Petitioners Native Village of Kivalina and the City of Kivalina, a federally-recognized tribe and an Alaskan municipality, are the governing bodies of an Inupiat village located on an Arctic barrier island that is being destroyed by global warming. Greenhouse gases have caused the Earth’s temperature to rise, especially in the Arctic, which has melted the land-fast sea ice that protects the village from powerful oceanic storms. Kivalina is thus now exposed to erosion and flooding from the sea and must relocate or face imminent destruction.
Petitioners seek damages — not injunctive relief–from the largest U.S. sources of greenhouses gases under the federal common law of public nuisance. In American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut (“AEP”), 131 S. Ct. 2527 (2011), the Court dismissed a federal common law claim for injunctive relief, holding that the Clean Air Act displaces “any federal common law right to seek abatement” of emissions because the Clean Air Act “provides a means to seek limits on emissions  of carbon dioxide from domestic power plants — the same relief the plaintiffs seek by invoking federal common law.” AEP, 131 S. Ct. at 2537, 2538 (emphasis added).
The question presented is: Whether the Clean Air Act, which provides no damages remedy to persons harmed by greenhouse gas emissions, displaces federal common-law claims for damages.
Lower court materials here.