Climate Change



Natural processes and man-made changes to the environment has caused significant changes to the earth’s atmosphere due to an increases concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Because greenhouse gas emissions are linked to almost every industry, including agriculture, manufacturing and transportation, they must be considered when looking at the future of all these industries. Agriculture and forestry are somewhat unique in their ability to both produce and reduce greenhouse gasses. According to the EPA, agriculture in the United States accounts for 9% of the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The biological processes inherent in agriculture production, however, have the potential to allow agriculture to offset vastly more emissions than it produces. Read the full overview

Note: Recently added resources are posted at the top of the applicable sections.

Major Statutes

New legislation will be added to this section as it becomes law.

Conservation Stewardship Program, 7 CFR Part 1470
Toxic Substance Control Act, 15 U.S.C. 2601-2697
National Forest Management Act of 1976, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1600-1687
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, 30 U.S.C. §§ 1201-1328
Ocean Dumping Act, 33 U.S.C. §§ 1401-1445
Federal Air Pollution and Control Act (Clean Air Act), 42 U.S.C. §§ 7401-7671q
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 6901-6992k
National Energy Policy Act of 2005, 42 U.S.C. §§ 15801-16539
Federal Land Policy and Management Act, 43 U.S.C. 1701-1787
Compilation of Current State and Federal Climate Change Statutes


Air Programs Regulations, 40 C.F.R. pts. 50-98
Water Programs Regulations, 40 C.F.R. pts. 100-149
Soild Waste Regulations, 40 C.F.R. pts. 260-299
Superfund, Emergency Planning, and Community Right-to-Know Programs, 40 C.F.R. 300-399
Energy Policy Regulations 40 C.F.R. pts. 600-610
Air Pollution Controls Regulations, 40 C.F.R. pts. 1027-1074

Case Law

Case Law Index for Climate Change
Case Law Chart (compiled by Arnold and Porter LLP)

Administrative Law Decisions

EPA Office of Administrative Law Judges
Environmental Appeals Board
USDA Office of Administrative Law Judges
USDA National Appeals Division
USDA Judicial Officer’s Decisions

Center Research Publications

Current State and Federal Climate Change Statutes (Goeringer & Boling, 2009)
Dealing with the USDA: Federal Administrative Law Basics (Kelley)
Managing Carbon in a World Economy: The Role of American Agriculture (Garry)

Congressional Research Service Reports

Reports– published and made available by CRS beginning in 2017

Subjects- published by CRS and made available by NALC until 2018:

Climate Change
Environmental Issues

Agricultural Law Bibliography

Introduction   |   Keyword Search   |   Browse Categories

Legal publications on Climate Change:

Environmental Issues
Energy Issues
Land Use Regulation

Reference Resources

Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Global Climate Change
Global Change National Program 204 FY2006 Annual Report
Mitigation of Climatic Change
Climate Change, Carbon Dioxide, and Pest Biology, Managing the Future: Coffee as a Case Study
Global Climate Change: What Can Farmers Expect?
Pollinators, global warming, and plant mating systems
USDA Research on Climate Change, Effects of Warmer Winters Published in PLOS ONE

ARS Research Labs Studying Climate Change:

U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center
Soil and Water Conservation Research
Southern Regional Research Center
Southern Regional Research Center: Food and Feed Safety Research
National Sedimentation Laboratory
Plant Science Research
Beltsville Agricultural Research Center: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory


