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Intergovernmental climate change mitigation policies: theory and outcomes

  • Hal T. Nelson (a1), Adam Rose (a2), Dan Wei (a3), Thomas Peterson (a4) and Jeffrey Wennberg (a5)...

This paper develops a framework for analysing intergovernmental relationships around greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation policies along a cooperation-conflict spectrum that affects the probability of their enactment. Cooperative policies, such as federal fiscal transfers to sub-national governments, facilitate enactment. Coordination policies, including enabling and funding mechanisms, promote interdependence between jurisdictions. Competitive policies, such as federal performance standards and price mechanisms, increase political conflict over authority. We categorise 23 policies developed by over 1,500 state stakeholders into the cooperation/coordination/conflict taxonomy. If scaled to the national level, these policies could reduce GHG emissions by over 3 billion tonnes by 2020 and generate nearly 2.2 million jobs (1.19 per cent above baseline projections). Nearly two-thirds of the job gains are from coordinated and cooperative policy options that are unlikely to occur under the status quo policy process. We recommend a national climate action planning process to reduce GHG emissions while increasing aggregate economic efficiency.

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Journal of Public Policy
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