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Category Archives: Environmental Law

Big Oil Reality Check: Oil and Gas Companies Failing on Climate

Oil Change International released our Big Oil Reality Check report today in collaboration with over 200 organizations worldwide. The report assesses the climate pledges and plans of eight international oil and gas companies – Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, TotalEnergies, BP, Eni, Equinor, and ConocoPhillips – against 10 criteria representing the bare minimum for aligning with the Paris Agreement to limit global heating below 1.5°C. Key Findings – The Big Oil Reality Check report finds that:

  • These oil majors fail to align with international agreements to phase out fossil fuels and to limit global temperature rise to 1.5ºC.
  • Every company is “Grossly Insufficient” or “Insufficient” on a majority of criteria.
  • Three companies (Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil) are “Grossly Insufficient” – our lowest rating – on all criteria.
  • Combined, these 8 companies’ current oil and gas extraction plans are consistent with more than 2.4°C of global temperature rise,(1) likely leading to global devastation.
  • These 8 companies alone are on track to use 30% of our remaining carbon budget to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
  • Ambition: Of the 8 analyzed companies, 6 have explicit goals to increase oil and gas production. Even those without such plans are advancing new fossil fuel projects and selling polluting assets rather than shutting them down, masking their actions as contributing to an energy transition while perpetuating climate pollution.
  • Integrity: None of the companies we analyzed have set comprehensive targets to ensure their total emissions decline rapidly and consistently, starting now. Every company intends to rely on carbon capture and storage (CCS), offsets, and/or other methods that delay and distract from ending fossil fuels, and prolong the health and community safety impacts of dirty energy.
  • People-Centered Transitions: All companies fail to meet basic criteria for just transition plans for workers and communities where they operate. All companies fail to meet basic criteria on upholding human rights.

OECD – Defining AI incidents and related terms

New AI report: OECD (2024), OECD Artificial Intelligence Papers, No. 16, OECD Publishing, Paris,”Defining AI incidents and related terms,” it’s a must-read for everyone in AI. Important information: An AI incident is defined as: “an event, circumstance or series of events where the development, use or malfunction of one or more AI systems directly… Continue Reading

Webinar – Environmental Law and the Things We Need to Build

Join the Witkin State Law Library and Professor Dave Owen for a free live webinar on “Environmental Law and the Things We Need to Build” on Tuesday, June 11, 2024 at 6PM. Is environmental law keeping us from building important things—and from building things that would be good for the environment? Recently, that question has… Continue Reading

Greenhouse gas giants

Data is Plural: “Carbon Majors, run by the UK-based InfluenceMap, “is a database of historical production data from 122 of the world’s largest oil, gas, coal, and cement producers.” It attributes to these producers 1,421 metric gigatons of CO2-equivalent emissions from 1854 through 2022. Launched last month, the database provides downloads at several levels of… Continue Reading

How to prepare for another season of wildfire smoke

Vox: “Several US states are again experiencing an influx of wildfire smoke as Canada’s summer fire season gets underway. Due to the scale of the wildfires and natural weather patterns, enormous amounts of smoke are drifting southward — much like last year. North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Minnesota are among the earliest states to… Continue Reading

As Insurers Around the U.S. Bleed Cash From Climate Shocks, Homeowners Lose

The New York Times [unpaywalled]: “The insurance turmoil caused by climate change — which had been concentrated in Florida, California and Louisiana — is fast becoming a contagion, spreading to states like Iowa, Arkansas, Ohio, Utah and Washington. Even in the Northeast, where homeowners insurance was still generally profitable last year, the trends are worsening.… Continue Reading

Automakers and Climate Policy Advocacy: A Global Analysis

“New InfluenceMap analysis finds that negative lobbying by the world’s largest automakers is putting global climate targets at risk and threatening the transition to electric vehicles. This report analyses the climate policy engagement strategies of fifteen of the largest global automakers in seven key regions (Australia, EU, Japan, India, South Korea, UK, US). It shows… Continue Reading

Electricity 2024 – Analysis and forecast to 2026

International Energy Agency – Electricity 2024 Analysis and forecast to 2026 – “Electricity is central to the functioning of modern societies and economies – and its importance is only growing as technologies that run on electricity, such as electric vehicles and heat pumps, become increasingly popular. Power generation is currently the largest source of carbon… Continue Reading

What actually happens within your lawn when you don’t mow it

Washington Post [link is free to read]: “Your vibrant green lawn may look lush, but it’s actually an ecological wasteland. “The idea for that ideal lawn is that nothing else can live in it,” said David Mizejewski, a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation, a nonprofit conservation organization. “It’s like a dense, eternally green carpet.”… Continue Reading