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Full-Text Articles in Law

Public Insurance As A Lever For Semi-Managed Climate Retreat, Albert C. Lin Jun 2024

Public Insurance As A Lever For Semi-Managed Climate Retreat, Albert C. Lin

Georgia Law Review

Private insurers are declining to issue or renew homeowner policies in California, Colorado, Florida, and Louisiana following massive payouts due to hurricane and wildfire damage in recent years. As climate change worsens, more private insurers will withdraw from property insurance markets. Governments, particularly at the state level, will likely expand their insurance programs to fill the gap. Just as the federal government now underwrites most flood insurance policies, public insurers will come to dominate the fire and wind insurance markets. Property insurance can generate price signals reflecting the risks of living in climate-vulnerable areas. However, public insurance programs often prioritize …


Climate Risk, Insurance Retreat, And State Response, Mark Nevitt, Michael Pappas Jun 2024

Climate Risk, Insurance Retreat, And State Response, Mark Nevitt, Michael Pappas

Georgia Law Review

Climate change is fundamentally destabilizing the private insurance industry, with many high-profile insurance companies exiting states in the face of catastrophic, climateinduced risk. This rapid “insurance retreat” represents a major market signal in response to climate-exacerbated risks. Private businesses are making actuarial decisions, assessing that some locations are just too vulnerable to insure. At the same time, this insurance retreat also poses a policy challenge for states as they react to the mounting insurance gaps left by exiting private insurers. This Article analyzes insurance retreat, its attendant policy challenges, and the lessons that can be drawn from state responses. It …


Building Climate Resilience With Local Tools, Shelley Saxer Jun 2024

Building Climate Resilience With Local Tools, Shelley Saxer

Georgia Law Review

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, celebrated the grassroots environmental movement that began in the ‘60s and early ‘70s and ushered in the creation of a new legal framework for controlling pollution and addressing environmental concerns in the United States. However, more than fifty years later, some experts fear that the environmental progress achieved during the ‘70s and ‘80s has begun to stall as the United States and other nations experience broad economic hardship and must shift their focus to more immediate concerns. Therefore, even as the damaging effects of climate change threaten communities across the globe, the …


Farmland And Forestland In An Era Of Climate Change: Hurricane Michael And Opportunities To Advance Rural Resilience, John Travis Marshall Jun 2024

Farmland And Forestland In An Era Of Climate Change: Hurricane Michael And Opportunities To Advance Rural Resilience, John Travis Marshall

Georgia Law Review

Catastrophic disasters fundamentally destabilize and reshape communities. They often cause loss of life and invariably inflict extensive property damage. Disabled individuals, the elderly, chronically ill persons, and families struggling to make ends meet are almost always left more vulnerable. Affected communities frequently experience population loss, a declining property tax base, and economic contraction. Over the last three decades, a string of major disasters has focused scholarly attention on their far-reaching impacts on large cities. Storms and earthquakes have reshaped urban landscapes and forced communities to reckon with their futures from San Francisco to Northridge, Houston to New Orleans, and Miami …


Resilient Forest Management And Climate Change, Blake Hudson Jun 2024

Resilient Forest Management And Climate Change, Blake Hudson

Georgia Law Review

Climate change threatens the very existence of the world’s forests as temperature increases outpace forests’ ability to adapt. Society must implement adaptation policies aimed at making forests more resilient. This Article describes how we can better manage for more resilient forests by first detailing some of the scientific and policy complexity affecting our ability to do so. The Article then details the primary adaptation solutions for creating greater forest resiliency (reducing fire risk and integrating more climate resilient species into forests), some of the impediments to implementing those solutions (federalism, geographic and ecological differences in forests, and scientific unknowns), and …


Opposition To Renewable Energy Facilities In The United States: June 2024 Edition, Matthew Eisenson, Jacob Elkin, Harmukh Singh, Noah Schaffir Jun 2024

Opposition To Renewable Energy Facilities In The United States: June 2024 Edition, Matthew Eisenson, Jacob Elkin, Harmukh Singh, Noah Schaffir

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Achieving lower carbon emissions in the United States will require developing a massive number renewable energy facilities at an unprecedented scale and pace. Although many renewable energy facilities are sited without any problem, local opposition often arises. This report updates and considerably expands three previous Sabin Center reports, published in September 2021, March 2022, and May 2023, which document local and state restrictions against, and opposition to, siting renewable energy projects, as well as energy storage and transmission projects that are closely tied to renewable energy generation. The time period covered by this report ranges from as early as 1995 …


