American Officials Want to Use The Courts to Advance Climate Action. Is This the Best Approach?

A vast majority of Americans believe that climate change is real and should be addressed. Pew Research Center found that younger Americans, particularly Millennials and young adults, are highly engaged around the issue of climate change. American’s heightened awareness to the impacts of climate change underscores questions about the most sensible approaches to address its effects. In the legal context, these issues have prompted an important and timely debate: are there avenues for states and municipalities to seek remuneration for climate-related damages to infrastructure? Is the courthouse or the statehouse the more appropriate arbiter to address these questions?

Despite the fact that the United States has become a world leader in reducing environmentally harmful emissions, since 2017, roughly thirty governments, including cities, counties, and states, have sued energy companies in an attempt to make them pay for the costs of mitigating climate impacts on their communities.

Some argue that by going through the courts versus the political process, public officials are imposing a de-facto regulation onto major segments of the American economy. Nevertheless, as more state and municipal climate cases proceed in state court, the possibility increases that these cases will ultimately succeed.

Join our Zoom webinar at 4 pm ET on March 28 to hear from a panel of experts on the topic.

Meet the Panelists:

Nick Loris, VP of Public Policy at C3 Solutions
Michael B. Gerrard, Director at Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School
Phil Goldberg, Special Counsel at Manufacturers’ Accountability Project
Richard M. Frank, Director at California Environmental Law & Policy Center

Moderated by:

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