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Rethinking Environmental Federalism in a Warming World

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  • Shobe, William M.
  • Burtraw, Dallas

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

Climate change policy analysis has focused almost exclusively on national policy and even on harmonizing climate policies across countries, implicitly assuming that harmonization of climate policies at the subnational level would be mandated or guaranteed. We argue that the design and implementation of climate policy in a federal union will diverge in important ways from policy design in a unitary government. National climate policies built on the assumption of a unitary model of governance are unlikely to achieve the expected outcome because of interactions with policy choices made at the subnational level. In a federal system, the information and incentives generated by a national policy must pass through various levels of subnational fiscal and regulatory policy. Effective policy design must recognize both the constraints and the opportunities presented by a federal structure of government. Furthermore, policies that take advantage of the federal structure of government can improve climate governance outcomes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-12-04.

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Date of creation: 27 Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-12-04

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Keywords: climate change; subsidiarity; states; federalism; climate governance;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Burtraw, Dallas & Woerman, Matt, 2013. "Economic ideas for a complex climate policy regime," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(S1), pages S24-S31.
  2. Burtraw, Dallas & Fraas, Arthur G. & Richardson, Nathan, 2012. "Tradable Standards for Clean Air Act Carbon Policy," Discussion Papers dp-12-05, Resources For the Future.
  3. Burtraw, Dallas & Woerman, Matt, 2013. "Economic Ideas for a Complex Climate Policy Regime," Discussion Papers dp-13-03-rev, Resources For the Future.
  4. Millimet, Daniel L., 2013. "Environmental Federalism: A Survey of the Empirical Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 7831, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen L., 2013. "Mixing It Up: Power Sector Energy and Regional and Regulatory Climate Policies in the Presence of a Carbon Tax," Discussion Papers dp-13-09, Resources For the Future.

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