Thursday, December 27, 2018

New Book Arms Policymakers, Lawyers, Private Sector With Tools To Combat Climate Change In U.S.

In early 2019, Environmental Law Institute Press will release Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States, edited by Michael B. Gerrard and John C. Dernbach.
This “playbook” identifies well over 1,000 recommendation that form legal pathways for reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.
Out of the desire to get the main messages of that book delivered to the broadest possible audience as quickly as possible, ELI Press is releasing Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States: Summary and Key Recommendations.   The book is available now in e-book format and print.
The legal options identified in Legal Pathways involve federal, state, and local law, as well as private governance. Chapter authors were asked to include all options, even if they do not now seem politically realistic or likely, giving the book not just immediate value, but also value over time.
“While a number of technologies and other methods are available to achieve radical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (most but not all involving energy efficiency, fuel switching, and decarbonized electricity), there are numerous legal impediments to implementing these technologies and methods at the necessary scale and speed,” explains Gerrard. “Both books are aimed at identifying these impediments and devising ways to surmount them.”
Added Dernbach, “Our hope is that policymakers and lawyers can pursue the legal pathways identified in these books, choosing the tool or tools that work best for their situation, to allow clean technology and other methods to achieve their full potential.”  
The Summary and Key Recommendations volume provides thumbnail summaries and the most critical recommendations-- more than 500 of them-- from each of the 35 chapters of the larger volume.
It also includes an index that organizes the key recommendations by actor (e.g., local governments), allowing readers to see in one place all of the key recommendations for any particular actor, regardless of the chapter in which they originated.  
Both books are based on two reports by the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project that explain technical and policy pathways for dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
These aggressive carbon abatement goals are often referred to as deep decarbonization, distinguished because it requires systemic changes to the energy economy.  
While both the scale and complexity of deep decarbonization are enormous, both books have the same simple message: deep decarbonization is achievable in the United States using laws that exist or could be enacted.
These legal tools can be employed with significant economic, social, environmental, and national security benefits.
Click Here for a table of contents and several chapters published as articles in the Environmental Law Review.
Click Here for an article from the Energy Law Journal providing a description and analysis of types of legal tools available for deep decarbonization drawn from the book.
For more about the book, visit the ELI Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States webpage.
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