Climate Change And Environmental Crises In Coastal Cities: Charleston Vs New York City, Nolan Rodriguez May 2024

Climate Change And Environmental Crises In Coastal Cities: Charleston Vs New York City, Nolan Rodriguez

Student Theses 2015-Present

This paper addresses the increasing vulnerability that coastal communities face regarding climate crises and rising sea levels. Specifically, this paper investigates the environmental crises facing Charleston, South Carolina, and New York City. The geographical location of these cities places a more severe threat upon their environment, as opposed to urban collectives removed from the immediate effect of rising sea levels. A cross-examination of politics and economics is discussed in order to determine the causal relationship of each city’s engagement with its surrounding environment. This paper examines how each city is affected by climate change, what measures are in place to …


Shocking Financed Emissions: The Effect Of Economic Volatility On The Portfolio Footprinting Of Financial Institutions, Ilmi Granoff, Tonya Lee May 2024

Shocking Financed Emissions: The Effect Of Economic Volatility On The Portfolio Footprinting Of Financial Institutions, Ilmi Granoff, Tonya Lee

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Many financial institutions are now calculating and disclosing their financed emissions, a class of metrics enabling these institutions to calculate the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with investment and lending activities. These institutions have widely adopted the metric to estimate exposure to climate-related financial risk associated with GHG-emitting activities and to provide shareholders and investors a picture of how their financial activity impacts global climate change. Financed emissions metrics, despite widespread adoption, face two key methodological challenges: lack of comparability of outputs within and between portfolios, and vulnerability of calculations to portfolio volatility. Markets are naturally volatile, but the economic …


The Private Litigation Impact Of New York’S Green Amendment, Evan Bianchi, Sean Di Luccio, Martin Lockman, Vincent Nolette May 2024

The Private Litigation Impact Of New York’S Green Amendment, Evan Bianchi, Sean Di Luccio, Martin Lockman, Vincent Nolette

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

The increasing urgency of climate change, combined with federal environmental inaction under the Trump Administration, inspired a wave of environmental action at the state and local level. Building on the environmental movement of the 1970s, activists have pushed to amend more than a dozen state constitutions to include “green amendments” — self-executing individual rights to a clean environment. In 2022, New York activists succeeded, and New York’s Green Amendment (the NYGA) now provides that “Each person shall have a right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment.”

However, the power of the NYGA and similar green amendments turns …


Climate Change And Human Health: A Synthesis Of Scientific Research And State Obligations Under International Law, Jessica A. Wentz May 2024

Climate Change And Human Health: A Synthesis Of Scientific Research And State Obligations Under International Law, Jessica A. Wentz

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

This report synthesizes the latest scientific research on the human health effects of climate change and discusses the legal implications of this research, specifically with regards to State obligations under international law. In doing so, the report seeks to provide insights on issues to be analyzed by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in its upcoming advisory opinion on the legal obligations of States with respect to climate change. It also seeks to enhance the capacity of judges, advocates, and governments to understand these issues in the context of current and future proceedings involving international law obligations related to climate …


Climate Zoning, Christopher Serkin Apr 2024

Climate Zoning, Christopher Serkin

Notre Dame Law Review

As the urgency of the climate crisis becomes increasingly apparent, many local governments are adopting land use regulations aimed at minimizing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The emerging approaches call for loosening zoning restrictions to unlock greater density and for strict new green building codes. This Article argues that both approaches are appropriate in some places but not in others. Not all density is created equal, and compact multifamily housing at the urban fringe may actually in-crease GHG emissions. Moreover, where density is appropriate, deregulation will not necessarily produce it. And, finally, green building codes will increase housing costs and so …


Executive Actions To Ensure Safe And Responsible Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal Research In The United States, Romany M. Webb, Korey Silverman-Roati Apr 2024

Executive Actions To Ensure Safe And Responsible Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal Research In The United States, Romany M. Webb, Korey Silverman-Roati

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

This paper presents recommended actions that federal agencies could take, under existing law, to ensure safe and responsible permitting and regulation of ocean carbon dioxide removal (CDR) research in U.S. waters. Controlled field trials and other in-ocean research is critical to improve scientific and societal understanding of ocean CDR techniques that could help the U.S. reach its climate goals. That could raise a host of legal issues, however. Existing legal frameworks were not designed to regulate ocean CDR, and federal agencies have yet to fully explain how decades-old environmental laws will be applied to a new set of activities. This …


Rebutting 33 False Claims About Solar, Wind, And Electric Vehicles, Matthew Eisenson, Jacob Elkin, Andy Fitch, Matthew Ard, Kaya Sittinger, Samuel Lavine Apr 2024

