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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions: Lessons from state climate action plans

  • Pollak, Melisa
  • Meyer, Bryn
  • Wilson, Elizabeth
Registered author(s):

    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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    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
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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    1. 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.
    2. Rausch Sebastian & Metcalf Gilbert E. & Reilly John M & Paltsev Sergey, 2010. "Distributional Implications of Alternative U.S. Greenhouse Gas Control Measures," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-46, July.
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    5. 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.
    6. Palmer, Karen & Burtraw, Dallas, 2005. "Cost-effectiveness of renewable electricity policies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 873-894, November.
    7. Lutsey, Nicholas & Sperling, Daniel, 2008. "America's bottom-up climate change mitigation policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 673-685, February.
    8. 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.
    9. Unruh, Gregory C., 2002. "Escaping carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 317-325, March.
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