It's our final newsletter of the year - so let me say thank you and happy holidays from all of us at the Emmett Institute! Your collaboration and support are what make our work possible.

Sean Hecht , co-executive director, Emmett Institute

Header photo credit: Nurit Katz

With a year of historic fires, storms, and heat waves coming to a close, it is urgent that we take a more ambitious path on global warming and defend policies that are making a difference.  

Please consider an end-of-year gift to the Emmett Institute. Right now, we are thrilled that all donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar, thanks to a generous matching challenge. Your support can help shape the Emmett Institute as a vital training ground for students and a launchpad for bold law and policy ideas. 

Photo credit: Sunjana Supekar

In a new Pritzker Brief, Ensuring Safe Drinking Water In Los Angeles County’s Small Water Systems , authors Nathaniel Logar , James Salzman , and Cara Horowitz assess obstacles for L.A. County's small water systems in providing safe and affordable drinking water to customers. Small water systems reach more than 250,000 L.A. County residents - and these systems face challenges from contaminated groundwater sources and underfunding. 

At COP24 in Poland, governors from Peru, Indonesia, and Mexico joined a Governors' Climate and Forests Task Force event to discuss cooperation on protecting forests, climate, and rural livelihoods. William Boyd serves as project lead for the task force and helped organized the events.

Photo credit: gcf_taskforce/Instagram

For the last year, Emmett/Frankel Fellow and native Texan Harjot Kaur has served on the steering committee for San Antonio's climate action and adaptation plan, set for release in January 2019. Kaur wrote recently about how the public dialogue around climate change is shifting in Texas.

Q: What are some of the main issues that San Antonio wants to address in its climate plan? 

For San Antonio, climate change is primarily causing extreme heat and precipitation, the effects of which hit communities where people might not have access to reliable air conditioning, or where the water infrastructure needs upgrades. Additionally, this plan will further the city’s goals for becoming a globally recognized city by joining the international effort to solving the climate crisis.

Q: For Texas communities where phrases like "climate change" are taboo, is it still possible to meaningfully plan for reducing carbon pollution and adapting to heat waves and other climate impacts?

Absolutely. While many communities follow the Republican rhetoric that balks at the idea of anthropogenic climate change, many farming communities recognize the drastic changes in drought and heat levels over the last decade that have deeply risked their livelihoods. With the right narrative, these communities would support climate adaptation policies that will improve their climate resilience.

Q: Are there any lessons from San Antonio, about how to engage conservative communities on climate change?

There is no universal message that will work for every city. Texas’ surge in climate action illustrates that cities are most likely to pursue climate action when they realize how it aligns with their existing goals. Climate advocates, therefore, need to engage with city leadership by tailoring their narrative to what the city sees as its most important needs. 

Read more about Texas city planning for global warming in Harjot's Legal Planet blog post .

Photo credit: Camelia TWU, Flickr

We have two fellowship openings, both two-year faculty positions starting in summer 2019: 

Photo credit: Meredith Hankins
December trivia corner

U.S. cities are making pledges to run on 100 percent renewable electricity, including Washington, D.C. this week . A few have already achieved the milestone.

What is the largest city in the country that runs on 100 percent renewable energy? The photo provides a hint, so does Harjot Kaur's recent blog pos t.

First correct answer sent to quiz master Daniel Melling, , will receive an Emmett Institute notebook!

Last month's trivia question asked about Secretary Ryan Zinke's interest in a business backed by the chairman of Halliburton, that Zinke had reportedly long dreamed of owning. The business was a microbrewery.

Photo credit: Ben, Flickr

Legal Planet , our blog with UCLA Law and Berkeley Law faculty reached its 2 millionth view this month - thank you readers!

Photo credit: Marc Buehler, Flickr
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.