Archives: Climate Change

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Glossary of Greenhouse Gas Terms

With proposed federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Securities and Exchange Commission requiring GHG disclosure and new state statutes, including a new Maryland law that requires not only disclosure, but also a mandated reduction in GHG emissions, a greater appreciation of the subject of GHG appears in order. This short glossary is an … Continue Reading

The UK Sets the Scene for Mandatory ESG Laws in the Western World

As we in the U.S. await action by the federal government on mandatory ESG laws, the United Kingdom has become the first European Union country to enact mandatory ESG disclosure laws. These new reporting requirements are of import beyond the shores of Great Britain in that they portend what government mandates are to come across … Continue Reading

ESG is an Opportunity for Commercial Landlords

At first blush the California Climate Corporate Accountability Act requires only a small number of the nation’s biggest corporations generating more than $1 Billion in annual revenue to report their greenhouse gas emissions, but a thoughtful consideration makes clear that if enacted SB 260 will require carbon reporting by thousands if not tens of thousands … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Proposes to Remove Barriers to Considering ESG in Plan Management

ESG has become such a large component of my law practice that I am now collaborating with a fabulous group attorneys in ESG Legal Solutions, LLC, a new non-law consulting firm. Nancy Hudes and I are now publishing a new blog at www.ESGLegalSolutions.com (.. yes, this blog will continue). This post originally appeared in that blog. If … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Hear Climate Change Regulation Case

ESG has become such a large component of my law practice that I am now collaborating with a fabulous group attorneys in ESG Legal Solutions, LLC, a new non-law consulting firm. Nancy Hudes and I are now publishing a new blog at www.ESGLegalSolutions.com (.. yes, this blog will continue). This post originally appeared in that blog. … Continue Reading

Maryland to Commit to World Economic Forum’s One Trillion Trees Initiative Tree Planting

The Maryland legislature has enacted and the Governor is expected to sign legislation that will take effect on June 1, 2021 establishing aggressive state tree planting goals and a host of other initiatives rooted in trees, all in an effort to respond to climate change. While other significant climate change legislation failed to pass in … Continue Reading

Green Buildings are Subsidizing Conventional Buildings Stymying Climate Progress

Green building bonds, which are higher rated and could provide cheaper capital for green building projects, can correct the current market that prices mortgages, green building or nongreen, the same, stimulating the economy and repairing the planet. The financial value of green buildings is well documented, from commanding higher rents, greater occupancy rates, and increased … Continue Reading

SEC to Update Required Climate Related Disclosures

On February 24, acting chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Allison Herren Lee, offered insight into the future direction of mandatory climate change disclosures and new ESG regulation, when she directed the Division of Corporation Finance to enhance its focus on climate related disclosure in public company filings. The Commission provided guidance in … Continue Reading

Carbon Tax Proposed in Portland will be First in the Nation

The City of Portland is proposing a carbon tax that would be the first of its kind anywhere in the country. Given the increased emphasis on climate change by the incoming Biden Administration the proposed ordinance should be on your required reading list. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions are changing the climate. Energy … Continue Reading

EPA Proposes First Greenhouse Gas Emissions Limits for Aircraft

Last Wednesday the Environmental Protection Agency proposed greenhouse gas emissions standards for airplanes used in commercial aviation and large business jets. “This standard is the first time the U.S. has ever proposed regulating greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft,” according to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. And as much as I have railed against more and regressive environmental … Continue Reading

One Trillion Trees

The One Trillion Trees Initiative was launched at the World Economic Forum last month. When President Trump announced that the United States would join the tree planting initiative on January 21 in Davos among more than 3,000 world government, business, and NGO leaders, more than half of whom joined the commitment, it garnered little reaction … Continue Reading

Low Carbon Concrete for the First Time Required by Law

The negative environmental impact of concrete, the most common man made substance on Earth, has not been meaningfully responded to in 2020. Cement use in concrete is the largest single material source of greenhouse gas emissions in building. Concrete is the largest single material source of embodied emissions in buildings, and makes for more than … Continue Reading

Mission Critical at the Department of Defense now includes Climate

On August 13 the President signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. The $716 billion H.R. 5515, authorizes appropriations for the Department of Defense for procurement of everything from aircraft, missiles, ammunition, shipbuilding and space defense to military installation construction; and is arguably the most significant environmental legislation enacted … Continue Reading

LEED Commercial Interiors can Save the Planet

By Katie Stanford and Stuart Kaplow LEED Commercial Interiors projects present the best single opportunity for greening buildings. The proof is in the numbers. There are more than 5.6 million existing commercial buildings in the United States today. And despite the wildly successful U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (the ubiquitous acronym for Leadership in Energy … Continue Reading

The Opportunity for ENERGY STAR

While much of the media hyperbole has focused on the Trump Administration’s 2018 Budget request of $5.7 Billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, a reduction of $2.6 billion, or 31%, from the 2017 level of funding, little attention has been paid to specific priorities including the resultant opportunities for green building. One of the key … Continue Reading

Legislature Overrides Veto of Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Increase

On February 2, 2017, the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates voted to override the veto of an increase the State’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, as enacted in the 2016 Maryland General Assembly session. Last May, Maryland Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr., vetoed House Bill 1106, that was characterized as a “sunshine tax” to be … Continue Reading

Defamation Case over Global Warming Claim set for Trial

Michael E. Mann is a well-known climate scientist whose research in studying the “paleoclimate,” or ancient climate, has featured prominently in the politically charged debate about climate change. Dr. Mann filed an action for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress on October 22, 2012 against Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), Rand Simberg, National Review, Inc. … Continue Reading
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