Miller Center

National Conference on Climate Governance

Full Report

Climate Change Report

Download (PDF)

On December 11–12, 2008, the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia convened the National Conference on Climate Governance (video and audio below). Led by Miller Center Visiting Scholar Dr. Barry Rabe, Professor of Public Policy at the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, this conference brought together some of the most preeminent scholars and practitioners of environmental policy in the country to address not the science or the politics, but the actual governance issues, of climate change.

The conference report, the Climate Policy Blueprint, focuses on key findings and recommendations to establish a viable strategy for governing climate change both at home and abroad. The scholars' papers will be published in a book by Brookings Institution Press.

For more please contact Anne Mulligan, Coordinator for Academic Programs, at (434) 243-8726 or acm8k@virginia.edu.  

 

December 11, 2008
9:45 AM



Sidney M. Milkis, Christopher Borick

Session One: Framing the Issue of Climate Governance

9:45 – 11:45 a.m.

Climate change has conventionally been portrayed as a global challenge necessitating an international governing regime. This was clearly the animating principle behind the Kyoto Protocol more than a decade ago. But the subsequent reality in the United States and abroad has been far more complex, with an unexpectedly large role for sub-national units of governments, such as American states and localities. This experience has also emerged internationally, even among nations ratifying Kyoto. This session will help frame the current climate governance challenge by examining the intergovernmental realities posed by such bottom-up policy development. It will also consider key findings from the 2008 National Survey on American Public Opinion on Climate Change and Policy Options [PDF] commissioned for this event.

Chair
Sidney Milkis, Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia

Authors
Martha Derthick, University of Virginia – Evaluating American Federalism

Paul Posner, George Mason University – Regulatory Federalism: Challenges in Integrating State and Federal Responsibilities. Download Powerpoint Presentation.

Christopher Borick, Muhlenberg College – The Climate of Opinion: American Beliefs about Climate Change and Policy Preferences. Download Powerpoint Presentation

Discussants
Anne Khademian, Virginia Tech

Suellen Keiner, State of the USA, Inc.

The National Conference on Climate Governance is made possible by grants from WestWind Foundation; Muhlenberg College; the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan's Gerald Ford School of Public Policy; Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation; Altria Group, Inc.; and an anonymous Charlottesville foundation.

 

Downloadable Content

December 11, 2008
12:00 PM



Gerald L Baliles, Barry G Rabe

A Luncheon Colloquy with United States Senator John Warner

12:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Downloadable Content

December 11, 2008
1:30 PM



Professor Brian Balogh, Marc Landy

Session Two: Regulatory Approaches to Climate Governance

1:30 – 3:15 p.m.

Many policy options could achieve reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, including those that impose firm governmental regulations on various sectors of the economy. In some instances, these policies already exist either nationally or sub-nationally but may well be expanded in the coming years. This session emphasized regulatory options in the transportation and electricity sectors.  It also considered the question of adaptation and whether there are viable governance strategies to confront climate changes already occurring and those anticipated in the future.

Chair

Brian Balogh, Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia

Authors

Pietro Nivola, Brookings Institution – The Long and Winding Road: Automotive Fuel Economy and American Politics. Download Powerpoint Presentation.

Ian Rowlands, University of Waterloo – Regulating Renewable Electricity: From Portfolio Standards to Feed-in-Tariffs. Download Powerpoint Presentation.

Marc Landy, Boston College – Adaptation vs. Mitigation Strategies

Discussants

Judith Layzer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Daniel Fiorino, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The National Conference on Climate Governance was made possible by grants from WestWind Foundation; Muhlenberg College; the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan's Gerald Ford School of Public Policy; Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation; Altria Group, Inc.; and an anonymous Charlottesville foundation.

 

Downloadable Content

December 11, 2008
3:30 PM


Barry G Rabe

Session Three: Market Approaches to Climate Governance

3:30 – 5:15 p.m.

Abundant literature in the economics field documents the merits of market-based systems of environmental protection, with perhaps the most celebrated innovation involving the so-called "cap-and-trade" program established for sulfur dioxide emissions in the 1990s. This session examined the governance challenges of two oft-discussed alternatives that take a market approach, namely cap-and-trade and taxation schemes for carbon emissions meant to deter the use of fossil fuels.

Chair

Vivian Thomson, Department of Environmental Sciences, Department of Politics, University of Virginia; Vice Chair, State Air Pollution Control Board

Authors

Leigh Raymond, Purdue University – The Emerging Revolution in Carbon Emissions Trading Policy. Download Powerpoint Presentation.

Barry Rabe, University of Michigan – The "Impossible Dream" of Carbon Taxes: Is the "Best Answer" a Political Non-Starter? Download Powerpoint Presentation.

Discussants

Timothy Conlan, George Mason University

Christopher James, Synapse Energy Economics, Inc.

The National Conference on Climate Governance was made possible by grants from WestWind Foundation; Muhlenberg College; the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan's Gerald Ford School of Public Policy; Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation; Altria Group, Inc.; and an anonymous Charlottesville foundation.

 

Downloadable Content

December 12, 2008
9:00 AM


Barry G Rabe

Session Four: Are Federal Institutions Up to the Challenges of Climate Change?

9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Climate change was first discussed by an American President in the 1960s, and a decade later it became the subject of Congressional hearings. But little subsequent federal legislation or policy development has occurred. This session considered the capacity of the three branches of the federal government to address climate change and respond to likely policy challenges. This  included a review of the federal judiciary, the U.S. Congress, and the likely lead unit of the executive branch: the Environmental Protection Agency.

Chair

Jonathan Cannon, School of Law, University of Virginia

Authors

Kirsten Engel, University of Arizona – Can the Courts Govern the Climate? Download Powerpoint Presentation.

Barry Rabe, University of Michigan – Can Congress Govern the Climate? Download Powerpoint Presentation.

Walter Rosenbaum, University of Florida – Can the Environmental Protection Agency Govern the Climate? Download Powerpoint Presentation.

Discussant

Susan Gander, National Governors Association – Center for Best Practices

The National Conference on Climate Governance was made possible by grants from WestWind Foundation; Muhlenberg College; the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan's Gerald Ford School of Public Policy; Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation; Altria Group, Inc.; and an anonymous Charlottesville foundation.

 

Downloadable Content

December 12, 2008
11:15 AM


Session Five: Reconnecting the United States with the World

11:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. 

Any unilateral American efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions face inherent limits in deterring climate change, raising the question of multi-national or international collaboration. State experience suggests ever-expanding commitment to policy experimentation, while also anticipating the expansion of federal involvement. This session drew lessons from outside the U.S., most notably from the European Union, and considered the prospects for regional and international re-engagement in a post-Kyoto world.

Chair

Daniel Plafcan, College of Engineering, University of Virginia

Authors

Stacy VanDeveer, University of New Hampshire – Continental and Multi-Lateral Governance Challenges and Opportunities. Download Powerpoint Presentation.

Henrik Selin, Boston University – Cross-Continental Policy Learning: Experience from the European Union. Download Powerpoint Presentation.

Discussants

Kathryn Harrison, University of British Columbia

Alastair Totty, First Secretary, National Climate Change Team, British Embassy (DC)

The National Conference on Climate Governance was made possible by grants from WestWind Foundation; Muhlenberg College; the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan's Gerald Ford School of Public Policy; Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation; Altria Group, Inc.; and an anonymous Charlottesville foundation.

 

Downloadable Content