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Focus Area

Climate Change

Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge that humanity—and the planet—has ever faced. Earthjustice fights for a livable future by pushing for strong national and international limits on carbon pollution (including black carbon emissions), pushing for a shift from dirty to clean energy, and building the resilience of natural systems in the face of climate change.
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In 2014, years of Earthjustice litigation alongside partner groups paid off, securing a landmark Supreme Court ruling that upholds the EPA’s authority to limit carbon pollution.


If the causes of warming global temperatures are not addressed, we will render the planet unlivable. Already, great shifts are occurring. Polar ice is melting at alarming rates. Superstorms like Hurricane Sandy are bearing down with greater regularity. Droughts and wildfires are intensifying and the oceans are acidifying as they soak up excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.



In 2013, Earthjustice and a coalition of allies reached a landmark settlement with American Electric Power, one of the dirtiest coal-powered utilities in the nation, under which three coal-fired power plants will retire by 2015. Collectively, a total of 2,011 megawatts of coal-fired power will retire as part of the settlement, removing roughly 12 million tons of climate-disrupting carbon pollution and more than 83,000 tons of sulfur dioxide pollution that the three coal-fired power plants spew into the air each year. This victory is just one of many driven by strict regulations put in place by Earthjustice litigation, which are driving plant retirements around the country.

The utility also agreed to replace a portion of the power with investments in wind and solar technology. The decision is another chink in coal’s armor, underscoring that the dominance of the nation’s number one source of carbon pollution is coming to an end.

"Climate-related disasters are now impacting every region of the country. Last year’s drought spurred increases in food prices and cleaning up after natural disasters is already costing Americans billions of dollars. We simply can’t afford not to address this problem.” – Trip Van Noppen, Earthjustice President

Spotlight Features

Shaken By Storm: A Nation Demands Climate Change Action

As Americans rise up after superstorm Sandy and demand action on climate change, Earthjustice plans for a clean energy future with a three-pronged approach: ending our reliance on fossil fuels, building ecosystem resilience, and promoting a clean energy future.

Renewable Village

Alexanna Salmon is the village administrator of the Alaskan community of Igiugig (population: less than 70). Her village is turning off diesel generators and turning on solar and wind power—and showing the rest of us how to end our addiction to fossil fuels. Watch the full-length video.


Letters sent by Earthjustice supporters in 2013 calling for government action to fight climate change.