This may be the shortest month of the year, but our work in February stretches long. Check out what’s new below. And please consider joining us for upcoming events on campus!

Cara Horowitz , co-executive director, Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, UCLA School of Law

Photo credit: Simon Brisebois, Flickr

As climate change warms the world’s oceans, fish stocks are migrating toward colder waters in the poles. In a study for Nature Sustainability , Donald Bren Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law James Salzman joins a group of economists and marine scientists to examine for the first time the economic implications of this stock shift for nations that rely on commercial fishing.

The study models projected changes in the distribution of 779 commercial fish species under different carbon emission scenarios and finds tropical countries — particularly Northwest African nations — stand to lose, on average, between 7% and 40% of fish species that were present in 2012. Few stocks will replace those leaving their national waters, leading to a net loss.

The authors find that existing policy frameworks in fisheries law are poorly equipped for this challenge and suggest a way forward that draws on climate policy. Read a Legal Planet blog post from Salzman and the study in Nature Sustainability .

Photo credit: U.S. Navy, Flickr

An article in UCLA Newsroom previews the Human Rights and the Climate Crisis conference at UCLA Law tomorrow, Feb. 28, which will bring together leading lawyers, scholars and activists to examine how laws that guarantee the rights to life, health, food, an adequate standard of living, and other human rights, can be applied to seek redress for the harm that climate change is creating.

Ann Carlson , Shirley Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law and Emmett Institute faculty co-director, has closely followed rights-based litigation in the United States and international jurisdictions, including the high-profile Juliana v. United States lawsuit, which the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed earlier this year. Carlson will speak on the opening panel and Cara Horowitz will moderate.

The event is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by UCLA's Promise Institute for Human Rights , Emmett Institute, and Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs .

Photo credit: World Meteorological Organization
T raining federal judges

In Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, this month, Professor Ann Carlson and Professor Alex Wang presented to federal judges of the Central District of California on current climate and environmental law issues in Los Angeles, California, and global jurisdictions. UCLA Law alum Hon. Philip S. Gutierrez '84 and Hon. André Birotte Jr. , invited our faculty members to speak at an annual retreat for the judges.

Emmett Institute faculty regularly share knowledge with civil servants in California and around the world. Last year, Wang led trainings in environmental law for judges in China and organized a two-week learning tour for Chinese local air quality officials in Los Angeles and North Carolina. This May, Professor William Boyd will lead the annual meeting of the Governors' Climate and Forests Task Force, a collaboration of 38 subnational jurisdictions that provides resources for local officials in protecting tropical forests.

Photo credit: Emmett Institute

This month, U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal and Sen. Tom Udall introduced new federal legislation to curb plastic pollution. In a Legal Planet blog post , supervising attorney Julia Stein writes the bill breaks from prior legislation with measures designed to reduce consumer demand and shift responsibility to plastic producers.

The new bill is consistent with many of the recommendations presented to lawmakers by UCLA Law students Charoula Melliou LL.M. ’19 and Divya Rao ’20 , and Stein in a January 2019 trip to Washington, D.C. The students briefed Congress as part of a semester-long project led by the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic and the Surfrider Foundation.

Photo credit: Heal the Bay, Flickr

Applications are now open for the Emmett Climate Engineering Fellowship in Environmental Law and Policy 2020-2021 , with a particular focus on the societal implications, governance, and legal and policy issues posed by climate engineering (geoengineering).

The fellowship is a full-time, one-year faculty position beginning July 1, 2020. Apply here .

Register today for our lunchtime discussions at UCLA Law this spring:

  • On March 16, Harvard Law professor Richard Lazarus will share insights from his book, The Rule of Five: Making Climate History at the Supreme Court, which reveals the personal dynamics of the justices and dramatizes the workings of the Court during the Massachusetts v. EPA arguments. Ann Carlson will moderate. Details/RSVP.

  • On April 1, Texas Law professor Thomas McGarity will examine the progress made and the lesson learned as we seek to build a more sustainable electricity grid that also attends to the economic dislocations caused by the clean energy transition. McGarity's new book is Pollution, Politics, and Power: The Struggle for Sustainable Electricity. William Boyd will moderate. Details/RSVP.

