Over the last twenty years, climate change has come to the forefront of many public and
policy arenas. With the new Obama administration, discussions of its extent and impacts have
become an important political plank at the federal and international levels. Before the issue was
elevated to the national stage, however, responses to global climate change have played out at the
state level, creating a wide variety of reactions and options to mitigate its effects.
This research attempts to answer several questions related to emerging climate policy at the
state level. First, what differences exist between states’ climate initiatives and what policies are being
employed across the US? Understanding state differences in climate policy requires a detailed
understanding of potential emissions reductions, popular policies being utilized in states’ climate
initiatives, and what differences exist in the costs or benefits of these programs to various states.
Another major question is how will these programs impact alternatives for emerging climate policy
at the state and federal level? While there have been a handful of analyses examining recent local and
state climate policies (e.g. Wheeler, 2008), there has been no analysis of the details of these plans,
including greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and implementation costs or benefits. This research
attempts to fill this void by creating a better understanding of the different policy options, GHG
mitigation potentials, and costs of adopting climate policy. In doing so, this work can help
policymakers in those jurisdictions implement alternatives appropriate to their unique contexts.
Larson, Joel. To Each Their Own: Elaborating Differences in State Climate Action Plans. May 11 2009. May 27 2009. Hubert H Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
professional paper in partial fulfillment of the Master of Public Policy Degree requirement
To Each Their Own: Elaborating Differences in State Climate Action Plans.
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
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