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
Date Written: May 2015
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: Suggested Citation