Category Archives: International

In a Grim World, Even a Sliver of Positive Environmental News Is a Good Thing

Earlier this week, the United Nations Environment Programme (doesn’t everything just look better with British spelling!) announced that 175 nations had approved a resolution titled “End plastic pollution:  Towards an international legally binding instrument.”  If the ambition of the resolution wasn’t clear from the title, perhaps this quote from the UNEP press release will make it so.

Today marks a triumph by planet earth over single-use plastics.… More

Climate Policy at 30: Glasgow Climate Pact.

Each year since 1995, with the exception of 2020, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has hosted a Conference of Parties (COP), where members of the UNFCCC negotiate issues relating to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other matters relating to climate change.  The 26th COP concluded in Glasgow on November 13 with a Climate Pact that continues the evolution of global climate policy over the past 30 years.… More

Local Regulation of Fossil Fuel Pipelines (or The Little City That Could)

With all the attention focused on the Keystone pipeline and the disputes over local regulation of fracking, it’s easy to overlook the small city of South Portland, Maine (population 26,000), which just prevailed in the First Circuit in a challenge to its regulation of an international oil pipeline that originates in Montreal and ends in South Portland Harbor.  (Full disclosure: I represented the city in this case.)

When Portland Pipeline Corporation (“PPLC”)(whose parent company was owned at the time at the time by ExxonMobil,… More