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Blog Posts: climate legislation

  • Proposed Clean Energy Standard Could Wake up U.S. Energy Policy

    For too long, the United States has lacked a clear, national energy policy. Today, Senator Bingaman took a step in that direction by introducing the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 (CESA), which would create certainty for clean energy investments, diversify the U.S. power mix, and yield meaningful carbon emissions reductions.


  • Senators, EPA Administrators, Business and Health Experts Share Perspectives on Clean Air Act at WRI Roundtable

    This post was written with Sara-Katherine Coxon, Objective Coordinator at the World Resources Institute.

    “Smog was a daily occurrence, something you could taste and see.”

    This reflection came from William Ruckelshaus, the first U.S. EPA administrator, recalling the early 1970’s when he worked in the Nixon administration to pass the historic Clean Air Act.

    He continued: “The result of this was a public deeply concerned about the environment, and a Congress which gave into public demand by setting federal laws to regulate emission levels.” Ruckelshaus was speaking at a roundtable discussion this week hosted by the World Resources Institute, moderated by Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). The event featured Ruckelshaus and former EPA Administrator William Reilly, as well as business and public health experts.


  • With Federal Climate Policy Stuck in Neutral, California Moves Ahead

    While there has been little progress on national climate policy this year, California has quietly continued to make strides in implementing its comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction program. Last month, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to finalize the regulations instituting California’s new greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program. This program is one key element of California’s comprehensive program to implement the Global Warming Solutions Act (or AB 32), which was signed into law in 2006 by Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.


  • STATEMENT: Australia Passes Historic Climate Legislation

    On Tuesday, the Australian senate passed legislation that will set a price on carbon and help meet its emissions targets.


  • Denmark committed to 40% emissions reduction in 2020

    Denmark’s new coalition government, elected last month, has adopted a new, more ambitious climate policy committing the country to reduce its GHG emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2020 through domestic action. This target brings Denmark into line with the level of reduction proposed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as with the targets of several other Nordic and Northern European countries.


  • Historic Carbon Vote a Win/Win for Australia's Economy and Global Action

    This post is based on a release that originally appeared on the website of The Climate Institute.

    Australia’s House of Representatives voted to pass the Clean Energy Future Legislation on October 12th. The legislative package will put a price on carbon pollution, promote investment in renewable and clean energy technologies and support action to reduce carbon pollution.


  • Open Climate Network Launches Website to Track National Progress on Climate Change

    Welcome to the Open Climate Network website, a platform for updates and analysis on country actions on climate mitigation and the provision of climate finance. Here you will find information on the latest policy developments in our partner countries and results of Open Climate Network analysis.

    The Open Climate Network (OCN) is developing a set of climate policy tracking and assessment tools that will help people raise the right questions about climate-related policy design and implementation in their countries. These tools will generate a nuanced, contextualized, independent, and peer-reviewed understanding of climate policy implementation for both domestic and international audiences. Our aim is to harness the insights captured through the assessment tools and use them to engage civil society and others in the interest of improving policy design and implementation.


  • California Cap-and-Trade: Taking the Time to Get the Details Right

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff is holding a workshop today on additional details that were recently announced for California’s cap-and-trade program. These details on allowance allocation, reporting, verification, and other aspects of the program, and the recent announcement on the program’s timing by CARB Chairman Mary Nichols are important, since they show that California is taking the time needed to get it right.

    What happens with this program is important for U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions – California represents one-eighth of the U.S. economy and the program will place a price on carbon for 85 percent of its emissions. In the absence of a comprehensive federal climate policy, state-level and regional actions like these will be key drivers for achieving GHG emission reductions in the U.S. in the near term.


  • The “Social Cost of Carbon” and Climate Change Policy

    Economist Frank Ackerman has called the “social cost of carbon” the most important number you never heard of. What is the social cost of carbon, where do the numbers come from, and why should policymakers take care when using them?


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