University of San Diego

San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law


There is a vigorous debate about the appropriate roles of the state and federal governments in reducing greenhouse gases and mitigating climate change. ...
This Article is a first step in mapping this new terrain. Part I provides a short introduction to climate adaptation. The United States will face significant climate impacts in the next few decades, and governmental responses will be required. Part II discusses the role of the federal government in setting adaptation standards, while Part III analyzes the appropriateness of state versus federal funding for adaptation. States are likely to play the leading role in funding adaptation and setting standards, but federal intervention may be warranted by the existence of interstate spillover effects, political distortions that hinder state responses, or equity factors. Finally, Part IV considers how constitutional constraints may limit the federal government's role. Under present law those constraints are mild, but future doctrinal evolution is difficult to predict.