State Governance: Leadership on Climate Change
AGENDA FOR A SUSTAINABLE AMERICA 441, Environmental Law Institute, John C. Dernbach, ed., 2009
18 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2008 Last revised: 16 Feb 2009
Date Written: February 1, 2009
This chapter explores the current status of sustainability initiatives at the level of state governments. States and localities may be the most plausible governmental entities for substantial on-going progress toward a more sustainable society due to their larger role in the many issues that contribute to a sustainable society. Nevertheless, we found that only a small minority of states have expressed an explicit commitment to statewide sustainability efforts by establishing a state "sustainability council" and that several of these states restrict the function of such councils to reducing the energy and environmental impacts of state government operations. The second part of the chapter looks at state, local and regional initiatives on climate change policy, perhaps the most interesting and fertile area of state leadership on sustainability-related issues. The chapter concludes with suggestions for ways that in which sustainability efforts may make more meaningful the "states as laboratory of democracy" metaphor.
Keywords: states, state government, sustainability, sustainability council, Brundtland Commission, climate change, state climate change initiatives, laboratory of democracy
JEL Classification: K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation