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Reorienting State Climate Change Policies to Induce Technological Change

45 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2008  

David E. Adelman

University of Texas School of Law; University of Texas at Austin - Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business

Kirsten H. Engel

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Date Written: September 8, 2008

Abstract

This Article challenges the prevailing view that state action on climate change is misconceived because it cannot meaningfully impact greenhouse gas emissions. We argue that inducing technological change provides an independent ground for state programs; one can think globally and still act locally. Technological innovation is essential to successful climate policy and subject to a distinct market failure - technology spillovers that undermine investment incentives. State action can significantly enhance technological change, as promoting innovation is less dependent on large-scale government action and its inherent uncertainties favor the diversity sustained by multiple state programs. These observations suggest a two-tiered strategy: primary federal responsibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while state policies focus on promoting technological change. The Article concludes by proposing measures designed to support this complementary federal-state framework.

Keywords: Climate Change, Federalism, Innovation Policy, Inducing Technological Change

JEL Classification: K23, K32, O33, O38

Suggested Citation

Adelman, David E. and Engel, Kirsten H., Reorienting State Climate Change Policies to Induce Technological Change (September 8, 2008). Arizona Law Review, Vol. 50, No. 3, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1264506

David E. Adelman (Contact Author)

University of Texas School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
512-232-0877 (Phone)

University of Texas at Austin - Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States

Kirsten H. Engel

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States
520-621-5444 (Phone)

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