Global Climate Change and U.S. Law


Global Climate Change and U.S. Law


Publication Date



A vast body of U.S. law relevant to climate change has developed since publication of the first edition of Global Climate Change and U.S. Law in 2007, even while Congress has failed to pass a new comprehensive statute to address the climate challenge. This domestic legal regime, covered comprehensively in this updated volume, consists of federal greenhouse gas regulations issued under the Clean Air Act and federal energy efficiency statutes, new disclosure requirements imposed under the securities laws, as well as a variety of state and local initiatives and common law decisions by the courts.

Recognizing that climate change is largely an energy problem, this edition adds a completely new section on energy regulation. Additional chapters now cover cap-and-trade regimes, climate-related water issues, agriculture and forestry, and the use of non-climate international agreements to reduce emissions and address climate impacts. The final new section focuses on issues previously seen as marginal but now of growing importance: climate adaptation, carbon capture and sequestration and geoengineering. Chapters are organized in five parts:

Part I: Overview and Context
Part II U.S. Federal Regulation and Litigation
Part III: Regional, State, and Local Actions
Part IV: Energy Regulation
Part V: The Next Legal Frontiers


Administrative Law | Environmental Law | Law | Natural Resource Economics




American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources


Chicago, IL


“The scientists tell us about the causes and perils of climate change, and the engineers and economists identify many of the solutions. But it is the lawyers who are at the center of designing and implementing the strategies to translate our scientific, engineering, and economic insights into action. The resulting array of rules and decisions can be bewildering. Gerrard and Freeman have assembled a marvelous guide through this legal thicket. Not only do they and their chapter authors illuminate what is already in place, but they also help identify the sorts of legal innovations that need to be adopted if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change.”
Lisa Jackson, former Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Global Climate Change and U.S. Law is a comprehensive, timely, and deeply grounded treatise on the state of the law on the most challenging environmental issue of our time. Despite many layers of government action, diverse regulatory tools, and a rapidly expanding body of litigation, the editors manage to present a coherent picture of the state of climate law today. The writing is uniformly clear, brisk, and free of jargon. Lawyers and students will certainly be using this book. Anyone wondering about the prospects for bringing the U.S. into an international program to avert the worst impacts of climate change would do well to peruse this useful volume. A remarkable achievement.”
Mary Nichols, Chair, California Air Resources Board

“This balanced and readable book is the best existing single source reference on the subject. The principal editors are two of the leading scholars in the nation, and the individual chapters are authored by experts in their particular subject matters. Responding to climate change will require more than scientific advances; legal innovation and creative legal institutions are needed. This exceptional book sets us on the path toward that goal.
John C. Cruden, President, Environmental Law Institute

“The Second Edition of Global Climate Change and U.S. Law is a “must have” for any serious climate change practitioner. Michael Gerrard and Jody Freeman have skillfully blended contributions from the nation’s foremost experts on all aspects of climate change law. The book’s treatment of “the next legal frontiers” is particularly compelling. There is no more comprehensive and readable climate change treatise on the market. Bravo!”
David J. Hayes, former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior

“Despite the reluctance of the Congress to enact comprehensive climate legislation, there is a multiplicity of treaties, laws, regulations, and tax measures at all levels of government. This book is the sure and reliable guide we need through this policy labyrinth. Gerrard and Freeman have produced an authoritative, comprehensive, and highly engaging source for the professional concerned to master this rapidly evolving and complex field.”
William Reilly, former Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Global Climate Change and U.S. Law

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