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adjudicating climate change
State, National, and International Approaches
Courts have emerged as a crucial battleground in efforts to regulate climate change.
Over the past several years, tribunals at every level of government around the world have
seen claims regarding greenhouse gas emissions and impacts. These cases rely on diverse
legal theories, but all focus on government regulation of climate change or the actions
of major corporate emitters. This book explores climate actions in state and national
courts, as well as international tribunals, in order to explain their regulatory significance.
It demonstrates the role that these cases play in broader debates over climate policy and
argues that they serve as an important force in pressuring governments and emitters to
address this crucial problem. As law firms and public interest organizations increasingly
develop climate practice areas, this book serves as a crucial resource for practitioners,
policymakers, and academics.
William C. G. Burns is the Class of ’46 Visiting Professor with the Center for Environmental Studies at Williams College. Most recently, Dr. Burns was a Senior Fellow
with the Center for Global Law & Policy at the Santa Clara University School of
Law. Additionally, he serves as editor in chief of the Journal of International Wildlife
Law & Policy and cochair of the International Environmental Law Committee of the
American Branch of the International Law Association. He received his B.S. in political
science from Bradley University and his Ph.D. in international law from the University of
Wales – Cardiff School of Law. Prior to his academic career, he spent more than twenty
years in the nongovernmental sector, including as executive director of the GreenLife
Society/Pacific Center for International Studies, a think tank that focused on implementation of international wildlife law. He has published more than 70 articles in a range of
law, policy, and science journals, including the Georgetown International Environmental
Law Review, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Global Change, and
he has served as the coeditor of three books.
Hari M. Osofsky is an associate professor at Washington and Lee University School
of Law. She received her B.A. and J.D. from Yale University. She currently is a Ph.D.
student in the Department of Geography at the University of Oregon. Her articles
have been published in a variety of journals, including t...
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