Happy Halloween! Here's what we've been up to this October - it has been a busy month, though not too busy for costumes and candy.

Cara Horowitz , co-executive director, Emmett Institute

In a new symposium for AJIL Unbound , James Salzman introduces ideas for understanding the response of subnational actors to the Trump administration's announcement that it would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. Salzman calls the explosion of subnational commitments and initiatives an "experiment in foreign affairs federalism," as states, cities, pension funds, companies, and others fill the gap in international engagement left by federal inaction.

Ann Carlson takes a close look at the Trump administration's assault on California's climate leadership, in particular, the legal battle over California's clean cars program. Other contributors to the symposium include scholars from Columbia Law, Penn Law, OSU Law, and Yale Law.
Assessing technologies to limit global warming

Responding to the IPCC's recent report, Jesse Reynolds wrote several blog posts considering the role of negative emissions technologies and solar geoengineering in keeping global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius. In a post today, Reynolds asks what scaling up negative emissions technologies means for environmental law, including interactions with other policies to reduce emissions. Reynolds works closely with Ted Parson on the governance of climate engineering.

Tropical forests play a critical role in our global climate system, cooling the atmosphere and  sequestering carbon . A proposed California standard would set guidelines for the state to add foreign jurisdictions' tropical forest protection and conservation initiatives to its cap-and-trade program.

Earlier this week, Cara Horowitz , Ann Carlson , and Harjot Kaur   submitted a comment letter to California Air Resources Board in support of the proposed Tropical Forest Standard . The authors argue the standard can help California establish a high-quality global model for assessing international forest offsets and signal to jurisdictions across the world that protecting forests is critically important. 

CARB will hold a public meeting on November 15, 2018 in Sacramento to consider endorsing the standard.

25 UCLA Law students and 10 Emmett Institute faculty, fellows, and staff (not to mention many of our alumni) participated in the California Lawyers Association's annual Environmental Law Conference in Yosemite . Cara Horowitz moderated a panel on the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit and a fireside chat with CARB Chair Mary Nichols. Ann Carlson spoke on a panel addressing climate liability suits and honored Nichols during her lifetime achievement award ceremony. See photos .

Yesterday, Emmett Institute faculty submitted a comment letter with and on behalf of a group of nationally renowned experts on electric grids in firm opposition to EPA's recent proposal to replace the Clean Power Plan with the Affordable Clean Energy Rule.

The authors argue the proposed replacement would increase pollution of COâ‚‚ and other air pollutants; cost billions of dollars in forgone benefits; and harm public health, resulting in thousands of premature deaths that the CPP would prevent. At the same time, the proposed rule is not likely to save industry much in compliance costs. Read a blog post from Nat Logar .

Earlier this year, Ann Carlson was appointed to California's five-member Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee , tasked with reviewing the environmental and economic performance of the state's cap-and-trade system and other relevant environmental programs.

In its first annual report , submitted this month to California Air Resources Board and the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change, Carlson and committee members address several important issues for cap-and-trade: overlapping policies, environmental justice, leakage, offsets, managing allowance supply, and price ceilings.

California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard is a major component of the state's greenhouse-gas control strategy, but receives surprisingly little attention. Now seven years old, this ambitious, innovative, and controversial policy targets carbon pollution in transport fuels, a large and growing emissions source.

In a blog post , Ted Parson and Sean Hecht assess new regulations this month that strengthen the standard's targets for carbon intensity of transport fuels beyond 2020 and change the treatment of several fuels. Read the Legal Planet post and a Pritzker Brief reviewing these issues.

Last week, Emmett Institute faculty members submitted comments to EPA and NHTSA on the Trump administration's plans to roll back federal fuel economy standards and revoke California's waiver to create an innovative clean cars program. The authors describe the Trump administration proposal to withdraw California clean car waiver as "unlawful and inappropriate." Read Julia Stein's blog post and the comment letter .
October trivia corner!

When Emmett Institute faculty and students traveled to Yosemite this month, we saw the severe impacts of drought, warming climate, and bark beetles on the park's forests.

Out of the 102 million dead trees found throughout the Sierra Nevada in this most recent tree mortality event, how many are in Yosemite National Park?

First correct answer (to the nearest 100,000 trees) will receive an Emmett Institute blue notebook!

Congratulations to our previous winners, Kim Gonzalez and Maria Lattanzi '19 , who correctly identified the endangered species involved in a 2011 Brett Kavanaugh ruling : the San Diego fairy shrimp!

Nov. 2-3 | China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development Annual Meeting
In Beijing, Alex Wang will join discussions on sustainable development and environmental governance. Details .

Nov. 5-8 | Conference on Earth System Governance
In Utrecht, the Netherlands, Jesse Reynolds will speak and moderate several sessions at a gathering of the largest social science research network in the area of governance and global environmental change. Details .

Nov. 7 | Student lunch with David J. Hayes, NYU Law
At UCLA Law, students will meet with David J. Hayes, adjunct professor and director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at NYU School of Law, to discuss how U.S. states are responding to the Trump administration's proposals for far-reaching changes to federal environmental law.  

Nov. 7 | Global Climate Action Summit: What Next for Southern California?
In Downtown LA, Alex Wang will join leaders from the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, and Climate Resolve to share experiences and recommendations for how the region can move forward on climate action. Details .

Nov. 8 - 10 | American Society of International Law Midyear Meeting
At UCLA Law, Alex Wang will speak on a panel on international environmental law. Details .

Nov. 9 | Los Angeles County Bar Association 17th Annual Environmental Law Fall Symposium
In Downtown LA, Cara Horowitz will join a panel with Sylvia Quast, EPA Region 9 and David Pettit, NRDC to discuss California environmental law under the Trump administration. Details .

Dec. 4 - 14 | UNFCCC COP24
In Katowice, Poland, William Boyd will host a Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF) side event and reception; Alex Wang will follow the international negotiations. Details .
About the Emmett Institute
The Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment is the country's leading law school center focused on climate change and other critical environmental issues. Founded in 2008 with a generous gift from Dan A. Emmett and his family, the Institute works across disciplines to develop and promote research and policy tools useful to decision makers locally, statewide, nationally and beyond. Our Institute serves as a premier source of environmental legal scholarship, nonpartisan expertise, policy analysis and training.   Learn more.