Evolution of U.S. Climate Policy
Global Climate Change and the U.S. Law, American Bar Association Book Publishing, Second Edition, 2014
35 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2013 Last revised: 28 Jul 2015
Date Written: July 2, 2013
This paper provides an overview of U.S. government law and policy concerning climate change. It is from Global Climate Change and U.S. Law (American Bar Association, Second Edition) (Michael B. Gerrard and Jody Freeman eds., 2014). U.S. efforts to address climate change can be grouped into five categories: (1) measures promoting federal climate change research, which provided the foundation for later developments; (2) statutes and policies that were in place before climate change emerged as a prominent issue but which have been deployed to address climate change, including the Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, energy efficiency statutes, and corporate disclosure laws; (3) additional laws and policies by which Congress has sought to address climate change without requiring the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs), including measures requiring reporting, monitoring, and education, as well as initiatives promoting technological innovation and adaptation; (4) U.S. role in international agreements concerning climate change, including the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and subsequent accords; and (5) Congressional efforts to pass comprehensive climate change legislation to reduce GHGs, most prominently through a cap-and-trade approach.
Keywords: climate change, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuels, environment, Kyoto Protocol, climate change science, Clean Air Act, energy efficiency, National Environmental Policy Act, cap and trade legislation
JEL Classification: K20, K29, K32, K33, Q20, Q25, Q28, Q30, Q40, Q48, Q01
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation