Bringing the U.S. Government Together to Improve Human Rights & Protect the Environment

Read the full post from U.S. EPA.

The United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, not well known to the American public, is a unique intersection of international human rights mechanisms with national and local laws and policies. This process, under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council, asks each UN member state to report on its domestic human rights record once every five years, which provides an opportunity and a formal setting for fellow UN member states to make recommendations on how to improve human rights conditions in that state.

WaterSmart Innovations Conference Call for Abstracts

Professionals working in disciplines related to urban water efficiency, water resource conservation, supply- and demand-management, and water re-use are invited to submit a paper for consideration as a presenter at the 10th annual WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition, slated for October 4-6, 2017, in Las Vegas.

Professionals, scientists, government employees, organizations, public and private institutions, policy makers, students and all others working in an industry dealing with water conservation or water efficiency may submit an abstract for an oral presentation, panel discussion or workshop. A complete list of potential topics is available on the Abstract Submittal Guidelines.

Presenters must pay their own travel expenses. Complimentary conference registration will be provided to all accepted participants for the day of their presentation only, or receive a $110 discount off full conference registration of $395.

Deadline and how to submit:
Abstracts may be submitted on-line here or via email to no later than Friday, February 10, 2017.

Notification of acceptance:
Candidates chosen as presenters will be notified by e-mail and postal mail no later than Friday, April 14, 2017.

Conference Committee contact information: Southern Nevada Water Authority
ATTN: Patrick Watson
P.O. Box 99956
Las Vegas, NV 89193-9956

This sustainable new tech will make you see windows in a whole new light

Read the full story from The Guardian.

The smart building tech industry is quickly expanding as more businesses and commercial spaces start paying attention to environmental concerns.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind No Longer: Ballots Nationwide Include Measures for Funding Water Infrastructure

Read the full story from the Alliance for Water Efficiency.

This election season was exhausting, but before we all submit fully (and rightfully so) to election fatigue, resign ourselves to the outcomes and wash our hands of it all for four more years, it’s important as water professionals that we pause to acknowledge and review the ways in which funding for water infrastructure made its way onto local ballots across the country.

Planning for the Impacts of Climate Change on Public Lands and Natural Resources: Report and Model Protocol

Read the full post at the Climate Law Blog.

Climate change has important implications for the management and conservation of natural resources. The government agencies responsible for managing these resources have generally recognized that climate change adaptation should be mainstreamed into their planning processes, and yet this topic is still treated as an afterthought in many planning documents. One problem is a lack of guidance: most agencies have not adopted detailed guidelines on how to account for climate change in resource assessments, management plans, and environmental review documents.

To help fill this gap, the Sabin Center has published a model protocol and accompanying report: Considering the Effects of Climate Change on Natural Resources in Environmental Review and Planning Documents. This project complements a similar report and protocol that we published last year on assessing effects of climate change on built infrastructure in environmental reviews. Information about both projects and supporting materials are available on our new website.

For Transport Industry, Curbing Emissions Is a Matter of Self-Interest

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

The shipping and aviation sectors look to slow their emissions—not least because climate change will make both of their jobs harder and more dangerous.

Low-carbon aviation fuel soars onward

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

You may be surprised to learn that air travel is already efficient. In fact, a flight between New York and Los Angeles achieves the equivalent of about 80 miles per gallon per passenger.

Airplane manufacturers, such as Boeing and Airbus, prioritized reducing fuel consumption because jet fuel is the No. 1 expense for airlines, and they have achieved great success in doing so.

At Standing Rock, A Battle Over Fossil Fuels and Land

Read the full story at e360.

The Native American-led protest against the Dakota Access pipeline has gained global attention. In an e360 interview, indigenous expert Kyle Powys Whyte talks about the history of fossil fuel production on tribal lands and the role native groups are playing in fighting climate change.

Lesson Plan: Progressive City Planners

Grade levels: 3-5, 6-9
Download the plan at

Environmental and civil rights activists discovered more than two decades ago that, in comparison with affluent white communities, people of color and working-class communities are disproportionately subjected to toxic waste, resource depletion, waste disposal sites, pollution of air and water, and natural disasters. (See Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty 1987—2007 for an in-depth analysis.)

Day One of this lesson will introduce students to the ways in which people of color often suffer disproportionately from environmental burdens. Day Two empowers students by asking them to propose solutions to issues of environmental racism.

Report from COP22: The 1st Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement

Read the full post at the Climate Law Blog.

As regular readers of this blog know, I am currently attending COP22 – the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – in Marrakech. Joining me are thousands of government officials and third-party observers, mostly from the United Nations, other international organizations, and non-governmental bodies, who have converged on the city for two weeks of talks. Much of the focus is on implementing the Paris Agreement, the landmark climate deal reached last year at COP21. The Paris Agreement entered into force last Friday November 4, surprising many, who feared that it would take as long as the Kyoto Protocol. Whereas the Kyoto Protocol took seven years to enter into force, the Paris Agreement took just eleven months.