Stacy VanDeveer, associate professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire, evaluates current U.S. climate change policy and assesses future national strategies in “Political Science and Prediction: What’s Next for U.S. Climate Change Policy?” published today in the journal Review of Policy Research. The article is co-authored by Henrik Selin of Boston University.
According to the researchers, the U.S. government has engaged in few efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and national emissions continue to increase. Their assessment of future federal climate policy is based on statewide, regional and private climate change efforts that have proven political influence.
“These policies are already being implemented in the public and private sectors, and have identifiable constituencies of well-networked actors. As such, they are likely to be part of future federal policy. Conversely, policy ideas with fewer and/or less powerful political advocates are less likely to be included in federal policy,” the researchers said.
The researchers predict the following policies will be part of future federal policy:
A national cap on carbon dioxide emissions. Like those of many U.S. cities and states, this cap is likely to include an initial date for stabilizing emissions followed by a series of time-based targets for modest emissions reductions over time.
A national carbon dioxide cap-and-trade scheme partially modeled on existing regional and federal trading schemes for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide and drawing on work conducted under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Like RGGI, a national carbon dioxide trading scheme is likely to focus initially only on the utilities sector and leave open the possibility of adding additional sectors.
National, mandatory renewable energy portfolio standards. Like those renewable energy portfolio standards in many states, the national standard is likely to begin with quite modest goals and increase over time so as to gradually drive energy sector investments and technological developments.
Mandatory national product standards for increased energy efficiency. Such standards are likely to expand on existing federal and state energy saving programs and target large energy users including major heating and cooling systems, office equipment, and common household appliances.
Increased vehicle fleet gasoline efficiency standards (CAFE standards). While most states have avoided policy action aimed at transportation issues because of local resistance, the federal government is likely to retain its decade’s old use of vehicle fleet standards and enact modest increases in these over time. Changes in CAFE standards are likely to incorporate aspects of vehicle emissions standards developed in California.
Increased use of federal monetary incentives. Such incentives are likely to include corporate tax credits for research and development and additional subsidies to consumers for the purchase of more energy efficient products including vehicles.
“Because the United States has often been reluctant to engage in international environmental policy-making and accept international environmental regulations before corresponding domestic action has been taken (particularly in the context of a highly contentious domestic issue such as climate change), developments in federal climate policy can be expected to induce changes in U.S. foreign policy,” according to the researchers.
“This means that significant changes in U.S. foreign policies related climate change are likely only after the enactment of more expansive federal climate change policy. As such, observers and policy makers from both inside and outside the United States would be wise to closely study ongoing and dynamic public, private, and civil society sector climate change developments outside Washington D.C., and their influence on national debates and future federal policy making,” the researchers said.
VanDeveer is associate professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire and a 2006–2007 Visiting Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. Before taking a faculty position, he spent two years as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In addition to authoring and co-authoring numerous articles, book chapters, working papers and reports, he co-edited EU Enlargement and the Environment: Institutional Change and Environmental Policy in Central and Eastern Europe (2005), and Saving the Seas: Values, Scientists and International Governance (1997).
Lori Wright | EurekAlert!
Waste in the water – New purification techniques for healthier aquatic ecosystems
24.07.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Plenty of habitat for bears in Europe
24.07.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences