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Photos of the Louisiana Coast

Coast and Climate Change Project

NOAA, 2018 State of U.S. High Tide Flooding with a 2019 Outlook, NOAA Technical Report NOS CO-OPS 090 (June 2019)

SUMMARY

NOAA tide gauges are measuring rapid changes across the entire severity-spectrum of coastal flood risk along U.S. coastlines due to RSL rise. The most noticeable impact of RSL rise is the increasing frequency of HTF (sometimes referred to as ‘nuisance’ or ‘sunny day’ flooding), which typically causes minor and disruptive impacts. However, within many rural and urban U.S. coastal communities, the cumulative effects of more HTF upon public-works systems, roads, first floors of businesses, and residences (among others) is becoming a serious problem. Because of this, communities need projections for ‘next year’ and for the coming decades for preparedness and planning purposes to respond to the growing RSL-related HTF threat.

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Setzer, Joana, and Rebecca Byrnes. “Global trends in climate change litigation: 2019 snapshot.” (2019).

Headline issues

• Climate change litigation continues to expand across jurisdictions as a tool to
strengthen climate action, though more evidence of its impact is needed.
• Climate change cases have been brought in at least 28 countries around the
world, and of the recorded cases more than three quarters have been filed in
the United States.
• Most defendants are governments but lawsuits are increasingly targeting the
highest greenhouse-gas-emitting companies.
• Climate change-related claims are also being pursued by investors, activist
shareholders, cities and states.
• Climate change litigation in low- and middle-income countries is growing in
quantity and importance.

Summary

Climate change litigation is increasingly viewed as a tool to influence policy
outcomes and corporate behaviour. Strategic cases are designed to press national
governments to be more ambitious on climate or to enforce existing legislation,
while cases against major emitters seek compensation for loss and damage.
Routine planning and regulatory cases are increasingly including climate change
arguments, exposing courts to climate science and climate-related arguments
even where incidental to the main claim.

STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD WORLDWIDE THREAT ASSESSMENT of the US INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY January 29, 2019.

Environment and Climate Change

Global environmental and ecological degradation, as well as climate change, are likely to fuel competition for resources, economic distress, and social discontent through 2019 and beyond. Climate hazards such as extreme weather, higher temperatures, droughts, floods, wildfires, storms, sea level rise, soil degradation, and acidifying oceans are intensifying, threatening infrastructure, health, and water and food security. Irreversible damage to ecosystems and habitats will undermine the economic benefits they provide, worsened by air, soil, water, and marine pollution. (p 23)

The Precautionary Principle

Posted on: February, 23 2019 10:57 pm

Bourguignon, Didier. “The precautionary principle: Definitions, applications and governance.” European Parliament Research Service Paper (2015).

Treaty on European Union, Article 191

2. Union policy on the environment shall aim at a high level of protection taking into account the diversity of situations in the various regions of the Union. It shall be based on the precautionary principle and on the principles that preventive action should be taken, that environmental damage should as a priority be rectified at source and that the polluter should pay.

The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992)

Principle 15

In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.

The First Climate Treaty – The Montreal Protocol

Posted on: February, 6 2019 2:16 am

Chlorofluorocarbons and Ozone Depletion – A National Historic Chemical Landmark

Molina, Mario J., and F. Sherwood Rowland. “Stratospheric sink for chlorofluoromethanes: chlorine atom-catalysed destruction of ozone.” Nature 249.5460 (1974): 810. (the first ozone hole paper)

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer

Summary – Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer

The Hole – A film on the Montreal Protocol, narrated by Sir David Attenborough

Negotiating the Montreal Protocol on Protecting the Ozone Layer – interview with one of the State Department negotiators.

NASA Ozone Watch

Financing the Montreal Protocol in the developing world

Report on the World Bank Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol (2007)

Peter M. Morrisette, The Evolution of Policy Responses to Stratospheric Ozone Depletion, 29 Nat. Resources J. 793 (1989). (Available at: https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/nrj/vol29/iss3/9)

EPA, Stratospheric Ozone Protection: 30 Years of Progress and Achievements (2017)

United Nations Environment Programme. Ozone Secretariat. Handbook for the Montreal protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer. UNEP/Earthprint, 2018.

World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Executive Summary: Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2018, World Meteorological Organization, Global Ozone Research and Monitoring Project – Report No. 58, 67 pp., Geneva, Switzerland, 2018.

Velders, Guus JM, et al. “The importance of the Montreal Protocol in protecting climate.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104.12 (2007): 4814-4819.