Why Federal Climate Change Legislation Shouldn't Stop States From Innovating in Adaptation Efforts

by Alejandro Camacho | May 27, 2010

Even if a climate change bill like Kerry-Lieberman were to become law, the effects of climate change will still be dramatic, making adaptation a crucial complement to mitigation activities for addressing climate change. As specialists on local conditions with the capacity to innovate at a smaller scale, state and local authorities need to retain the authority to adopt adaptation strategies that prevent, reduce, and manage the effects that climate change will have on vulnerable natural resources under their jurisdiction. Though a federal role in adaptation planning is indispensable, it would be unwise to excessively tie the states’ hands in promoting natural resource adaptation. Unfortunately, Kerry-Lieberman and Waxman-Markey (ACES) risk doing just that by centralizing adaptation in a new federal authority.  The bills should be written to encourage robust state and local action to formulate and implement natural resource adaptation measures.

Kerry-Lieberman and ACES, adopted in the House last year, seek to consolidate authority over adaptation planning in the President and Secretary of the Interior. Both bills seek to significantly increase executive oversight and control over federal and state natural resource adaptation. Though only ACES creates a National Climate Change Adaptation Program in the existing U.S. Global Change Research Program and a National Climate Service in NOAA to develop and disseminate climate information, both bills establish a Natural Resources Climate Change Adaptation Panel (see my previous post comparing the bills’ adaptation provisions). The Panel, headed by the chair of the CEQ and including the heads of ...

On Adaptation, Kerry-Lieberman Climate Bill Largely Similar to ACES, But Drops Several Provisions and Provides Less Money

by Alejandro Camacho | May 14, 2010
Though in many respects similar to provisions in the House-approved American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) bill and the prior Boxer-Kerry bill in the Senate, the adaptation program proposed in the newly released Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act substantially decreases funding for federal and state adaptation programs and eliminates provisions establishing a public health adaptation program.  Like its predecessors, Kerry-Lieberman’s adaptation program, included in large part in Title IV, §§6001-6011, incorporates a number of provision focused on managing the effects ...

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