Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization: Lessons from California and Germany
56 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2016 Last revised: 23 Jun 2017
Date Written: July 19, 2016
To achieve deep decarbonization, developed countries need to reduce their net greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. As ambitious and even unachievable as that goal may seem, some developed country jurisdictions have already made considerable progress in conceptualizing and even adopting legal approaches for achieving decarbonization. This article describes the approaches being taken in two major developed country jurisdictions — California and Germany — and suggest lessons from that experience that could be useful to the United States. These lessons are no less important—and may even be more important—after President Trump’s decisions to withdraw the U.S. from active engagement on climate change.
Keywords: Climate Change, Decarbonization, Zero Carbon, Global Warming, Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, Paris Agreement, California, Germany
JEL Classification: K19, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation