The Implications of City, State, and Business Climate Leadership in the United States

The U.S. climate policy environment has changed substantially over the last five years. While federal policy was formerly at the front of the U.S. climate policy engagement, a range of subnational actors are now taking leadership. An increasing number of cities, states, and businesses have pledged commitment to the Paris goals and putting policies in place to meet those goals. The current coalition of these actors represents roughly two-thirds of U.S. GDP and population and over half of U.S. emissions. The emergence of subnational leadership on climate in the United States raises important questions about the future of climate action in the United States and beyond U.S. borders. The America's Pledge Initiative has explored the potential implications of this emerging subnational movement, both with and without a reemergence of federal engagement in climate action. This presentation will discuss this study and point to the broader implications of subnational action for global mitigation and international policy processes.

Dr. Clarke is the Research Director for the Center for Global Sustainability (CGS) and a Research Professor in the School of Public Policy. Dr. Clarke is an expert in energy and environmental issues, with a focus on climate change, climate change mitigation strategies, energy technology options, and integrated assessment modeling. At CGS, Dr. Clarke focuses on the use of quantitative methods and modeling in support of policy and other decisions. Current activities include low-emissions development strategies in China, India, and Latin America, energy-water-land planning in Latin America, and climate mitigation by U.S. cities, states and businesses. As Research Director, Dr. Clarke oversees the development and execution of CGS’s research portfolio. Dr. Clarke formerly led the Integrated Human Earth System Science Group and directed a range of integrated assessment modeling activities at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a collaboration between the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Maryland. Dr. Clarke has served as an author and coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the National Climate Assessment, and the National Research Council. He is currently a coordinating lead author in the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report. He has also led a number of multi-institution modeling studies on climate mitigation. He holds a Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University and a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. 


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Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 4:00pm
Virtual: registration required: