With summer heat waves hitting Los Angeles and other parts of the world, we've been reflecting on how global warming affects our day-to-day lives. More below on our work to advance policies that help reduce greenhouse gases and prepare communities for climate impacts.

Cara Horowitz , co-executive director, Emmett Institute

Header photo credit: Janaina C. Falkewiecz, Flickr

California regulators and the UN Environment's Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative will collaborate in developing new guidelines for the insurance industry to respond to climate risks in California such as wildfires and coastal flooding.

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara made the announcement at UCLA Law alongside California State Senators Ben Allen, Nancy Skinner, and Henry Stern; Kate Gordon, head of the Governor's Office of Planning and Research, and the UN's Butch Bucani at the conclusion of a conference examining the insurance industry's role in addressing climate risks.

The Emmett Institute hosted the conference, which Commissioner Lara convened in partnership with the Emmett Institute, the UN's Principles for Sustainable Insurance, and Berkeley Law's Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment. 

Read a press release and coverage in the Los Angeles Times .

Photo credit: Todd Cheney

Alaska's Pebble deposit is one of the largest undeveloped copper deposits in the world. A plan to mine the ore would lead to significant harm to nearby spawning grounds, local communities, and the Alaskan economy.

In a comment letter this month, Cara Horowitz , Nat Logar , and Columbia Law's Michael Burger critique a recent Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Pebble Limited Partnership’s proposal to develop the deposit as an open pit mine. Read the comment letter.

Photo credit: Chris Ford, Flickr
UCLA Law students gain experience in environmental law with summer placements

The Emmett Institute sponsored several students for public interest internships with environmental organizations in California this summer:

  • Frank D. Boren Summer Fellow Orran Balagopalan '21 has been working at California Coastal Commission's Enforcement Division to address violations of the California Coastal Act regarding coastal access and habitat protection.
  • Frank D. Boren Summer Fellow Mindy Jian '20 has been working at Natural Resources Defense Council as a legal intern on urban water issues, such as water affordability and lead in drinking water at schools. 
  • Emmett Family Summer Fellow Idalmis Vaquero '21 has been working at Communities for a Better Environment on environmental justice issues in Los Angeles.

Support our work to train the next generation of environmental leaders by making a donation today . Your donation will double thanks to a matching challenge from the Emmett Foundation!

Photo credit: Mindy Jian

At a summer program in Banff next month, an international group of leading experts in geoengineering will join post-graduate students, early-career researchers, and professionals to explore the societal, political, governance, and ethical aspects of geoengineering.

The summer school is co-sponsored by the Emmett Institute and led by faculty co-director Ted Parson . Learn more .

Photo credit: catharine robertson, Flickr

At a Zόcalo/UCLA Downtown event this month, Sean Hecht joined UCLA climate scientist Alex Hall, California Coastal Commission member Effie Turnbull Sanders, and Los Angeles Times environment reporter Rosanna Xia for a discussion on the impact of sea-level rise on coastal communities and businesses in California.

Read about the panel in the Los Angeles Times and Zόcalo Public Square .

Photo credit: Aaron Salcido/Zócalo Public Square
Responding to California's auto emissions deal

Emmett Institute faculty responded to news that California had negotiated a deal with four automakers to limit vehicle emissions:

  • Ann Carlson told the Los Angeles Times the agreement is "a huge step forward" that would help reduce emissions from cars and undercut the Trump administration's assertion that Obama-era rules were too stringent.
  • Cara Horowitz told The Sacramento Bee that California still has the upper hand if the Trump EPA tries to revoke California's longstanding waiver to set its own vehicle pollution standards.
  • Julia Stein noted for CALMatters the agreement's increased incentives for electric vehicle sales.

Photo credit: Geoff, Flickr
July trivia corner

This month's question takes a Supreme Court theme:

The late Justice John Paul Stevens authored the opinion in two of the most significant environmental cases of the last twenty years (according to a survey by Professors Jim Salzman and J.B. Ruhl). Can you name the two cases?

Please send responses to Daniel Melling, melling@law.ucla.edu to win an Emmett Institute notebook!

Congratulations to our previous winners Maria Lattanzi '19 and Greg Welch who correctly answered the number of recycled plastic bottles equivalent in the jerseys of the world champion U.S. Women's National Soccer Team: 12!

Photo credit: Mobili, Flickr
On the blog

On Legal Planet this month, our faculty and students responded to news in environmental law and policy:

  • Ann Carlson hailed the late Justice John Paul Stevens' record in advancing environmental law, calling him the Supreme Court's "greatest modern environmental voice."
  • Jesse Reynolds responded to a new paper in Science on tree-planting as a climate solution, arguing the authors overstate the potential of reforestation.
  • Divya Rao previewed a new federal effort to reduce plastic pollution expected this fall, led by Representative Alan Lowenthal and Senator Tom Udall.

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Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Daniel Melling writes the Emmett Institute newsletter with editing from Sean Hecht and Cara Horowitz. Please send any feedback to melling@law.ucla.edu .
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.