Climate Action Through Constructive Reform
Thursday, February 2, 2017
On February 1, 2017 the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) released a law and policy review Comment by CCS authors Bob McKinstry, Tom Peterson, and Steve Chester in its February Issue of the Environmental Law Reporter (ELR), entitled “Unlocking Willpower and Ambition to Meet the Goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement (Part Two): The Potential for Legal Reform and Revision”. This second of a two-part series identifies major opportunities for advancement of comprehensive climate actions through reforms to existing law and policy, including the Clean Air Act and other statutes. In a previous Comment, 46 ELR 11024, the authors examined the nexus between “willpower” and “ambition” in the context of the Paris Agreement, and identified key elements of an integrated, systematic, and strategic treatment of both through law and policy.
In this Article, authors explore legal mechanisms that could close the gaps in carbon reduction implementation in the United States and meet critical conditions needed to build willpower. The incoming Administration’s focus on reform and revision calls into question some current approaches to climate change, but also may provide carbon reduction opportunities through proposed actions on infrastructure, national security, and other matters driven by immediate priorities. Pragmatic actions within U.S. states and localities, federal executive agencies, and Congress could be good place to start to integrate such goals and charter a more systematic and strategic framework to move carbon reductions to the level required by the Paris Agreement.
Photo:Courts can provide opportunities for laws to be used more effectively to build willpower and ambition.