Suing to reduce climate change

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 — from California to New York, plus New York City — sued six corporations responsible for one-fourth of the American electric power industry’s emissions of carbon dioxide.

Rather than seeking money or punishment for the defendants, they seek what everyone should agree is the polluters’ responsibility: abatement of their huge, harmful part in causing climate change. The purpose is not to solve global warming or usurp the government’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.

This entry was posted in Climate change on by .

About Milan

Originally from Vancouver, Milan Ilnyckyj is a graduate of the University of British Columbia (B.A. International Relations and Political Science) and the University of Oxford (M.Phil International Relations). He now works in Ottawa.

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