Rebutting 33 False Claims About Solar, Wind, And Electric Vehicles, Matthew Eisenson, Jacob Elkin, Andy Fitch, Matthew Ard, Kaya Sittinger, Samuel Lavine

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Achieving the United States’ ambitious emissions reduction goals depends in large part on the rapid adoption of wind and solar energy and the electrification of consumer vehicles. However, misinformation and coordinated disinformation about renewable energy is widespread and threatens to undermine the transition. In this report, the Sabin Center identifies and examines 33 of the most pervasive false claims about solar energy, wind energy, and electric vehicles, with the aim of promoting a more informed discussion.


Building A Cleaner, More Resilient Energy System In Cuba: Opportunities And Challenges, Korey Silverman-Roati, Daniel Whittle, Romany M. Webb, Jeffrey P. Fralick, Lila Harmar Apr 2024

Building A Cleaner, More Resilient Energy System In Cuba: Opportunities And Challenges, Korey Silverman-Roati, Daniel Whittle, Romany M. Webb, Jeffrey P. Fralick, Lila Harmar

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Cuba’s energy sector is at a crossroads. The country’s mostly fossil fuel-fired energy system faces a number of longstanding and serious challenges, including breakdowns at aging power plants, decreasing fuel imports and fuel shortages, and the growing threat of climate change-related disruptions. In recent years, Cuba has seen frequent electric blackouts and brownouts that have affected residents, businesses, and government institutions island wide.

Compounding these problems, Cuba is facing a severe economic crisis. In 2022, year-on-year inflation was 39% (down from 77% in 2021). While inflation is estimated to have dropped to 30% in 2023, the price of food increased …


International Governance Of Ocean-Based Carbon Dioxide Removal: Recent Developments And Future Directions, Romany M. Webb Apr 2024

International Governance Of Ocean-Based Carbon Dioxide Removal: Recent Developments And Future Directions, Romany M. Webb

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

With the impacts of climate change intensifying, and progress in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause it continuing to lag, the parties to the Paris Climate Agreement have emphasized the need to accelerate efforts to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, while simultaneously curbing emissions. As the parties have recognized, the ocean is already a major carbon sink, and could play an important role in future carbon dioxide removal (“CDR”) efforts. Scientists have proposed a variety of ocean-based CDR approaches, but most require further research to fully evaluate their efficacy, benefits, and risks. In-ocean testing of the approaches, and …


Incorporating Climate Considerations Into Investment Assessment Processes: Guidance For National And Local Governments, Esther Akwii, Grace Brennan, Leslie Hannay, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Nora Mardirossian Apr 2024

Incorporating Climate Considerations Into Investment Assessment Processes: Guidance For National And Local Governments, Esther Akwii, Grace Brennan, Leslie Hannay, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Nora Mardirossian

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

Global climate change impacts pose complex, dynamic challenges to the success of land-based investments — such as agriculture, forestry, and wind and solar energy — which can further exacerbate detrimental climate change impacts if they are not sustainably implemented. Countries outline in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) their goals and plans to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to climate change impacts. To ensure their success, governments must fully integrate their NDCs into national climate strategies, plans, and policies that drive government action and decisions. Improved land-based investment decision-making through the incorporation of climate considerations in investment assessment processes (IAPs) can …


The Overlooked Communities Of Forced Displacement In The United States: Humanizing The Relocation Of Indigenous Tribes In The Face Of Climate Change, Jennifer O'Rourke Mar 2024

The Overlooked Communities Of Forced Displacement In The United States: Humanizing The Relocation Of Indigenous Tribes In The Face Of Climate Change, Jennifer O'Rourke

University of Cincinnati Law Review

No abstract provided.


Common But Differentiated Constitutionalisms: Does ‘Environmental Constitutionalism’ Offer Realistic Policy Options For Improving Un Environmental Law And Governance? Us And Latin American Perspectives, Erin Daly, Maria Antonia Tigre, Natalia Urzola Mar 2024

Common But Differentiated Constitutionalisms: Does ‘Environmental Constitutionalism’ Offer Realistic Policy Options For Improving Un Environmental Law And Governance? Us And Latin American Perspectives, Erin Daly, Maria Antonia Tigre, Natalia Urzola

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Environmental law and governance have taken many different forms in the Americas in response to climate change mitigation. This contribution describes recent developments in the United States, Colombia, and Brazil, illustrating the divergent approaches to climate protection. The chapter highlights the common but differentiated ways in which the three countries in the Americas approach environment constitutionalism in the midst of the climate crisis. On one hand, Brazil and Colombia adopt a rights-based approach to tackle complex issues related to environmental law and governance in their context-specific responses to climate protection. In particular, the courts of Colombia and Brazil have been …


Sabin Center For Climate Change Law Annual Report 2023, Sabin Center For Climate Change Law Mar 2024

Sabin Center For Climate Change Law Annual Report 2023, Sabin Center For Climate Change Law

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

This year the Sabin Center for Climate Change introduces its first annual report, which highlights and synthesizes our cutting-edge research and innovative engagements in 2023.


