Legal Options for U.S. Acceptance of a New Climate Change Agreement

Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), 2015

40 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2015 Last revised: 2 Sep 2015

See all articles by Daniel Bodansky

Daniel Bodansky

Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Date Written: May 2015

Abstract

The success of ongoing negotiations to establish a new global climate change agreement depends heavily on the agreement’s acceptance by the world’s major economies, in particular the United States. U.S. acceptance of the new agreement being negotiated may or may not require legislative approval, depending on its specific contents. If the new climate change agreement establishes legally-binding emissions limits on the United States, or new legally-binding financial commitments, then this would weigh in favor of submitting it to the Senate or Congress for approval. On the other hand, the President would be on relatively firm legal ground accepting the agreement by executive authority, without the approval of the Senate or Congress, to the extent the agreement is procedurally-oriented, is consistent with and could be implemented on the basis of existing law, and is aimed at implementing or elaborating the UNFCCC.

Keywords: UNFCCC, climate change, treaty ratification, foreign relations law

JEL Classification: K32, K33

Suggested Citation

Bodansky, Daniel, Legal Options for U.S. Acceptance of a New Climate Change Agreement (May 2015). Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2652008

Daniel Bodansky (Contact Author)

Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

111 E Taylor St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States

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