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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy produces a high quality biannual journal on cutting-edge environmental legal and policy matters.  JELP is entirely run and produced by students at UCLA School of Law.  Articles in JELP are written by leading scholars throughout the country and often the world, and by students focusing on environmental law at UCLA.

Volume 33, Issue 1, 2015

Issue cover

Front Matter

Front Matter

Republished on November 9. 2015 to correct layout errors.


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Table of Contents

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The Limits of Administrative Law as Regulatory Oversight in Linked Carbon Markets

Many commentators have celebrated the link between carbonmarkets in California and Québec as an example of effective coordination of sub-national climate policy instruments. Here, Iargue that this enthusiasm is misplaced. California recentlyamended its carbon market regulations to enable significantleakage of emissions to neighboring states. These reforms reducethe environmental effectiveness of the market, contradict clearstatutory guidelines, and dilute the integrity of the state’s compliance instruments. Moreover, the reforms took place in an administrative process that never recognized the leakage implications, raising questions as to whether California alerted itsCanadian counterparts of the consequences of its internal reforms.I review this transition from three perspectives: the relevantadministrative proceedings in California, the mutual obligationsboth governments accepted under a bilateral agreement,and the standards California law imposes on prospective linkedmarkets. Each perspective reveals major shortcomings. Ratherthan demonstrating a successful model for harmonizing carbonmarket systems across different legal jurisdictions, the link between California and Québec exemplifies a major institutionalweakness: in a linked carbon market, participating governmentsmust continuously monitor the administrative processes of eachjurisdiction in order to maintain market integrity. But as theCalifornia experience demonstrates, administrative law may notbe up to the task of ensuring that practical market operation follows the rule of law.

Essay by The Québec Government on Its Cap-and-Trade System and the Western Climate Initiative Regional Carbon Market: Origins, Strengths and Advantages

This essay provides a historical overview of the implementation of the Québec cap-and-trade system, examines the advantages of such a system in tackling greenhouse gas emissions, explains the process leading up to the linking of cap-and-trade systems with California within the partnership of the Western Climate Initiative, and provides an overview of the Québec system.

The Pricelessness of Biodiversity: Using the Endangered Species Act to Help Combat Extinction and Climate Change

The science is clear. Climate change is happening, and it has aserious adverse effect on the majority of biodiversity, species,and ecosystems. Currently, there are no laws that serve to protect biodiversity and species from the oncoming changes; however, there is a law that serves to protect endangered and threatened species generally: the Endangered Species Act. This paper proposes using conservation biology principles to suggest several amendments to the Endangered Species Act to help save and conserve all species that will be adversely affected by climate change, not just those currently endangered or threatened. This paper only proposes amendments to the listing, critical habitat, recovery, and monitoring sections under Section 1533, even  though many more amendment opportunities could be envisioned. There are many critiques to this approach, which are also addressed; however, it is the goal of this paper to argue that amending the Endangered Species Act is the most effective and efficient way to save biodiversity and species from climate change.

Republished on November 9, 2015 to correct formatting errors.