Developing practices for nutrient and byproducts to mitigate climate change, improve nutrient utilization, and reduce effects on environment (Beltsville Agricultural Research Center: Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory)
Development of crop phenotype database for climate change and crop modeling research (Beltsville Agricultural Research Center: Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory)
Climate change baseline assessment using merged, root-zone soil moisture product (soil merge, smerge) (Beltsville Agricultural Research Center: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory)
Long-term soil and crop management can be used to adapt to climate change by increasing soil health, nitrogen use efficiency, and productivity (Center for Agricultural Resources Research: Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research)
Row crop production under climate change – assessment of sustainable management practices and soil additives in sand deposited fields (Crop Genetics Research)
Adaptation resources workbook for specialty crops: responding to climate change and variability in california and portions of arizona (Crops Pathology and Genetics Research)
Adapting perennial crops for climate change: graft transmissible effects of rootstocks on grapevine shoots (Grape Genetics Research)
Uncertainty of future water availability due to climate change and impacts on the long term sustainability and resilience of agricultural lands in the southern great plains  (Grazinglands Research Laboratory: Great Plains Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research)
Evaluating the effects of climate change on livestock physiology and well-being (Livestock Behavior Research)
Evaluating strategies to adapt northeast dairy cropping systems to climate change projections (Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research)
Remote sensing systems for precision agriculture to address issues in environmental and climate change (Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center: Aerial Application Technology Research)
Genebank genetic diversity management with respect to climate change and physiological stress (Vegetable Crops Research)
Ecological, ecophysiological and biochemical responses of native and alien cordgrasses and yellow flag iris to sea level rise with climate change (Western Regional Research Center: Invasive Species and Pollinator Health Research)
Climate Impacts on Agriculture: Implications for Forage and Rangeland Production (Izaurralde, Thompson, Morgan, Fay Polley & Hatfield)
Modelling Impacts of Climate Change: Case Studies using the New Generation of Erosion Models (Nunes, University of Portugal, 2011)

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Climate and Health

Economic Research Service (ERS)

Climate Change Overview


Climate Change and Agricultural Risk Management Into the 21st Century (Crane-Droesch et al., 2019)
Development, Adoption, and Management of Drought-Tolerant Corn in the United States (McFadden, Smith, Wechsler & Wallander, 2019)
Climate Change Likely to Have Uneven Impacts on Agricultural Productivity (Wang, Nehring & Williams, 2019)
Climate Change Projected To Increase Cost of the Federal Crop Insurance Program due to Greater Insured Value and Yield Variability (Crane-Droesch, Marshall, Rosch & Wallander, 2019)
Tillage Intensity and Conservation Cropping in the United States (Claassen, Bowman, McFadden, Smith & Wallander, 2018)
Climate Change, Water Scarcity, and Adaptation in the U.S. Fieldcrop Sector (Marshall, Aillery, Malcolm & Williams, 2015)
Using Crop Genetic Resources to Help Agriculture Adapt to Climate Change: Economics and Policy (Heisey & Rubenstien, 2015)
Climate Change, Heat Stess, and U.S. Dairy Production (Key, Sneering & Marquardt, 2014)
Dedicated Energy Crops and Competition for Agricultural Land  (Sands et al., 2017)
Agricultural Adaptation to a Changing Climate: Economic and Environmental Implications Vary by U.S. Region (Malcolm, Marshall, Aillery, Heisey, Livingston, Rubenstein, 2012)
Climate Change Policy and the Adoption of Methane Digesters on Livestock Operations (Key & Sneeringer, 2011)
Environmental Credit Trading (Rimbaud, 2010)
Agricultural Land Tenure and Carbon Offsets (Claassen and Morehart, 2009)
Trends in U.S. Agriculture’s Consumption and Production of Energy: Renewable Power, Shale Energy,and Cellulosic Biomas (Hitaj & Suttles, 2006)
Is Carbon Sequestration in Agriculture Economically Feasible? (Lewandowsky, Amber Waves, 2004)
Economics of Sequestering Carbon in the U.S. Agricultural Sector (Lewandowski, 2004)
Climate Change and Food Security (Roy Darwin, 2001)
Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change (Schimmelpfenning et al.)
World Agriculture and climate Change: Economic Adaptations (Tsigas, 1995)
Climate Change, Water Scarcity, and Adaption in the U.S. Field Crop Sector

Department of Energy (DOE)

