Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Review of US Climate Change Regulation by Me and Sandra Jo Garren

Many nations have adopted strong strong energy policies
that reduce reliance on greenhouse gas producing fuels.
Click for photo credit.
My paper, with colleague Sandra Jo Garren, on the status of US greenhouse gas management came out just in time for 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durbin.  You can get the paper here.  Just scroll down for our paper.  It is published in Portal: Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies.  The bottom line is that the US does not have a strong coherent energy or greenhouse gas management policy.  Most of the key innovations in policy have emerged not from legislative or executive decisions, but from court interpretations of laws existing prior to our concerns about greenhouse gases.

This approach is different from other developed nations that have taken a much more aggressive approach in their national rule making.  What is unique in the United States is that the failure of the federal government to act led to many innovative approaches to greenhouse gas management by local governments, businesses, non-profits, and other organizations.  Yet these initiatives, while interesting and hopeful, are not nationally coordinated and it is difficult to determine if these disparate initiatives have a significant impact on national greenhouse gas output due to a lack of coordination about greenhouse gas management nationally.

We still do not have strong political leadership on this issue in the United States and it is doubtful that anything significant will happen in the coming years without a shift in the public's demands for action.

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