In recent years, the Obama Administration has worked to expand commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to address the threat of climate change, both domestically and internationally. As a part of international climate negotiations, the U.S. took a leading role in developing the unanimously adopted Paris Agreement, which was signed on April 22, 2016 by 174 nations and the European Union, and now awaits ratification.1 The Agreement resolves to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change and creates a framework under which countries committed to implement GHG emission reductions beyond 2020.
In light of the Paris Agreement, stakeholders in the U.S. are exploring regulatory tools to achieve the necessary emission reductions. One tool that legal experts and others are exploring is section 115 of the Clean Air Act (CAA). Section 115 addresses international air pollutants and may provide a mechanism to drive economy-wide greenhouse gas emission reductions beyond existing regulatory programs.