Climate Change and the Electricity Sector: Guide for Climate Change Resilience Planning: September 2016
Carbon Sequestration in Terrestrial Ecosystems
Carbon Storage Research Program
Carbon Sequestration Video
Carbon Cycling and Sequestration
Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC)
Terrestrial Carbon Management
National Energy Technology Lab (NETL)
Carbon Sequestration FAQs
Carbon Capture Publications
Carbon Storage Atlas of the U.S. and Canada
Carbon Storage Atlas V
NatCarb Home Page: A National Look at Carbon Sequestration
Carbon Sequestration Technology Roadmap and Program Plan

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2018
Climate Change Research
Atmospheric Lifetime and Global Warming Potential Defined
Implications of Climate Change
Climate Change and Its Causes: A Discussion about Some Key Issues
Understanding Global Warming Potentials
Global Warming: What Is It All About?
Addition of Global Warming Potentials Factsheet
Reducing Global Warming – The Role of Rice
Publication: Climate Change Indicators in the United States (2016)
Legislative Analysis of Potential Domestic Climate Change Mitigation Programs (EPA Analysis, 10/23/2009)
U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report Archive
Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act
State and Local Climate and Energy Programs
Climate Impacts on Agriculture and Food Supply
Climate Change Indicators in the United States
Climate Change Adaptation Plan
Agriculture: Climate Change
Climate Change Indicators: U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Clean Power Act – Final Rule (2015)
Proposed Repeal of the Clean Power Act(10/16/2017)
Public Hearing Notice (11/08/2017)
Energy Independence Report (Issued 10/25/2017)
Memorandum Regarding the Executive Order 13783: Promoting Energy Independence and Economic  Growth (April, 2017)
EPA Final Report on Review of Agency Actions that Potentially Burden the Safe, Efficient Development of Domestic Energy Resources Under Executive Order 13783 (10/25/2017)
Overview of the Affordable Clean Energy Rule

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Conservation and Environmental Programs Division 2008 Annual Report
Conservation Reserve Program: Estimating Water Quality, Air Quality, and Soil Carbon Benefits of the CRP
Ecosystem Services Derived from Wetland Conservation

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)

USDA’s Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture & Forestry – Fact Sheet
Fish and Wildlife Service Climate Change Resource Index
Southeast Region Fish and Wildlife Service
Southeast Region Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration to Benefit Fish and Wildlife
Carbon Sequestration

U.S. Forest Service

Climate change projected to affect outdoor recreation
National Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment story map update | US Forest Service
Carbon Sequestration
White House report says climate change increases forest vulnerability, but adaptive management can help | US Forest Service
The effects of climate change on agriculture, land resources, water resources, and biodiversity in the United States (Backlund, Janestos & Schimel, 2008)

U.S. Department of Agriculture- Climate Hubs

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Global Change and Climate Programs

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Global Climate Change Indicators
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Climate Change
Climate Program Office
Climate change impacts
Climate Change & Critical Thinking
NOAA Climate Change Web Portal

Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)

Global Climate Change
Opportunities for Managing Carbon Sequestration and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Agricultural Systems
Voluntary Reporting Carbon Management Tool
National Water and Climate Center
Climate Change Information Highlights

Office of the Chief Economist (OCE)

Climate Change Program Office
United States Geological Survey: Carbon Sequestration to Mitigate Climate Change
Climate Science, Adaptation, and Effects
Climate Assessments
Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Mitigation
Fourth National Climate Assessment
Climate Change Across USDA

Congressional Resources

Congressional Budget Office Climate Change Special Collection

The Economic Effects of Legislation to Reduce Greenhouse-Gas Emissions (CBO, 2009)
The Use of Offsets to Reduce Greenhouse Gases (CBO, 2009)

Reports on Climate Change (Government Accountability Office)

Climate Change Response
Climate Change Funding and Management
Understanding Climate Change
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Climate Change Trade Measures: Considerations for U.S. Policy Makers (GAO-09-724R, 2009)
Climate Change Trade Measures: Estimating Industry Effects (GAO-09-875T, 2009)

