Conclusion: Adjudicating climate change across scales

Hari M. Osofsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION This book explores climate change litigation in its many existing and potential variations. As this volume was being written, the number of relevant cases and their impact increased dramatically. Most notably, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Massachusetts v. EPA – together with a cultural shift symbolized by Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) winning the Nobel Peace Prize – transformed the policy and litigation landscape. The election of President Obama changed things further, with his commitment to active U.S. participation in international climate treaty negotiations and to a robust federal regulatory approach to greenhouse gas emissions. The concluding chapter grapples with how this evolution impacts the way in which we should view the role of litigation as part of transnational regulation of climate change. Although we are still early in this story that Peter Roderick's foreword began, some of the impacts of climate change litigation are already clear. David Hunter's chapter, The Implications of Climate Change Litigation: Litigation for International Environmental Law-Making, does an excellent job of analyzing these cases as vehicles for promoting greater public awareness. This chapter builds upon his analysis by focusing back on the issues of scale raised in the Introduction. As a scientific and legal matter, climate change is multiscalar. In other words, emissions, impacts, and the legal structures that interact with them are simultaneously individual, local, state, national, international, and every level in between.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdjudicating Climate Change
Subtitle of host publicationState, National, and International Approaches
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780511596766
ISBN (Print)9780521879705
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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