Environmentalists sued to force the Bush administration to comply with the U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990, which requires the U.S. Climate Change Science Program to prepare a National Assessment every four years to take into account all the latest federal climate-change research. The act also requires regular updates of a Research Plan that guides all federal climate research.
The lawsuit was brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.
The last National Assessment was prepared by the Clinton administration in late 2000, and was not updated in 2004 as required by law. An updated Research Plan, required in 2006, also has not been produced.
U.S. District Court Judge Saundra Armstrong ordered the Bush administration to prepare a draft of a new Research Plan by March 1, 2008, a final plan 90 days later, and an updated National Assessment by May 31, 2008.