Other Federal Resources

Climate Change (National Agricultural Library)
United States Global Change Research Program
U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program
Global Climate Change  (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
Global Change & Climate Programs (National Institute of Food and Agriculture)
Office of Global Change (U.S. Department of State)
Climate Research and Development Program (U.S. Geological Survey)
Status and Trends of Biological Resources Program (U.S. Geological Survey)
National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (U.S. Geological Survey)
U.S. Global Change Research Program
Full Report: National Climate Assessment

International Resources

United Nations Environmental Programme – Climate Change
The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
Climate Change: Implications for Food Safety (FAO, 2008)
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Western Australian Department of Environmental Regulation: Climate Change
World Bank Climate Finance Website
Climate Change: Impact on Agriculture and Costs of Adaptation (International Food Policy Research Institute, 2009)
European Environmental Agency
Agriculture and Climate Change (European Environment Agency)

Regional Partnerships

Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership
Midwest Geological Carbon Sequestration Consortium
Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership
Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership
Southwest Partnership CO2 Sequestration
West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership

Additional Resources

United States Climate Action Partnership
Climate Change Posts(Ag & Food Law Blog)
Sabin Center for Climate Change Law (Columbia Law School)
Center for Climate & Energy Solutions
Agriculture’s Role in Addressing Climate Change
Georgetown Climate Center
Carbon Sequestration (AL Forestry Commission)
Carbon Sequestration Research (Southeastern Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership)
Glossary of Terms Used in Greenhouse Gas Inventory (CA EPA)
Natural Resources Ecology Laboratory Climate Change
Idaho Soil Conservation Commission
Soil Carbon Center (KS St. U.)
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Forest Carbon Portal
Nebraska Carbon Sequestration Program
Greenhouse Gas Online
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)
European Climate Exchange

Voluntary Carbon Reporting and Registration Programs

Georgia’s Carbon Sequestration Registry (Georgia Forestry Commission)
California Climate Action Registry
“Comet VR” USDA Voluntary Carbon Credit Reporting
Carbon Trading: A Primer for Forest Landowners (National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry)


The Effects of Climate Change on U.S. Ecosystems (USDA, 2009)
Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptations (USDA, 2012)
Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (U.S. Global Change Research Program, 2010)
Analysis of the Implications of Climate Change and Energy Legislation to the Agricultural Sector (U. TN, 2009)
ABCs of Carbon Markets (Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler and Hagan PC, 2009)
Climate Change: Impact on Agriculture and Costs of Adaptation (International Food Policy Research Institute, 2009)
Economic Implications of the EPA Analysis of the CAP and Trade Provisions of H.R. 2454 for U.S. Representative Farms (Agricultural and Food Policy Center, TX A&M, 2009)
The Effect of Higher Energy Prices from H.R. 2454 on Missouri Crop Production Costs (Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute, University of Missouri, 2009)
Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (NAS)
Understanding and Responding to Climate Change: Highlights of the National Academies Reports
International Climate Change Negotiations and Agriculture
The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity (US Forest Service)
Opportunities for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Through Forestry and Agriculture in Florida  (Wilkie, 2008)
Carbon Sequestration on Idaho Agriculture and Forest Lands (ID Soil Conservation Comm’n, 2003)
Carbon Credits: A Non-Traditional Source of Revenue for Mississippi Forest Landowners (MS St. Extension)
Carbon Sequestration Policy and Global Warming: A Legal Analysis (Thorson, 2001)
A Landowner’s Guide to Carbon Sequestration Credits (Central MN Regional Sustainable Development Partnership)
The Role of Agriculture in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Recommendations for a National Cap-and-Trade Program (21st Century Agriculture Policy Project, 2008)
The Role of Agriculture in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (USDA Economic Research Service, 2010)
Offsetting Emissions: A Business Brief on the Voluntary Carbon Market (Ecosystem Marketplace and Business for Social Responsibility, 2010)
A Consumers Guide to Retail Offset Providers (Clean Air/Cool Planet, 2006)
Agriculture & Global Climate Change: A Review of Impacts to U.S. Agricultural Resources (Pew Center, Adams et. al., 1999)
Agriculture: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change for the United States (Reilly et. al., 2001)

Yale Program on Climate Change Communication