Vermont Law School selected the 10 most important law and environmental policy issues of the day. Vermont Law chose the final 1o after perusing more than 75 judicial, regulatory, and legislative actions that showcase the importance of the law in “tak[ing] action on the critical issues of our time.” We are so grateful to Vermont Law School for its work in this area.

Here are the top 10:

1. Congressional Failure to Enact Climate Change Legislation.

2. The Gulf Oil Spill

3. The First U.S. Greenhouse Gas Rules

4. Climate Change in the Courts

5. The Survival of California’s Climate Law (AB 32)

6. EPA Clamps Down on Mountaintop Mining

7. Wind and Solar Breakthrough Projects

8. Supreme Courts Review of GMOs

9. EPA’s Water Transfer Exemption Remains in Force

10. U.S. Military Going Green

From our perspective, all of the final 10 issues pertain to climate justice—from the most obvious of them (#1–7), to the less obvious (such as #8 and #10). For example, the Supreme Court’s review of GMOs, although not directly a climate change issue, is indirectly a climate justice issue. The marketability of GMO crops will have significant implications for food security, especially as scientists examine the opportunities and risks of introducing more climate-resilient crop varieties (such as rice that can grow in saline water) into already climate-vulnerable ecosystems and communities.

In addition, the U.S. military’s actions to “go green” might involve what you’d expect—upgrading military vehicles to run off of renewable energy sources. But to protect human security in a warmer world, a new aspect of “going green” may involve transforming the military into an agent of social change. The U.S. military will need to be better trained and become more equipped to protect us and others around the world from the creeping vulnerabilities of climate change. Climate change undermines the ability of the world’s poor to meet their basic needs in a warmer world, such as access to food and water and health care, which will add fuel to already raging geopolitical fires.

See the full report by Vermont Law School here.