Climate Change Having Major Effect on U.S. Law, ABA Book Finds

May 14, 2007

Washington, D.C., May 14, 2007 - Though Congress has not enacted any statutes that explicitly require the control of greenhouse gas emissions, concern over climate change has already begun to have a significant effect on U.S. law.  Most of the states and many cities are taking regulatory action aimed directly or indirectly at climate change.  Lawsuits have been brought all over the country concerning the applicability to climate change of the Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, other statutes and the common law doctrine of public nuisance.  The practices of insurance law, securities disclosure, energy facility siting, and other fields have been significantly affected.  Many companies are changing the way they do business on the assumption that mandatory federal regulation is inevitable.

These are the conclusions of a new book, Global Climate Change and U.S. Law, just published by the American Bar Association (ABA). This is the first book to cover the federal, state and local laws and litigation that are rapidly developing around this vital topic.  An April 2, 2007 decision of the United States Supreme Court is further accelerating the growth of these laws. This 791-page book was edited by Michael B. Gerrard of Arnold & Porter LLP and went through a rigorous ABA peer review process.  Because so many developments are occurring on an almost daily basis, the book will be updated by a web site rather than through pocket parts or other paper supplements.

After a summary of the factual and scientific background, the book begins by addressing the international and national frameworks of climate change law, including clean air regulation, civil remedies and the impact of the Kyoto Protocol on many domestic actions.  The book then describes emerging regional, state and local actions, and includes a 50-state survey.  Next is coverage of issues of concern to corporations, including disclosure, fiduciary duties, insurance and subsidies.  The book ends with an examination of the legal aspects of various efforts to reduce emissions, including voluntary programs, emissions trading programs and carbon sequestration.

Mr. Gerrard, editor of the book, is a former chair of the ABA's 10,000-member Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources and currently heads Arnold & Porter's New York office.  The chapters in the book were written by many of the country's leading environmental law scholars.

Mr. Gerrard is the author or editor of six other books, two of which were named "Best Law Book of the Year" by the Association of American Publishers -- Environmental Law Practice Guide and Brownfields Law and Practice.  He has also taught environmental law at Columbia and Yale.  Mr. Gerrard will be autographing the book at the BookExpo 2007 Conference being held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York on June 1, 2007.

Contributing author Jonathan Martel is a partner in Arnold & Porter's Washington, D.C. office.  His practice concentrates on air emissions matters, environmental litigation and counseling.  Mr. Martel also has been the leading force in developing Arnold & Porter's green office policy, which focuses on resource conservation and sustainable business practices at the firm.

Global Climate Change and U.S. Law is available now and can be ordered directly from the publisher on-line at  This book retails for $59.95 and is discounted for ABA members.

Arnold & Porter LLP, an international law firm of approximately 600 attorneys, has offices in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, London and Brussels.  The firm, founded in 1946, maintains more than 25 practice areas spanning a broad spectrum of the law, with a primary focus on litigation, transactional matters and regulatory issues.


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