Energy Policy

Climate Policy: Summary


In this lesson, we've explored the connection between energy policy and climate policy. Climate change mitigation is a relatively new consideration for energy policy, but the ancillary benefits from enacting policies to curb anthropogenic climate change often overlap with goals of modern energy policy like improved efficiency, decreased dependence on foreign oil, air quality improvement, and job creation. I've tried to introduce the idea of scale of governance as a key factor in climate policy considerations, as it will factor particularly predominantly in this SP 2020 offering of the course with our local scale climate action planning project. We'll get into a bit more detail later this semester, primarily through assigned readings, but this lesson was intended to give you an overview of the interconnected nature of climate and energy and get you thinking about scale. Geography matters!

Important Concepts to take away from this lesson

  • Climate policy inherently is energy policy - because so much of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions results from the combustion of fossil fuels to meet our energy needs, any policy to address climate change has substantial consequences for energy policy as well.
  • Climate policy is happening at every scale - local climate change efforts enjoy the specificity of really addressing a place's unique circumstances, while national scale policies have the benefit of influencing international agreements on the issue. Regional efforts combine the like-minded goals of geographically clustered states to address climate issues and take advantage of regionally specific resources and talent in the absence of more direction from the federal government. It is the combined efforts at all scales that will allow us to tackle the problem holistically. Our lawmakers may be unwilling to address greenhouse gas emissions at a large scale, but there are other legislative courses of action, namely through the Clean Air Act, that we can pursue. Perhaps they aren't as efficient or practical, but they are likely better than nothing.

Reminder - Complete all tasks!

You have reached the end of the Lesson! Double-check the Lesson Requirements in Canvas to make sure you have completed all of the tasks listed there.