  • On April 20, Tom Cormons '06, Executive Director of Appalachian Voices, will discuss his work protecting the land, air, and water of Central and Southern Appalachia and advancing a just transition to a generative and equitable clean energy economy. Evan Frankel Professor of Policy and Practice Sean Hecht will moderate. Details/RSVP.
Laura Yraceburu '20 wins water law writing prize

UCLA Law student Laura Yraceburu '20 won the 2020 California Water Law Writing Prize Contest for a paper on the effects of California's Proposition 218 on community gardens in Los Angeles. Yraceburu developed the paper as a student in UCLA Law's water law course, taught by Jim Salzman .

In the paper, Yraceburu examines how California’s Proposition 218’s procedural and substantive requirements have contributed to extraordinary increases in water rates for community gardens, causing some gardens to quadruple gardeners’ dues and pricing out low-income communities that rely on the gardens to supplement their diets with fresh fruits and vegetables. Yraceburu advocates for reform to allow local governments more flexible tools to raise funds for services and support to their residents.

Yraceburu's award was presented at the California Water Law Symposium earlier this month. The paper will be published in the California Water Law Journal this spring.
February trivia corner

Climate protesters at Los Angeles City Hall this month demanded city leaders instate a health and safety buffer between oil and gas operations and schools and homes.

What distance (in feet) do advocates recommend between drilling sites and sensitive areas?

Send responses to Daniel Melling,  to win an Emmett Institute notebook.

Our last trivia question asked: What year(s) did it snow on UCLA's campus? Answer: 1932 and 1949. Correct responses were submitted by Jessica Hsieh '21 and Nicholas Baltaxe '19 . Congratulations!

Photo credit: Daniel Melling
New blog posts on Legal Planet

Subscribe to our blog here to receive regular posts on climate and environmental law and policy from UCLA Law and Berkeley Law faculty . Recent highlights:

  • Emmett Climate Engineering Fellow Charles Corbett assesses how much power federal courts have to protect individuals from environmental injury and examines the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as a springboard for federal geoengineering governance
  • Emmett/Frankel Fellow Jesse Reynolds analyzes the origins of a proposal made by President Trump in the State of the Union address for a massive tree-planting initiative.
  • Emmett Climate Engineering Fellow Holly Buck reviews recent reports on carbon removal, identifying a need for more research on policies, institutions, and cultural change to support negative emissions technologies.

Emmett Institute faculty are organizing and participating in events and talks over the next few months:

Climate Change Technologies: Social and Political Perspectives Workshop
March 12-13, 2020 | UCSD Institute for Practical Ethics
Holly Buck will deliver a keynote address at a workshop addressing social and political questions arising from the application of new technologies to address climate change. Details.
2020 Natural Capital Symposium
March 16-18, 2020 | Stanford University 
Jim Salzman will give a keynote presentation at an event advancing the science and practice of incorporating nature’s diverse values into decisions . Details/RSVP.

March 24, 2020 | University of Vermont
Jim Salzman will deliver a public lecture at the Gund Institute for Environment. Details.

Clean Air for All: 50 Years of the Clean Air Act
March 31, 2020 | Washington, D.C.
Ann Carlson will speak at a conference celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Clean Air Act, hosted by the American Lung Association, the American University Center for Environmental Policy, and the American University Center for Environmental Filmmaking Details.
Community Climate Interventions Strategies Workshop: The Future of Research
April 15–17, 2020 | National Center for Atmospheric Research / University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO
Holly Buck and Jesse Reynolds will speak. Details.

April 20-21, 2020 | San Francisco, CA
Sean Hecht will speak at an EUCI conference for utility professionals on how the industry can respond to wildfire risk.  Details/RSVP.

Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force 2020 Annual Meeting
May 5-7, 2020 | Manaus, Brazil
William Boyd will lead this annual meeting of a subnational collaboration of 38 states and provinces working to protect tropical forests, reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and promote rural development. Details/RSVP.

Photo credit: Daniel Melling
Daniel Melling writes the Emmett Institute newsletter with editing from Sean Hecht and Cara Horowitz. Please send any feedback to .
About the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law

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.