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Abstract

Recent federal and state court decisions have made clear that federal common law claims against emitters of greenhouse gases are not sustainable; however, those same courts seem to have given state common law tort claims the green light, at least if the claims are brought in the state where the polluters are located. This Note contends that such suits are not an adequate remedy for those injured by climate change because they will face nearly insurmountable barriers in state court, and because there are major policy-level drawbacks to relying on state tort law rather than a federal solution. This Note then proposes a federal regulatory system of climate change compensation and explains several reasons why it is a preferable means of compensating climate change’s victims.