It Is (Finally) Time For And Advisory Opinion On Climate Change: Challenges And Opportunities On A Trio Of Initiatives, Maria Antonia Tigre Mar 2024

It Is (Finally) Time For And Advisory Opinion On Climate Change: Challenges And Opportunities On A Trio Of Initiatives, Maria Antonia Tigre

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

In recent years, the number and diversity of climate-related lawsuits have increased, with courts in over seventy jurisdictions now handling such cases. After the expansion through domestic courts, stakeholders worldwide are turning to international courts and tribunals to help define the responsibilities of states in light of the climate crisis. Three initiatives requesting advisory opinions to international courts or tribunals have been announced within six months. These advisory opinions could have significant implications for international climate change law, defining the human rights obligations of states (and potentially corporations) in light of the climate crisis. It is expected the International Court …


The Creation Of A Climate Club For A Sustainable Economic Future: The Role Of International Economic Law Amidst Geopolitical Confrontation, Dyuti Pandya Ll.M., Rafael Leal-Arcas Ph.D Feb 2024

The Creation Of A Climate Club For A Sustainable Economic Future: The Role Of International Economic Law Amidst Geopolitical Confrontation, Dyuti Pandya Ll.M., Rafael Leal-Arcas Ph.D

Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law

As of late July 2023, the month of July 2023 had become the hottest month ever recorded in history. Heads of the governments of small island states have been outspoken about the existential risk their countries face due to rising sea level as a consequence of climate change. Wildfires are more frequent and more negatively impactful than ever before in different parts of the world. It is no wonder that sustainability has become a buzz word in the media, and policymakers all over the world are, more than ever, focusing on trying to achieve a sustainable future.

A sustainable global …


Energy Justice And Renewable Rikers, Rebecca Bratspies Jan 2024

Energy Justice And Renewable Rikers, Rebecca Bratspies

University of Miami Law Review

Unsustainable energy practices generate the lion’s share of global carbon emissions as well as staggering levels of deadly particulate pollution. Replacing the current dirty, fossil fuel-based system with affordable, clean energy is both a human rights imperative and a climate change necessity. This transition, which has already begun, creates the opportunity to do things differently. By confronting the structural racism embedded in existing energy structures, we can build a just transition rather than just a transition. This Article uses New York City’s Renewable Rikers project as a case study to explore how we might take advantage of the intersections between …


Public Health Impacts And Intra-Urban Forced Displacement Due To Climate Gentrification In The Greater Miami Area—Community Lawyering For Environmental Justice And Equitable Development, Theresa Pinto, Abigail Fleming, Sabrina Payoute, Elissa Klein Jan 2024

Public Health Impacts And Intra-Urban Forced Displacement Due To Climate Gentrification In The Greater Miami Area—Community Lawyering For Environmental Justice And Equitable Development, Theresa Pinto, Abigail Fleming, Sabrina Payoute, Elissa Klein

University of Miami Law Review

Because Miami-Dade County is “ground zero” for such climate effects as sea-level rise and increasingly hazardous, climate-driven Atlantic hurricanes, the coral rock ridge that runs along the Eastern coast of South Florida is a prime target for redevelopment and “climate” gentrification. Through a community and movement lawyering for environmental justice approach, we partnered with local community organizations to contribute to the ongoing work of community-driven equitable development. In partnership, we developed an environmental public health study to understand and document the public health effects on disadvantaged communities in Miami-Dade County from forced intra-urban displacement due to redevelopment that is being …


Missing Middle Housing: Accelerating America’S Transition From Single-Family Zoning, Lena Zeebuyth, Mallory Moore Jan 2024

Missing Middle Housing: Accelerating America’S Transition From Single-Family Zoning, Lena Zeebuyth, Mallory Moore

Natural Resources Journal

As housing unaffordability and climate change impose increasingly greater costs on American cities and towns, there is a growing sense that single-family residential zoning ordinances are partly to blame for these challenges. Many Americans remain unwilling to address these difficulties by welcoming large apartment buildings into their neighborhoods. Fortunately, policies designed to promote “middle housing” development––visually attractive duplexes and townhome projects––tend to be more politically feasible than policies that drive apartment development. Further, such policies do much to improve the affordability and environmental sustainability of residential neighborhoods. This Article describes how promoting greater middle housing development in the United States …


Labor Rights In The Anthropocene: The Effects Of Climate Change On Undocumented Farm Workers, Sophia Anderson Jan 2024

Labor Rights In The Anthropocene: The Effects Of Climate Change On Undocumented Farm Workers, Sophia Anderson

Seattle Journal for Social Justice

No abstract provided.


