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Columbia Law School

Environmental Law

Law

2021

Articles 1 - 12 of 12

Full-Text Articles in Law

Guide On Incentives For Responsible Investment In Agriculture And Food Systems, Anna Bulman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Ladan Mehranvar, Ella Merrill, Yannick Fiedler May 2021

Guide On Incentives For Responsible Investment In Agriculture And Food Systems, Anna Bulman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Ladan Mehranvar, Ella Merrill, Yannick Fiedler

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

To support implementation of the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS RAI), CCSI has developed resources for governments and other stakeholders in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

This work includes an online course on creating an enabling environment for responsible investment in agriculture and food systems. The course is freely available, accessible online and available for download. Part I highlights the features and key players of an enabling environment that promotes responsible investment in agriculture and food security. Part II addresses multi-stakeholder engagement in the design of legal and ...


The Case For A Climate-Smart Update Of The Africa Mining Vision, Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Karan Bhulwaka, Kojo Busia Apr 2021

The Case For A Climate-Smart Update Of The Africa Mining Vision, Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Karan Bhulwaka, Kojo Busia

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The 2009 Africa Mining Vision (AMV) provides guidance for the industrialization of African countries by leveraging their mining sector. However, the global context has changed since its adoption. As a result, it does not include guidance on how governments should embrace the climate change agenda as an opportunity for better and further industrialization, deeper linkages, and sustainable development.

There are many ways to look at the implications of international climate change policy for Africa, including through the increased extraction of minerals needed in clean energy application and the greening of mines. The localization of global value chains – induced by a ...


Transparency For Whom? Grounding Land Investment Transparency In The Needs Of Local Actors, Sam Szoke-Burke Mar 2021

Transparency For Whom? Grounding Land Investment Transparency In The Needs Of Local Actors, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Transparency is often seen as a means of improving governance and accountability of investment, but its potential to do so is hindered by vague definitions and failures to focus on the needs of key local actors.

In this new report focusing on agribusiness, forestry, and renewable energy projects (“land investments”), CCSI grounds transparency in the needs of project-affected communities and other local actors. Transparency efforts that seek to inform and empower communities can also help governments, companies, and other actors to more effectively manage operational risk linked to social conflict.

Troublingly, the report finds that:

  • Disclosures around land investments continue ...


Transparency Of Land-Based Investments: Cameroon Country Snapshot, Sam Szoke-Burke, Samuel Nguiffo, Stella Tchoukep Mar 2021

Transparency Of Land-Based Investments: Cameroon Country Snapshot, Sam Szoke-Burke, Samuel Nguiffo, Stella Tchoukep

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Despite a recent transparency law and participation in transparency initiatives, Cameroon’s investment environment remains plagued by poor transparency.

In a new report focusing on agribusiness projects in Cameroon, CCSI and the Centre pour l’Environnement et le Développement (CED) find that:

  • Communities continue to be excluded from decision-making around investments.
  • The government pursues a top-down approach to concession allocation and remains reluctant to recognize all legitimate tenure rights.
  • The government faces threats to its legitimacy as the grievances of citizens and investors alike lead to the barring of roads by communities and investor withdrawals.

CCSI and CED therefore call ...


Should The European Union Fix, Leave Or Kill The Energy Charter Treaty?, Martin Dietrich Brauch Feb 2021

Should The European Union Fix, Leave Or Kill The Energy Charter Treaty?, Martin Dietrich Brauch

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In the early 1990s, the European Economic Community – the predecessor of the European Union (EU) – spearheaded an initiative to promote international cooperation in the energy sector, particularly with post-Soviet States in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Out of this process the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) was born in 1994. Going much beyond international cooperation, the treaty allows foreign investors in the energy sector to sue their host States in international arbitral tribunals and claim monetary compensation when policy measures and other State action affect their interests.

Fast-forward to 2021. With 135 known cases initiated to date, the ECT’s is ...


Nigeria’S Petroleum Industry Bill: A Missed Opportunity To Prepare For The Zero-Carbon Future, Solina Kennedy, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Perrine Toledano, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye Jan 2021

Nigeria’S Petroleum Industry Bill: A Missed Opportunity To Prepare For The Zero-Carbon Future, Solina Kennedy, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Perrine Toledano, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

With Nigeria’s National Assembly debating the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in the first quarter of 2021 – after nearly two decades of attempted reform of the country’s petroleum sector – Nigeria has a unique opportunity to rethink the role of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria’s economy and build out the country’s energy sector and economic capacity for the long term. CCSI’s report Equipping the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for the Low-Carbon Transition, released before the PIB was publicized, advances suggestions on how to do so. The PIB takes notable steps toward much-needed reform ...


Presidential Progress On Climate Change: Will The Courts Interfere With What Needs To Be Done To Save Our Planet?, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2021

Presidential Progress On Climate Change: Will The Courts Interfere With What Needs To Be Done To Save Our Planet?, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

The Biden Administration is undertaking numerous actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition away from fossil fuels as part of the fight against climate change. Many of these actions are likely to be challenged in court. This paper describes the various legal theories that are likely to be used in these challenges, assesses their prospects of success given the current composition of the Supreme Court, and suggests ways to minimize the risks.


