Introduction to the Symposium on Climate Change Localism
AJIL Unbound, Volume 112, pages 266-268 (2018)
4 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2018 Last revised: 19 Dec 2018
The sheer breadth, scale and rapidity of subnational climate efforts in the United States have been impressive. Politically and economically powerful states, influential cities, massive pension funds, leading companies and others have stepped up to push the country toward a more effective response to the varied threats of climate change. In many respects, the system isn’t supposed to work this way. Addressing an issue with such obvious international implications as climate change should be spearheaded by the federal government. Necessity remains the mother of invention, however, and we are witnessing an experiment in foreign affairs federalism in real time. This American Journal of International Law symposium explores the implications of subnational actors’ efforts to address climate change. The Introduction describes the contributions by Ann Carlson, Jean Galbraith, Dan Esty and Dena Adler, and Cinnamon Carlarne. The contributions of this symposium provide both hypotheses and new directions for this ongoing experiment, which surely will continue for years to come.
Keywords: Climate change, Paris Agreement, federalism, environmental policy, international relations
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