Legal Frameworks and the Challenge of Climate Change: Strategies for Business and Government.

Climate change is a defining challenge of our time, and it affects us all. Governments and businesses have a critical role to play in mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change. However, they cannot do this alone. Cooperation and coordination is necessary between stakeholders, policymakers, and businesses to ensure a coherent and effective response. This article explores the legal frameworks and strategies that governments and businesses can adopt to tackle the challenge of climate change.

Legal Frameworks for Climate Change

Legal frameworks play a vital role in addressing climate change. They provide the legal basis for implementing climate change policies, regulations, and measures. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the primary international treaty governing climate change. The treaty sets out the overarching principles and objectives for global action to address climate change.

The Paris Agreement, agreed upon in 2015, under the UNFCCC is the most significant international agreement to address climate change. The agreement aims to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Under the Paris Agreement, countries are required to submit their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) outlining their climate targets and strategies.

National and sub-national governments also have a crucial role to play in implementing climate change policies and regulations. In countries such as the United States, the Climate Action Plan and the Clean Power Plan are examples of national-level climate change strategies. At the sub-national level, states, provinces, and cities have introduced their own climate policies, such as California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

Strategies for Business

Businesses are also critical to addressing climate change, given their global reach, innovation, and influence. Businesses can benefit from adopting strategies that help reduce their carbon footprint while also ensuring long-term sustainability and growth. Here are some of the strategies that businesses can adopt to tackle climate change.

1. Setting Ambitious Climate Targets: Businesses can set ambitious climate targets, such as reducing emissions to net-zero or setting science-based targets aligned with the Paris Agreement’s goals.

2. Investing in Clean Technologies: Investing in clean technologies, such as renewable energy, electric vehicles, and energy-efficient buildings, can help reduce carbon emissions and deliver cost savings over the long-term.

3. Sustainable Supply Chains: Businesses can work with their suppliers to ensure that they are meeting environmental and social sustainability standards throughout their entire supply chain.

4. Carbon Pricing: Carbon pricing can incentivize businesses to reduce their emissions by putting a price on carbon. This can be achieved through the introduction of a carbon tax or the implementation of a cap-and-trade system.

Strategies for Government

Governments have a critical role to play in enabling and enforcing climate change policies. Here are some of the strategies that governments can adopt to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

1. Implementing Climate Mitigation Policies: Governments can implement policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as emissions reductions targets and clean energy incentives.

2. Climate Adaptation Plans: Governments can also implement plans to adapt to the impacts of climate change, such as strengthening infrastructure, building flood defenses, and introducing early warning systems.

3. Collaborating Internationally: Governments can collaborate with other countries to share best practices, technology, and resources to address climate change collectively.

4. Promoting Climate Finance: Governments can promote climate finance, such as green bonds and climate funds, to provide financing for climate mitigation and adaptation projects.


The challenge of climate change requires a coordinated and sustained response from governments, businesses, and civil society. Legal frameworks and strategies can provide the necessary foundation for implementing policies and addressing the impacts of climate change. Governments and businesses must work together to create ambitious policies and invest in clean technologies to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. By working together, we can realize a more sustainable and resilient future for all.