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Satisfying the demand for “climate justice” is a profound challenge, given the disconnect between the states and populations most vulnerable to climate impacts and those most responsible historically for producing the greatest share of GHG emissions. Likewise, there is a need to ensure equitable access to the technologies and other resources necessary for both mitigation and adaptation. Another point of contention is how quickly and comprehensively to act. While the fundamentals of climate science have been well-established for decades, there is ongoing debate over how urgently the world must respond. Even assuming a consensus for urgent action, there is the political difficulty of apportioning the arguably burdensome demands of emissions reductions, requiring certain jurisdictions and populaces to suffer short-term local economic costs in exchange for incompletely defined, long-term collective benefits.

This chapter describes and evaluates the most significant multilateral efforts to grapple with climate disruption. It focuses on the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and its key ancillary agreements—the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement. This analysis includes both multilateral developments and their parallel processes and legal constructs within the United States.


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22 Aug 2023
250 kB



  • Subject
    • Environmental Law

    • International Law

    • Law and Society

  • Book title
    • Global Climate Change and U.S. Law, Third Edition

  • Pagination
    • 33-71

  • Publisher
    • American Bar Association

  • Date submitted

    22 August 2023