Chris Henry


The legislative process in the United States moves slowly, and any legislation that does become law is still subject to change along with the partisan makeup of Congress. Due to the time-sensitive nature of climate change, climate change activists should look to alternate ways to implement policies or try to circumvent the legislative process entirely. First, this article provides the basics of climate change legislation, and discusses the unique problems facing climate change activists. Then, this article describes the history of climate change legislation in the United States. Next, this article explores ways to change climate change policies without resorting to the legislative process, and ways to effect change through the legislature which are not subject easily overturned over time. Even if environmentalists are able to pass federal climate change legislation then it must be both effective and lasting. Perhaps the best way to accomplish this is to include precommitment strategies and make the legislation flexible enough to withstand political change.