As the earth continues to warm and the impacts of that warming trend loom larger, the question becomes whether and to what degree do governments have responsibility to respond to that threat. The potential range of threats and impacts from climate change vary greatly and governments’ ability to respond, effectively and efficiently, exceeds that of the individual and therefore must fall on the greater collection of individuals. In the United States, one way that the collection of individuals is represented, albeit with limitations, is by the government that operates for the collective public good. This Article focuses on what responsibility state governments have under the public trust doctrine in United States jurisprudence and determines how effective the response of government should be when viewed in a public trust context.
Andrew S. Ballentine, How the Public Trust Doctrine's Fiduciary Duty Requirement Requires States' Proactive Response to Promote Offshore Power Generation, 6 Seattle J. Envtl. L. 65 (2016).