What’s Next for the New Plan of U.S. Climate Change Policy?
On June 18, the Young Transatlantic Network in cooperation with the U.S. Mission to the EU hosted a roundtable discussion with Professor Jonathan Wiener of Duke University on the current situation of climate change policy in the United States. The event was moderated by Charlotte Brandsma, program coordinator at GMF. The discussion followed the recent announcement by the Obama administration of the most ambitious plan to combat climate change in U.S. history, by proposing to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power stations.
The discussion focused on the historical development of climate change policy in the United States and the legal framework and scope of the current policies. Issues that were addressed included the pros and cons of President Obama’s new initiative, which would give states the flexibility to enact their own, most cost-effective strategy, and would encourage regional cooperation in trading emission allowances to reach the overarching goal of cutting emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Participants discussed the significance of the new initiative, both on a domestic level — in terms of implications for domestic consumers — as well as on a global scale. A big question is whether the plan could bring the deadlocked international climate change negotiations into life, leading to a new international agreement at the Paris climate conference next year.