Climate Change Laws Around the World

by Legal Author on March 8, 2020

What are some of the key climate change laws around the world? This new post, published in advance of our upcoming launch of our new site ‘Climate Change Blawg‘ (read more at the end of this post), covers some of the main international climate change laws from China, the EU, Russia, the US and beyond.

A number of nations around the world are making their climate change commitments law, enacting emissions-target legislation designed to reduce global warming. 

Approximately four years ago, 196 countries came together to create the Paris Agreement. Participants made a commitment to maintain average global temperature increases at well below 2℃ above pre-industrial levels. Signatories submitted their own emissions target agreements and laid out a plan for achieving their goals. Members of the agreement include some of the biggest polluters in the world. Although the past four years have been some of the hottest on record, countries around the world are taking action. 

Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution Law in China

In 2015, China revised the Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution law, which is geared at restricting various sources of atmospheric pollutants, protecting the environment, safeguarding human health, and educating the public on atmospheric cleanliness. The 2015 revisions call for China to promote the production and utilization of clean energy, improve energy structure, and reduce emissions from the production and use of coal. It also provides for the government to restrict ownership of fuel-burning motor vehicles and advocate for public transportation. Violations of the law can result in steep monetary fines. 

Law n° 2019-1147 on Energy and the Climate in France

This law amends the Energy Code, the General Code of Local and Regional Authorities, and the Environment Code, among others to support the carbon neutrality objective of 2050. It enacted the closure of the last four coal power plants in France, improves energy efficiency in buildings, and emphasized climate change adaptation and resilience. Further, it promotes mitigation efforts through research and innovation. 

Binding Renewable Energy Target in the European Union 

In May 2019, the EU adopted into law measures proposed by the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) that would support a 2030 renewable energy target of 32%. To achieve that goal across the European Union, counties adopted various national renewables targets. These targets range from 10% in Malta to 49% in Sweden. In combination with other targets in the European Commission’s “Clean Energy for all Europeans” package, these changes could result in an impressive 48% reduction in emissions as early as 2030. Collectively, the EU is the third-largest contributor to climate change, falling closely behind the United States and China. 

Russia’s Law to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions

In 2019, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) and other large companies shot down Russia’s first attempt at a law that would regulate C02 emissions. Plans to set company carbon caps and other efforts to hold companies accountable for their emissions were halted. Instead,  the law has been reduced to measuring and collecting data on company-level emissions. 

Rollback on Climate Change Laws in the United States

The United States Paris Agreement targets were already insufficient according to Climate Action Tracker, but President Trump’s recent actions have dropped the country’s efforts to critically insufficient levels. With weaker regulations governing HFC emissions and methane leaks from the production of oil and gas, the country’s notice of withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, and the censorship of climate science, an increase in United States annual greenhouse gas emissions could equal emissions put out by the entire state of California. 

Mainor Wirth Injury Lawyers in Nevada believe in working to prevent problems before they arise and creating solutions when problems cannot be avoided. Through the efforts of people throughout the world, in every state and every community, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, new technologies that enable the capture and storage of C02 emissions, and the hindrance of climate change can be achieved.

Launching soon, Climate Change Blawg‘s mission will be to share useful insights in respect of law and legal regulation in respect of climate change and hopefully to make a contribution in respect of changing and improving climate change law across the world. Sign up today at to stay posted on its launch.

Legal Author

Legal Author

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