The New York Times has an editorial about an ongoing attempt by eight states to sue six major electrical producers due to their greenhouse gas pollution:
The case about global warming scheduled to be argued on Tuesday before the Supreme Court is a blockbuster. Eight states â€” from California to New York, plus New York City â€” sued six corporations responsible for one-fourth of the American electric power industryâ€™s emissions of carbon dioxide.
Rather than seeking money or punishment for the defendants, they seek what everyone should agree is the pollutersâ€™ responsibility: abatement of their huge, harmful part in causing climate change. The purpose is not to solve global warming or usurp the governmentâ€™s role in doing so. It is, rightly, to get major utilities to curb their greenhouse-gas emissions before the government acts.
The courts have an advantage over politicians, in that they don’t need to worry as much about day-to-day popularity.
Also, if the court finds against the companies, it could drive the emergence of laws or regulations on greenhouse gas pollution.