Climate, Clarity, Controversy: A Constitutional, Statutory, And Policy Analysis Of The Sec’S Proposed Climate Disclosure Rules, Astoneia O. Moss Jan 2024

Climate, Clarity, Controversy: A Constitutional, Statutory, And Policy Analysis Of The Sec’S Proposed Climate Disclosure Rules, Astoneia O. Moss

Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review

The burgeoning ESG movement has heightened investors’ interest in how companies steward the environment in which they operate; manage their human capital; and implement strategies to effectively manage and fulfill the desires of stakeholders. As a result, the SEC has sought to implement a mandatory climate-related disclosure regime to provide investors with public companies’ climate-related data to assist in the investment decision-making process. The proposed climate-related disclosure rule has faced criticism from businesses, politicians, and legal scholars on constitutional, statutory, and policy grounds. This Comment concludes that based on the statutory language of the Securities Act of 1933 and Securities …


Catalyzing Climate Resilience In The Electric Utility Sector: Investor-Backed Utilities Must Prepare For The Approaching Storm, Jose J. Gonzalez Jan 2024

Catalyzing Climate Resilience In The Electric Utility Sector: Investor-Backed Utilities Must Prepare For The Approaching Storm, Jose J. Gonzalez

Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review

Communities and businesses that fail to take proactive measures will be devastated by the impacts of climate change. Across the United States, public and private entities have taken steps to protect companies and communities from climate change. However, financial restrictions and shareholder concerns have slowed such a response from the electric utility sector. This inaction has devastated communities such as Paradise, California and Lahaina, Hawaii. This Comment identifies how electric utility companies should utilize recently passed federal legislation, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, to finance large-scale projects to update America's power grid. This Comment also argues …


The Lawyer's Duty Of Competence In A Climate-Imperiled World, John C. Dernbach, Irma S. Russell, Matthew Bogoshian Jan 2024

The Lawyer's Duty Of Competence In A Climate-Imperiled World, John C. Dernbach, Irma S. Russell, Matthew Bogoshian

Faculty Works

The United States has more than 1.3 million practicing lawyers. Under Model Rule 1.1 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and every state’s rules of conduct, each of these lawyers owes clients competent representation. Under the rule, “[c]ompetent representation requires the knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the services.” While law and rules will undoubtedly change in response to the climate crisis, the duty of competence does not await such change or legal reform. The ubiquitous nature of the duty of competence means it is applicable to each lawyer now and will continue to evolve as …


Fears, Faith, And Facts In Environmental Law, William W. Buzbee Jan 2024

Fears, Faith, And Facts In Environmental Law, William W. Buzbee

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Environmental law has long been shaped by both the particular nature of environmental harms and by the actors and institutions that cause such harms or can address them. This nation’s environmental statutes remain far from perfect, and a comprehensive law tailored to the challenges of climate change is still elusive. Nonetheless, America’s environmental laws provide lofty, express protective purposes and findings about reasons for their enactment. They also clearly state health and environmental goals, provide tailored criteria for action, and utilize procedures and diverse regulatory tools that reflect nuanced choices.

But the news is far from good. Despite the ambitious …


The Voluntary Carbon Market: Market Failures And Policy Implications, Vittoria Battocletti, Luca Enriques, Alessandro Romano Jan 2024

The Voluntary Carbon Market: Market Failures And Policy Implications, Vittoria Battocletti, Luca Enriques, Alessandro Romano

University of Colorado Law Review

Many companies have made environmental pledges and launched products that claim to be carbon neutral. In most of these instances, corporations rely on carbon offsets. In this Article, we investigate the functioning of the market on which these offsets are created and exchanged, namely the voluntary carbon market, and look into the question of whether and, if so, how it should be subject to regulation. We start by shedding light on the mechanics of this market and then explain why a well-functioning voluntary carbon market is necessary to fight global warming and can also help developing countries build less carbon-intensive …