KUO - 0000-0003-4921-7123

MEANS - 0000-0002-6002-099X

Publication Date




Document Type



Unless corporations prioritize climate change mitigation, efforts to control global warming will fail. Yet, the strategies that have been proposed for enlisting corporations are insufficient to the task. In our era of political polarization, a comprehensive “Green New Deal” to transition the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels is a nonstarter. Nor can we expect corporate risk management or social responsibility to fill the gap; there are practical limits to how far corporate managers can depart from strategies designed to maximize profits for investors.

This Article contends that climate change is a compliance issue. Scholars have overlooked compliance as a solution because they believe it achieves nothing more than fidelity to existing laws and regulations. This is a mistake. Once neglected as a backwater of corporate governance, the field of compliance has evolved and now involves forward-looking strategic analysis of legal and business risks as well as ethical considerations. A compliance-based approach best captures the rationale for holding corporations responsible for climate change and provides a robust framework for achieving results.


Originally published in Iowa Law Review and shared here with their permission.

Included in

Law Commons