Energy Policy

The Future is Local: Summary


In this lesson, you learned about local GHG emissions and mitigation. Specifically, you found that each place has a different energy profile, but that nearly every place has important contributions from energy use, transportation, waste disposal, and land use. You saw that local energy use varies greatly among industrial, residential, commercial, institutional, agricultural, and other users. You explored ways that industrial, residential, commercial, institutional, waste disposal, and land-use practices contribute to local GHG emissions. You discovered that local governments, universities, businesses, and environmental, social, and faith-based organizations are leading local efforts to mitigate GHG emissions. You thought about the fact that a place’s emissions are a function of local physical properties and the drivers of GHG emissions (technology, economics, politics, and culture, and you observed that a place's mitigation plans are a function of local economics, politics, and culture.

Despite all of these incredibly important reasons to address climate change causes at the local scale, it's also really important to understand that it's limited. Even if Pennsylvania, one of the most energy-intensive states in the country, suddenly went carbon neutral, we alone can't halt climate action. As you think about the role of local governments in reducing emissions, think too about the role that those actions play in spurring action at wider scales of governance as well. We need bottom up and top down approaches to truly address the challenges of transitioning to a low carbon economy.

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.