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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions: Lessons from state climate action plans

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  • Pollak, Melisa
  • Meyer, Bryn
  • Wilson, Elizabeth
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    Abstract

    We examine how state-level factors affect greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction policy preference across the United States by analyzing climate action plans (CAPs) developed in 11 states and surveying the CAP advisory group members. This research offers insights into how states approach the problem of choosing emissions-abatement options that maximize benefits and minimize costs, given their unique circumstances and the constellation of interest groups with power to influence state policy. The state CAPs recommended ten popular GHG reduction strategies to accomplish approximately 90% of emissions reductions, but they recommended these popular strategies in different proportions: a strategy that is heavily relied on in one state's overall portfolio may play a negligible role in another state. This suggests that any national policy to limit GHG emissions should encompass these key strategies, but with flexibility to allow states to balance their implementation for the state's unique geographic, economic, and political circumstances. Survey results strongly support the conclusion that decisions regarding GHG reductions are influenced by the mix of actors at the table. Risk perception is associated with job type for all strategies, and physical and/or geographic factors may underlie the varying reliance on certain GHG reduction strategies across states.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421511003922
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 9 (September)
    Pages: 5429-5439

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:9:p:5429-5439

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

    Related research

    Keywords: State policy Climate policy Climate action plan;

    References

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    1. Lutsey, Nicholas P. & Sperling, Dan, 2008. "America's Bottom-Up Climate Change Mitigation Policy," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt8jj755d4, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    2. Unruh, Gregory C., 2000. "Understanding carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 817-830, October.
    3. Lutsey, Nicholas & Sperling, Daniel, 2008. "America's bottom-up climate change mitigation policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 673-685, February.
    4. Burtraw, Dallas & Sweeney, Richard & Walls, Margaret, 2008. "The Incidence of U.S. Climate Policy: Where You Stand Depends on Where You Sit," Discussion Papers dp-08-28, Resources For the Future.
    5. Palmer, Karen & Burtraw, Dallas, 2005. "Cost-effectiveness of renewable electricity policies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 873-894, November.
    6. Michael I. Cragg & Matthew E. Kahn, 2009. "Carbon Geography: The Political Economy of Congressional Support for Legislation Intended to Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Production," NBER Working Papers 14963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Sebastian Rausch & Gilbert E. Metcalf & John M. Reilly & Sergey Paltsev, 2010. "Distributional Implications of Alternative U.S. Greenhouse Gas Control Measures," NBER Working Papers 16053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Barry G. Rabe, 2008. "States on Steroids: The Intergovernmental Odyssey of American Climate Policy," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 25(2), pages 105-128, 03.
    9. Unruh, Gregory C., 2002. "Escaping carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 317-325, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Christoforidis, Georgios C. & Chatzisavvas, Konstantinos Ch. & Lazarou, Stavros & Parisses, Costantinos, 2013. "Covenant of Mayors initiative—Public perception issues and barriers in Greece," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 643-655.

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