The Carbon Revolution: Answering the Call


In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Industrial Revolution produced radical transformations not only in technology, including an ever-increasing use of fossil fuels, but also in economic policies and social structure. In the latter part of the 20th century, scientists and others suggested that the burning of fossil fuels could result not only in localized and area-wide conditions of air pollution, but also in increases in global warming, and society began to respond. This response may be characterized as the Carbon Revolution, and, like its predecessor, it is producing economic and social, as well as technological, changes. Answering the call of this revolution are governments, corporations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and individuals who are battling to reduce or reverse the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) while maintaining economic growth.

This article provides basic information regarding GHGs, touching on the science and the law. It then identifies measures an individual manufacturer can take to address GHGs, especially carbon in the form of CO2, discussing some of the legal issues raised by those measures. Finally, it explains the relationship between carbon management and sustainability and then offers a conclusion.

Reprinted by permission, Texas Bar Journal, April 2009.

For more information about Haynes and Boone's environmental practice group and its members, go to Environmental.

The full article appears in the PDF below.

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