Opinion: How Climate Activists Failed to Make Clear the Problem with Natural Gas

"The climate movement’s biggest failure has been its inability to successfully make the case that natural gas is not a clean replacement for other fossil fuels. So as natural gas has boomed, U.S. emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, have increased dramatically."


The Earth System Governance project is preparing to hold the Utrecht Conference on Earth System Governance on "Governing Global Sustainability in a Complex World" on 5-8 November 2018. The call for paper is available here.

Thomson v. Minister for Climate Change Issues [2017] NZHC 733 (New Zealand)

Sarah Thomson initiated a judicial review concerning the Government of New Zealand’s response to climate change, which she considered insufficient in the light (among others) of New Zealand’s obligations under international law. Her claims relating to New Zealand’s NDC were dismissed.

In an obiter at para. 38, Mallon J. notes a country’s NDC is not binding under international law. This is doubtful. States have an obligation under article 4, paragraph 2, of the Paris Agreement, to take measures in view of realizing the objectives of their NDCs. NDCs may also constitute unilateral declarations capable of creating legal obligations.

See NMs. Thomson’s complaint and Mallon J.’ judgment. For a brief analysis, look here.