LAWS AND LITIGATION

As a nation we have three branches of government which, together, are intended to protect us from the effects of climate change (obviously among other responsibilities).

Our federal laws are created by Congress (the legislative branch) which is comprised of the Senate (2 Senators from every state) and the House (there are currently 435 representatives, a number fixed by law since 1911, representing each state in proportion to the size of the state’s population.

The laws, once passed by both House and Senate and signed into law by the President, are carried out by the executive branch, which also has the power to regulate and deregulate, as well as to issue executive orders. The President, supported by the Vice President, department heads (cabinet members), and heads of independent agencies such as the EPA make up the executive branch.

The third branch is the judicial system wherein the courts retain responsibility for interpreting the laws that have been passed by the legislative branch and enforced by the executive branch. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States.

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New laws are required to facilitate both the swift mitigation of our climate impacts and an appropriate adaptation to climate change consequences. Here, find explanations of new laws and the organizations working to implement them.

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