Climate Change and the Courts

In the first high court decision on global warming, the Supreme Court has ruled that it is the job of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gases emitted from cars. This landmark ruling in the case of Massachusetts v. EPA has set a new precedent that will allow a plethora of global warming litigation cases to move forward. This decision will directly influence a current court case in which automakers are trying to block a California law that requires new cars and trucks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22 percent by 2012 and 30 percent by 2016. This law has been adopted by ten other states, and if successfully implemented, would drastically transform the environmental standards of the auto industry. These court cases are an example of how litigation that attempts to force governments and corporations to act to combat global warming is gaining momentum.

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