Potential Climate Emergency on the Way

Todd N. Tucker
2 min readJul 25, 2022

Big news from the White House: climate emergency to be potentially declared as soon as this week. (washingtonpost.com/climate-enviro…) We’ve written @rooseveltinst about some of the procedural hurdles that are cleared for strong executive action once an emergency is declared. (rooseveltinstitute.org/publications/p…)

Indeed, executive powers could help build new industries like green steel and domestic solar. (rooseveltinstitute.org/2022/01/20/how…) We’re already hearing the (reasonable) prediction that these actions will be challenged in court.

The right response is to rebalance the judiciary, such as by limiting jurisdiction for actions taken pursuant to the climate emergency. (rooseveltinstitute.org/publications/o…) In a recent @TheProspect article, @ryanlcooper goes through the history and concept of jurisdiction restriction. (prospect.org/justice/the-ca…) A version of jurisdiction limitation is effectively what has happened at the international law level already, with the paring back of NAFTA (through the USMCA) and WTO (through the freezing of the appellate body). More @ProgIntl here: (progressive.international/blueprint/fff9…)

And international action here can be cooperative rather than unilateral. While not technically necessitating an emergency declaration, Section 232 of trade law opens the door to new international climate pacts. See @lawfareblog with @Tim_L_Meyer. (lawfareblog.com/trumps-trade-s…)

(Adapted from this thread.)

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Todd N. Tucker

Director, Industrial Policy & Trade, Roosevelt Institute / Roosevelt Forward. Teach, Johns Hopkins. PhD. Political scientist researching economic transitions.