Michael Burger Executive Director Today marks the official beginning of the long-anticipated 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, in Paris, France. As in the past—Copenhagen in 2009, Kyoto in 1997—hopes are high that government leaders will sign an international agreement that puts the planet on course to avoid the very worst impacts of […]

Justin Gundlach Climate Law Fellow The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 calls for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to incorporate sea level rise into the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) that inform how FEMA and other agencies implement programs related to flood insurance and flood-related disaster mitigation and recovery. The 2013 charter […]

Jessica Wentz Associate Director and Fellow Earlier this month, I visited Savannah, Georgia to talk with concerned citizens about the environmental review process for oil and gas infrastructure in their state. My presentation focused on how the public can use the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to ensure that agencies evaluate the full scope of […]

Justin Gundlach Climate Law Fellow In advance of the recent G-20 meeting in Ankara, Turkey, the G-20’s Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors asked the international Financial Stability Board to hold a meeting “on the financial stability implications of climate change related issues.” Following that September meeting, the FSB published a proposal in November for […]

On November 19, the Washington State Superior Court issued a decision in which it affirmed that climate change affects public trust resources in the state, but ultimately held that the state was fulfilling its public trust obligations by engaging in rulemaking to establish more comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) standards. The decision was a partial victory […]

Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) is continuing his campaign for internal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) documents, including new claims from an unnamed whistleblower that NOAA scientists “potentially violat[ed] NOAA’s scientific integrity policies.” Rep. Smith has also now threatened to use an unspecified “compulsory process” to obtain the desired documents (as explained below, this very […]

The Sabin Center is now accepting applications for internships for summer 2016. Please feel free to circulate the following information to anyone who might be interested in these positions: Undergraduate and Master’s Students The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School is currently seeking a few exceptional undergraduate and/or master’s students to serve as interns […]

Justin Gundlach Climate Law Fellow The Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project is enormous. It is designed to link natural gas drilling operations on the North Slope of Alaska to liquefaction facilities in Nikiski (south of Anchorage) via an 800-mile pipeline. The Natural Gas Act assigns the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) responsibility for licensing […]

On November 4, 2015, Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party was sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada. Less than 48 hours later, the new administration announced it was ending restrictions on federal scientists’ public communications.[1] The previous Conservative government, under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, tightly vetted communications from all federal workers, including government scientists. […]

Gabriel Wedy Visiting Scholar, Brazilian Judge, and Law Professor at ESMAFE/RS* The approval of 17 goals and 169 targets for sustainable development by the United Nations Conference on Post-2015 Development Agenda is unquestionably an advance for humanity. Economic development alone is unsatisfactory: it must be paired with human development, respect for the environment and sound […]

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