Greetings from campus, where it’s Spring Break and the flowers are blooming. Check out what’s new at the Emmett Institute, including a report on pesticides, an upcoming talk on China and the environment, and our highest-ever U.S. News & World Report ranking among environmental law programs. Cheers! 

Cara Horowitz, co-executive director, Emmett Institute

Header photo credit: Nurit Katz

In a new report , professor Tim Malloy and researchers from UCLA and USC find that California's county agricultural commissioners are issuing permits for pesticide use without considering safer alternatives.

Commissioners are also not evaluating the health implications of “cumulative exposure,” which occurs when growers apply two or more pesticides to the same or adjacent fields.

Photo credit: Fotokostik, Shutterstock

On April 15 at UCLA Law, Alex Wang will join Barbara Finamore, senior attorney and Asia senior strategic director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, to discuss insights from her new book on China's energy transition. Details/RSVP.

Ann Carlson  appeared on  60 Minutes  to discuss  Juliana v. United States , a lawsuit filed on behalf of a group of children against the federal government, arguing inaction on climate change is a violation of their life, liberty, and property.

Carlson says one reason for the endurance of the case is the children, who are "compelling plaintiffs [and] are experiencing the harms of climate change now." Watch the segment.

At the UN Environment Assembly this month, the Swiss government introduced a resolution to form an expert committee to study existing geoengineering methods and governance. Facing opposition from the United States and other countries, the resolution was eventually withdrawn.

Ted Parson spoke to Nature and VICE Motherboard about the resolution, and Jesse Reynolds wrote a blog post for Legal Planet , cited by Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung .

In U.S. News and World Report 's 2019 rankings for environmental law programs , UCLA Law jumped to #4.

Learn more about our environmental law offerings including our environmental law specialization .

Photo credit: Alex Wang

This week, James Salzman delivered the 2019 Boehl Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Policy at the University of Louisville's Brandeis School of Law.

Salzman is the author of Drinking Water: A History , and recently co-authored a Pritzker Brief on challenges for small water systems in Los Angeles County in delivering clean, affordable drinking water.

William Boyd will lead an annual meeting of the Governors' Climate and Forests Task Force in Florencia Caquetá, Colombia, May 1-3, 2019.

The task force fosters policy innovation and leadership by subnational jurisdictions to protect forests, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance livelihoods.

The network now includes 38 member states and provinces, covering over one-third of the world’s tropical forests. Learn more.

At statewide negotiations this month sponsored by the California Lawyers Association, Stephanie Oehler '19 and Matthew Simmons '20 claimed second place. Our team also included Divya Rao '20 and Emily Warfield '20 and was coached by Cara Horowitz  and Peter Reich . Julia Stein and Sean Hecht helped organize the competition.
Emmett Institute faculty submit two comment letters on EPA's proposed emissions rules for fossil fuel power plants

In late 2018, the Trump Administration EPA proposed rolling back Obama-era coal plant standards under the Clean Air Act’s New Source Performance Standards program, Section 111(b).

The looser standard would allow new plants to be built without using the most up-to-date pollution control technology, enabling the power sector to continue contributing to climate change even where new emissions are avoidable.

Last week, Emmett Institute faculty filed two comment letters on behalf of experts:

  • Cara Horowitz, Ann Carlson, William Boyd, and Nathaniel Logar submitted a comment letter with and on behalf of experts on the U.S. electric grids arguing that EPA’s proposal is unnecessary and unwarranted. Read a blog post and the comment letter.
  • Sean Hecht submitted a comment letter on behalf of experts in technology innovation, diffusion, and pollution control, arguing that EPA’s proposal violates federal law, and the prior standard, adopted by the agency in 2015, is the proper one. Read a blog post and the comment letter.

We're on a plastics theme this month in honor of a new bill in the California legislature Senate Bill 54 that creates a framework to radically reduce plastic waste.

A widely cited statistic from a World Economic Forum report predicts that plastic waste will outweigh the fish in our oceans by what year?

Please send responses to quizmaster Daniel Melling, to win an Emmett Institute-themed prize. Congratulations to our previous winner Eric Sezgen '19!

Upcoming events and speaking engagements

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

U Serve LA
April 9, 2019, 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. | The Edison Downtown
Join UCLA School of Law’s David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy and Alumni Association to recognize and support UCLA Law’s commitment to public interest. Details/RSVP.

China, Sustainable Development and Economic Policy-Making
April 10 - 11, 2019 | Copenhagen, Denmark
Alex Wang will deliver a keynote address at a conference bringing together experts in law, economics, environmental protection and climate change studies, political sciences and cultural studies to discuss pressing issues concerning China's development. Details/RSVP.

Planet in Peril: Averting Climate Catastrophe through Law and Social Change
April 11-12, 2019 | University of Michigan
Ann Carlson will speak at a conference on how the legal system can promote meaningful action on climate change and broad-based environmental sustainability efforts. Details/RSVP.

Will China Save the Planet?
April 15, 2019, 12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. | UCLA School of Law
Alex Wang will moderate a lunchtime discussion with Barbara Finamore, senior attorney and Asia senior strategic director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, to share insights from her new book on China's energy transition. Details/RSVP.

Interactions LA
April 18, 2019, 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. | The California Endowment
Julia Stein will speak at a UCLA conference to discuss the opportunities to enhance neighborhoods given the sweeping $120 billion investment to expand Los Angeles’ transportation system. Details/RSVP.

Intelligence Squared: Engineering Solar Radiation Is a Crazy Idea
April 18, 2019, 7:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m. | New York City
Ted Parson will join scholars from Charles Sturt University, Oxford University, and Harvard University for a public debate with on the role of geoengineering in mitigating climate change. Details/RSVP.

Emmett Institute End-of-Year Celebration and Alumni Mixer
April 15, 2019, 6:00 p.m - 8:00 p.m. | UCLA
Students, faculty, and alumni are invited to join the Emmett Institute and Environmental Law Society in celebrating the end of the year. Contact Sean Hecht to learn more or RSVP.

Is it Safe to Drink the Water? The Past and Future of Drinking Water
April 22, 2019, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Princeton University
Jim Salzman will share insights on drinking water issues at a Princeton University David Bradford Energy and Environmental Policy Seminar. Details/RSVP.

North American Carbon World
April 24-26, 2019 | InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
Sean Hecht will moderate a plenary session on climate risk and responsibility on April 25, at North America’s largest event on carbon and climate policy. Details/RSVP.  

2019 Governors' Climate and Forests Task Force Annual Meeting
April 30 - May 3, 2019 | Florencia Caquetá, Colombia
William Boyd will lead an annual meeting of representatives from 38 member states and jurisdictions in the Governors' Climate and Forests Task Force. Details/RSVP.

Frizell Series Keynote Address
May 16, 2019 | University of Chicago
Ann Carlson will speak to students in the University of Chicago's Program in the Global Environment. Details.

Sixth International Summer School on Geoengineering Governance
August 5 – 11, 2019 | Banff, Alberta, Canada
The Emmett Institute, in partnership with the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, the Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative, and the Harvard Solar Geoengineering Research Program, will bring together an international group of leading experts with post-graduate students, early-career researchers, and professionals seeking to develop expertise in the field, to facilitate intensive, collaborative explorations of the societal, political, governance, and ethical aspects of geoengineering. 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
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.