Institutionalizing Sustainability Across the Federal Government

Sustainability, Vol. 2, pp. 1924-1942, 2010

19 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2010  

Kenneth W. Abbott

Arizona State University

Gary E. Marchant

Arizona State University - College of Law

Date Written: July 2, 2010

Abstract

A notable aspect of sustainability is its holistic and cross-cutting nature – it cannot be achieved by any single rule, statute or agency. Instead, sustainability must be institutionalized across the legal system and government as a whole. In this paper, we propose and examine five mechanisms for institutionalizing sustainability across the federal legal system: (1) an Executive Order on sustainability; (2) a sustainability impact assessment process; (3) a non-partisan Congressional Joint Committee on Sustainability; (4) a federal Sustainability Commission; and (5) a Sustainability Law Reform Commission. Each is modeled on an existing institution in the United States or another jurisdiction. We discuss and compare the advantages and disadvantages of each mechanism, and discuss how the mechanisms might best be used, singly or in combination, to institutionalize sustainability across the federal government.

Keywords: sustainability, sustainable development, institutions, executive order, environmental impact assessment, government commissions, law reform, governance

JEL Classification: K32, K49

Suggested Citation

Abbott, Kenneth W. and Marchant, Gary E., Institutionalizing Sustainability Across the Federal Government (July 2, 2010). Sustainability, Vol. 2, pp. 1924-1942, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1640200

Kenneth Wayne Abbott (Contact Author)

Arizona State University ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
480-965-5917 (Phone)

Gary E. Marchant

Arizona State University - College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
(480) 965-3246 (Phone)
(480) 965-2427 (Fax)

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