Alexandra Widas  //  6/11/17  //  Topic Update


The fight over the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement will extend past the 2020 presidential electionexplains a team of contributors at Just Security.

  • At Take Care, Michael C. Dorf writes that President Trump is no extremist on climate change; rather, his actions are consistent with the view of most congressional Republicans.
  • At Lawfare, David Wirth argues that international law provides a safety net against the sudden withdraw from the legally binding treaty.
  • At Opinio Juris, Daniel Bodansky explains that the actual impact of President Trump’s announcement to withdraw from the agreement will likely depend on the reaction of other signatories to the agreement, who have a claim under international law that the treaty is enforceable.
  • At Just Security, Tess Bridgeman argues that the Paris agreement is a binding agreement under international law and examines why that matters.

In pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord, President Trump may have galvanized more effective political opposition in support of climate change initiatives—a net gain for his opponents, argues Ann Carlson at Take Care.

  • Governors, mayors, and businesses have all committed to uphold the goals of the Paris agreement, terming their effort “America’s Pledge” (The Hill).
  • Tech companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google have committed to the same goals, calling their joint initiative “We Are Still In” (The Hill).
  • A senior diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing has resigned in response to the U.S. withdrawal from the accord (WaPo).

The Trump Administration's decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement damages American credibility abroad and risks further economic instability and international conflict, argues Army veteran Bishop Garrison at Just Security.

  • Acting U.S. Ambassador in China David Rank resigned in protest (LA Times).
  • California Governor Jerry Brown, who called the move “insane,” met with officials in Beijing to cement plans to cooperate on clean energy initiatives (Ars Technica).

Jay Hakes gives a historical perspective on American involvement in climate agreements (RealClear Energy).

The Trump administration is set to allow several companies to use seismic air guns to search for oil and gas reserves beneath the Atlantic Ocean floor, a move that the Obama administration had blocked (The Hill).


Updates | The Week of January 22, 2018

1/28/18  //  Daily Update

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a unified national automobile emissions standard, which may preempt California's stricter standard. California is challenging the Interior Department's repeal of standards for fracking on federal land.

Updates | The Week of January 15, 2018

1/14/18  //  Daily Update

FERC unanimously rejects Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to support coal and nuclear power plants. The Trump Administration backs off of plans for new oil drilling off the Florida coast.

Zachary Piaker

Columbia Law School

Update | The Week of November 27, 2017

12/4/17  //  Daily Update

The EPA finalized a rule that will maintain the biofuels quota.

Jeffrey Stein

Columbia Law School