The Legal Framework For Offshore Carbon Capture And Storage In Canada, Romany M. Webb, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2021

The Legal Framework For Offshore Carbon Capture And Storage In Canada, Romany M. Webb, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

Averting catastrophic climate change requires immediate action to prevent additional carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. However, even that may not be sufficient, with many scientists now warning that it will likely also be necessary to reduce the existing atmospheric carbon dioxide load. That could be achieved using negative emissions technologies that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store or utilize it in some way. One promising technology is direct air capture (“DAC”) which uses liquid chemical solutions or solid sorbent filters to capture carbon dioxide from the air and concentrate it into a ...


Making America A Better Place For All: Sustainable Development Recommendations For The Biden Administration, John C. Dernbach, Scott E. Schang, Robert W. Adler, Karol Boudreaux, John Bouman, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Kimberly Brown, Mikhail Chester, Michael B. Gerrard, Stephen Herzenberg, Samuel Markolf, Corey Malone-Smolla, Jane Nelson, Uma Outka, Tony Pipa, Alexandra Phelan, Leroy Paddock, Jonathan D. Rosenbloom, William Snape, Anastasia Telesetsky, Gerald Torres, Elizabeth Ann Kronk Warner, Audra Wilson Jan 2021

Making America A Better Place For All: Sustainable Development Recommendations For The Biden Administration, John C. Dernbach, Scott E. Schang, Robert W. Adler, Karol Boudreaux, John Bouman, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Kimberly Brown, Mikhail Chester, Michael B. Gerrard, Stephen Herzenberg, Samuel Markolf, Corey Malone-Smolla, Jane Nelson, Uma Outka, Tony Pipa, Alexandra Phelan, Leroy Paddock, Jonathan D. Rosenbloom, William Snape, Anastasia Telesetsky, Gerald Torres, Elizabeth Ann Kronk Warner, Audra Wilson

Faculty Scholarship

In 2015, the United Nations Member States, including the United States, unanimously approved 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. The SDGs are nonbinding; each nation is to implement them based on its own priorities and circumstances. This Article argues that the SDGs are a critical normative framework the United States should use to improve human quality of life, freedom, and opportunity by integrating economic and social development with environmental protection. It collects the recommendations of 22 experts on steps that the Biden-Harris Administration should take now to advance each of the SDGs. It is part of ...


Removing Carbon Dioxide Through Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement And Seaweed Cultivation: Legal Challenges And Opportunities, Romany M. Webb, Korey Silverman-Roati, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2021

Removing Carbon Dioxide Through Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement And Seaweed Cultivation: Legal Challenges And Opportunities, Romany M. Webb, Korey Silverman-Roati, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

This paper explores two ocean-based carbon dioxide removal strategies – ocean alkalinity enhancement and seaweed cultivation. Ocean alkalinity enhancement involves adding alkalinity to ocean waters, either by discharging alkaline rocks or through an electrochemical process, which increases ocean pH levels and thereby enables greater uptake of carbon dioxide, as well as reducing the adverse impacts of ocean acidification. Seaweed cultivation involves the growing of kelp and other macroalgae to store carbon in biomass, which can then either be used to replace more greenhouse gas-intensive products or sequestered.

This paper also examines the international and U.S. legal frameworks that apply to ...


Principles Of International Law And The Adoption Of A Market-Based Mechanism For Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Shipping, Hillary Aidun, Daniel J. Metzger, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2021

Principles Of International Law And The Adoption Of A Market-Based Mechanism For Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Shipping, Hillary Aidun, Daniel J. Metzger, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

Emissions from shipping are a significant driver of human-induced climate change. International action to date has not succeeded in setting those emissions on a sustainable trajectory. The International Maritime Organization has committed to implementing an effective, international approach to tackle international shipping’s contribution to climate change.

This paper considers international law principles, exploring whether and how these principles may provide a basis for the IMO to address those contributions. The polluter pays principle, which counsels that whoever produces pollution should cover the costs their pollution imposes on others, is a doctrine of international law that offers strong support for ...


America's Zero Carbon Action Plan: Federal Legislative And Administrative Framework, John C. Dernbach, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2021

America's Zero Carbon Action Plan: Federal Legislative And Administrative Framework, John C. Dernbach, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter sets out proposed federal laws and policies for America's Zero Carbon Action Plan, a comprehensive report on how to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This chapter sets forth recommendations for all four pillars of deep decarbonization – electricity decarbonization, energy efficiency and conservation, electrification of transportation and buildings, and carbon capture. It is supplemented with recommendations for significant reductions in emissions of non-carbon dioxide pollutants, as well as for changes in foreign policy. Each set of recommendations is accompanied by an explanation of the underlying strategy for the proposed changes.