Local Climate Change Response Prevailing Over Federal Action
According to a recently leaked IPCC draft "synthesis report," the lack of national action is leading to "severe, pervasive, and irreversible" climate change in the coming decades. While this news is depressing and troubling, the IPCC reports that localities all over the world are picking up some of this slack. Despite a particularly gridlocked Congress in the United States, state and local governments continue to pass effective and sophisticated climate change policies.
A Brookings Institution post authored by Devashree Saha and Mark Muro outlined the recent measures states like Rhode Island, California, Connecticut, and New York have passed to curtail greenhouse gas emissions. Ranging from cap and trade programs, to "green banks," these measures illustrate the power of smaller government entities to prototype future large-scale climate efforts.
That being said, our planet's health cannot rely solely on the actions of local and regional municipalities, "nations are going to have to act more vigorously, including with investments in technology innovation. Not only does the federal government need to enact policies to significantly decrease greenhouse gas emissions nationally but it also needs to partner effectively with states and regions by providing aid and technical assistance."