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9th Circuit Says Climate Suits Do Not Raise Federal Issues

The 9th Circuit has held [1, 2] that climate related tort suits are a matter of state, not federal, law. The decision remands claims brought by several California jurisdictions against fossil fuel companies to state court, defeating the companies’ attempt to have the cases addressed in federal court.

USDA Seeks Comments on Quantifying Agricultural Emissions of Greenhouse Gasses

The United States Department of Agriculture has announced it is seeking input on the agency’s methods to quantify greenhouse gas sources from the agricultural sector, including how the agency’s guidelines can be made more rigorous. The agency is accepting comments until April 20, 2020.

Investors Say Meat Industry is Doomed Without Adaptations to Climate Change

A group of investors are warning that without significant climate change plans, the world meat industry may be in serious trouble.

Article Finds Animal Source Foods are “Necessary” & Negative Impacts are “Overstated”

A new article published in Global Food Security purports that the over two billion people suffering from micronutrient deficiencies are due in part to insufficient consumption of animal sourced foods. The article argues that reports focusing on the health and climate threats of animal agriculture are overestimated and that producing animal source foods is necessary for the role they play in “improving nutrition, reducing poverty, improving gender equity, improving livelihoods, increasing food security, and improving health.”

House Committee Seeks Input on Role of Agriculture in Climate Change

The House Democrats’ climate panel held a hearing addressing the relationship between agriculture and climate change, exploring what steps could be taken in the sector to address the crisis. Discussion mostly centered around carbon storage, helping farmers and ranchers adapt to climate changes, and forest management. The committee is asking for input on what it can do with regard to agriculture and the climate crisis until November 22, 2019.

“Underestimates of Methane from Intensively Raised Animals Could Undermine Goals of Sustainable Development”

A new review by Matthew Hayek and Scot Miller published in Environmental Research Letters suggests that the United States may be understating methane emissions from meat and dairy operations, undermining goals of sustainable development.

North Carolina to Establish Permit Scheme for Manure Digester Systems

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has signed into law Senate Bill 605 which directs the state Environmental Management Commission to develop “a general permit for animal operations that includes authorization for the permittee to construct and operate a farm digester system.” The law will also allow preexisting swine farms to construct or renovate farm digester systems if doing so meets several requirements related to capacity and location. The law additionally addresses the formation of voluntary agricultural districts containing animal agriculture facilities to reduce nuisance liability and the scope of local agricultural advisory boards.

Marine Mammal Climate Change Protection Act Reintroduced

House Bill 3692, the Marine Mammal Climate Change Protection Act, would direct the Secretary of Commerce along with the Marine Mammal Commission to establish climate impact management plans for the conservation of marine mammals that are at significant risk due to climate change. The bill was previously introduced in 2020.

IPCC Climate Report is “Code Red”

The Sixth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns of increased human-caused climate and weather disasters, predicts warming of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius in the 21st century, urges immediate action.

Forest Service Seeks Input on Protection of Tahoe National Forest

The National Forest Service is preparing an environmental impact statement about the effects of climate change (including increasing wildfires) on Tahoe National Forest and its inhabitants in preparation for a vast forest restoration project. One of the stated purposes of the project is to reduce threats to wildlife habitat and align with the Conservation Strategy for the California Spotted Owl in the Sierra Nevada (USDA Forest Service 2019). The Service will be accepting public comments through October 15, 2021, to assist in preparation of the EIS which will be published in 2022.