Hastings Environmental Law Journal


Katie Lindsay


States are shifting their focus from preventing climate change to lessening the potential harms and learning how to live within a harsher climate. This paper focuses on why the international community needs to focus on its climate responsibility to abate these growing concerns. Focusing on the goal, not the form, would allow flexibility and for states to adapt to climate change within their governmental and cultural norms. Developing states should not dedicate resources to monitoring greenhouse gas emissions when their national goals barely make a dent compared to developed states’ total contributions. Mayer argues that a climate assessment norm is on the horizon by expanding the international environmental assessment norm. Here, I analyze Mayer’s analysis through case studies of the United States, Ethiopia, South Korea, and Fiji, arguing instead that, although a climate assessment norm may be budding, the world needs to form a climate responsibility norm that allows all states to meaningfully participate within their traditional customs.