Hampden MacBeth - Divestment

Curbing Carbon Emissions Through Divestment: Will Georgetown be Next? – Georgetown International Environmental Law Review

Hampden MacBeth - Divestment

Curbing Carbon Emissions Through Divestment: Will Georgetown be Next?

By Hampden MacBeth, Staff Contributor

In response to climate change concerns, fifteen higher education institutions worldwide have divested from the fossil fuel industry. Students, faculty, and staff at Georgetown are urging the university to be next. (more…)

Kaela Colwell - Incorporation Matters

Incorporation Matters: New Legislation Makes Corporate Sustainability Viable – Georgetown International Environmental Law Review

Kaela Colwell - Incorporation Matters

Incorporation Matters: New Legislation Makes Corporate Sustainability Viable

By Kaela Colwell, Staff Editor

Over the past four years, more than half of states have passed legislation enabling business leaders to place greater emphasis on social and environmental responsibility.

Corporate executives have a legal responsibility to act in the best interest of the corporation. As articulated by Milton Friedman, decisions in the best interest of the corporation are generally understood to be those that maximize shareholder value. A narrow interpretation of that principle may suggest it would be unreasonable to expect corporate executives to implement environmental protection measures at a financial cost: corporate officers who choose to prioritize pollution reduction or fair trade sourcing over short-term profits may even run the risk of breaching their fiduciary duties. Thus, many believe that the laws governing public companies must be amended before social and environmental efforts can be maximized in the corporate world. (more…)

Steve Goldstein - Wolf

A Wolfpack of None: The Latest Gray Wolf Ruling Provides Environmental Groups with a Tacit Victory – Georgetown International Environmental Law Review

Steve Goldstein - Wolf

A Wolfpack of None:  The Latest Gray Wolf Ruling Provides Environmental Groups with a Tacit Victory

By Steve Goldstein, Staff Contributor

On September 23, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted partial summary judgment to environmental group plaintiffs challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) September 2012 decision to remove the Wyoming Gray Wolf from Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection.[i] The FWS decision was based largely on the inadequacy of the state’s regulatory system to ensure a healthy population level. But while Wyoming was statutorily required to maintain a gray wolf population of 10 breeding pairs and 100 individuals, it provided no concrete system for buffering those numbers. The court rejected this inadequate system and the agency’s reliance on non-binding assurances as arbitrary and capricious. While this ruling delivers a short term victory for the wolves and wildlife advocates, it far from resolves the controversial delisting process for this species. (more…)

In Brief: High Country Conservation Advocates v. U.S. Forest Service

Nathalie Prescott - US Forest Service

In Brief: High Country Conservation Advocates v. U.S. Forest Service

by Nathalie Prescott, Staff Contributor

The Sunset Roadless Area in western Colorado contains 5,800 acres of relatively undeveloped forest and scrub land. Arch Coal leases land in this area for its coal mine operations, and petitioned the BLM and Forest Service for a Lease Modification which would add new lands to the preexisting leases in order to expand their underground mine. This Lease Modification was granted by the agencies after finalizing an Environmental Impact Assessment for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) purposes. In High Country Conservation Advocates v. United States Forest Service [1], the court questioned the basis for that agency decision. (more…)

Who to Call Chicken? Georgetown International Environmental Law Review

Corey Kestenberg - Chicken

Who to Call Chicken?

by Corey Kestenberg, Staff Contributor

It’s widely accepted that Americans’ heavy use of antibiotics has led to antibiotic resistance. From prescriptions to food, antibiotics permeate our lifestyle. However, some chicken producers have attempted to alleviate this issue by reducing their use of preventive antibiotics in their livestock. Regulators may be forced to step in as well, pending a Second Circuit decision. (more…)

Environmental Impact Disclosures and the SEC

Dorian Hawkins - Environmental Impact Disclosures

 

Environmental Impact Disclosure and the SEC

By Dorian Hawkins, Staff Contributor

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires publicly traded companies transparently to disclose material business risks to investors through regular filings. It’s time that the SEC began to take its Guidance seriously, and to bring enforcement actions against companies that fail to comply with the environmental disclosure requirements that it has articulated. (more…)

Climate Finance: Financing the Future – Georgetown International Environmental Law Review

Brianna Baily - Climate Future

Climate Finance: Financing the Future

By Brianna Baily, Executive Editor

Fair Trade. 99% Natural. Responsibly Sourced. If you’ve been to a retail store in the past few years, chances are you’ve seen these words slapped on a package. While some of these claims are nothing more than lightly-regulated marketing tools, they signal a growing trend. More and more, consumers care about the practices and stories behind the products they purchase, and desire a side of sustainability with their grocery bill (and car payment, mortgage, etc.). It’s no surprise, then, that consumers also care about the environmental impact of their stock portfolios and 401(k)s. (more…)