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U.S. cities and states are increasingly asking how they can play a more visible and active role in international climate change efforts.

Cities and states have obvious incentives to take action to mitigate and adapt to climate change. But why engage internationally? They may seek to demonstrate leadership or gain appropriate recognition for “doing their part.” They may want to inspire others to follow suit or support them in doing so, such as through exchanging best practices. They may seek to join the global march toward low-emission and resilient societies. Or they may want to show the world that U.S. action on climate should not be viewed exclusively through the federal lens, especially given the large percentage of U.S. emissions that are within the jurisdiction of cities and the more populous states.

Between the Paris outcome itself and various platforms and processes developed both before and after Paris, U.S. cities and states have several options at their disposal for reflecting climate-related commitments and otherwise engaging internationally. It may also be desirable to strengthen these options and/or create new ones.


Environmental Law | Law