils On Private Land, Bridget Roddy May 2022

Can You Dig It? Yes, You Can! But At What Cost?: A Proposal For The Protection Of Domestic Fossils On Private Land, Bridget Roddy

Texas A&M Journal of Property Law

Paleontological resources require similar protections to archaeological resources because the threat of looting, improper excavation, and market demand are analogous. Paleontological resources are responsible for informing much of scientists’ understanding of evolution and the history of the planet, just as cultural property helps to inform the evolution of humanity and culture. Once either object is removed from its original context, there is an immediate and invaluable loss of information that could have illuminated important information about the past. When either is removed from the environment in which they were created, a nonrenewable link to the past is lost.

Existing laws …


Groundwater Laws And Regulations: Survey Of Sixteen U.S. States, Abigail Adams, Jack Beasley, Rebekah Bratcher, Justin Clas, Jackson Field, Ian Gaunt, Ashley Graves, Merrick Hayashi, Jenna Lusk, Matthew Maslanka, Erin Milliken, Connor Pabich, Margaret Reed, A. Wesley Remschel, Lauren Thomas, Ashley Wilde Apr 2022

Groundwater Laws And Regulations: Survey Of Sixteen U.S. States, Abigail Adams, Jack Beasley, Rebekah Bratcher, Justin Clas, Jackson Field, Ian Gaunt, Ashley Graves, Merrick Hayashi, Jenna Lusk, Matthew Maslanka, Erin Milliken, Connor Pabich, Margaret Reed, A. Wesley Remschel, Lauren Thomas, Ashley Wilde

EENRS Program Reports & Publications

This report is the second volume in a continuing project designed to explore and articulate the groundwater laws and regulations of all fifty U.S. states. This particular report presents surveys for sixteen states throughout the country. The first volume featured thirteen state surveys and can be found at: http://www.law.tamu.edu/usgroundwaterlaws.

The purpose of the project is to compile and present the groundwater laws and regulations of every state in the United States that could then be used in a series of comparisons of groundwater governance principles, strategies, issues, and challenges. Professor Gabriel Eckstein at Texas A&M University School of Law and …


Transboundary Aquifers, Raya Marina Stephan, Alice Aureli, Aurélien Dumont, Annukka Lipponen, Sarah Tiefenauer-Linardon, Christina Fraser, Alfonso Rivera, Shammy Puri, Stefano Burchi, Gabriel Eckstein, Christian Brethaut, Ziad Khayat, Karen Villholth, Lesha Witmer, Renee Martin-Nagle, Anita Milman, Francesco Sindico, James Dalton Apr 2022

Transboundary Aquifers, Raya Marina Stephan, Alice Aureli, Aurélien Dumont, Annukka Lipponen, Sarah Tiefenauer-Linardon, Christina Fraser, Alfonso Rivera, Shammy Puri, Stefano Burchi, Gabriel Eckstein, Christian Brethaut, Ziad Khayat, Karen Villholth, Lesha Witmer, Renee Martin-Nagle, Anita Milman, Francesco Sindico, James Dalton

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter gives an overview of the status of transboundary aquifers and the cooperation related to shared groundwater resources, highlighting the complexity of the assessment, analysis and management of these systems. It summarizes the main challenges regarding transboundary aquifers and the need for more comprehensive and integrated management, which would include technical, legal and organizational aspects as well as training and cooperation.


Legal And Other Institutional Aspects Of Groundwater Governance, Jenny Grönwall, Marianne Kjellén, Alice Aureli, Stefano Burchi, Mohamed Bazza, Raya Marina Stephan, Gabriel Eckstein, Lesha Witmer, Margreet Zwarteveen, Aurélien Dumont, Danielle Gaillar-Picher, Rio Hada, Rebecca Welling, Maki Tsujimura Apr 2022

Legal And Other Institutional Aspects Of Groundwater Governance, Jenny Grönwall, Marianne Kjellén, Alice Aureli, Stefano Burchi, Mohamed Bazza, Raya Marina Stephan, Gabriel Eckstein, Lesha Witmer, Margreet Zwarteveen, Aurélien Dumont, Danielle Gaillar-Picher, Rio Hada, Rebecca Welling, Maki Tsujimura

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter defines the linked concepts of groundwater governance and groundwater management, explaining how they differ from each other. Then, it describes the prevailing legal instruments for, and the institutional aspects of, groundwater management and governance.


Groundwater Policy And Planning, Jenny Grönwall, Marianne Kjellén, Gabriel Eckstein, Kerstin Danert, Lesha Witmer, Rebecca Welling, Viviana Re, Katharina Davis, Lulu Zhang Apr 2022

Groundwater Policy And Planning, Jenny Grönwall, Marianne Kjellén, Gabriel Eckstein, Kerstin Danert, Lesha Witmer, Rebecca Welling, Viviana Re, Katharina Davis, Lulu Zhang

Faculty Scholarship

Groundwater policy defines objectives, ambitions and priorities for managing groundwater resources, for the benefit of society. Planning translates policy into programmes of action. Both are often part of a wider water resource policy and planning framework, but the specific challenges pertaining to groundwater have traditionally received less attention than surface water.

The terms ‘policy,’ ‘strategy’ and ‘plans’ are used interchangeably in many countries and contexts.