Low Carbon Land Use: Paris, Pittsburgh, and the IPCC

34 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2019

See all articles by John R. Nolon

John R. Nolon

Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Pace University

Date Written: 2018


This article describes strategies that local governments are employing to both mitigate and adapt to climate change, using their state-given powers to plan community development and to regulate private building. Local governments have significant legal authority to shape human settlements and, in so doing, lower CO2 emissions from buildings and vehicles, increase the sequestration of carbon by the natural environment, and promote distributed energy systems and renewable energy facilities that lower fossil fuel consumption. Local elected leaders are highly motivated to avoid the on-the-ground consequences of our changing climate. The effects of climate change manifest themselves at the local level, where people are killed or injured, property is destroyed, businesses are shuttered, ecosystems are fouled, and where our democratic system is most vibrant and able to respond. In 2014, the international community caught up with local governments in the global race against climate change. That year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change embraced the critical role of municipal governments in mitigating the causes of climate change. In 2015, the Paris Climate Agreement adopted by the Conference of the Parties followed suit. This has encouraged localities to redouble their efforts and creates new and exciting opportunities for intergovernmental partnerships to manage climate change.

Keywords: climate change, low carbon, land use, IPCC, CO2 emissions

Suggested Citation

Nolon, John R., Low Carbon Land Use: Paris, Pittsburgh, and the IPCC (2018). University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review, Vol. 40, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3344520

John R. Nolon (Contact Author)

Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Pace University ( email )

78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States

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