The Revelator article discusses what would be the effect of the next President declaring a climate change emergency. Environmental and constitutional law scholar Dan Farber explains what a climate change emergency declaration could achieve.
The possibility of declaring a national emergency to address climate change will probably remain under discussion for the next couple of years, particularly if the courts uphold President Trump’s wall “emergency.” As a legal scholar, I want to explain how a climate emergency declaration would work and what it could and couldn’t do. But first I want to emphasize three key points:
- Declaring a climate emergency should be off the table if the Supreme Court rules against Trump.
- An emergency declaration is not a magic wand that gives presidents a blank check. A declaration would allow some constructive steps to be taken, but within limits.
- The ultimate goal has to be congressional action, and an emergency declaration should only be considered as part of a larger legislative and administrative agenda.