Transworld Paper No.23
by Helena Schulzová
The United States has since 2008 managed to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions, due to the combined effects of an increased use of shale gas, the economic downturn and subsequent slow recovery, and stimulus investments in the energy sector. Climate change-related topics, however, have become increasingly politicized, with Congress deadlocked on any comprehensive climate change and energy legislation. As a result, the Obama administration is resorting to its own powers to influence climate and energy policy, mainly through increased investment and regulations. Individual US states have also been increasingly active by supporting renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency, energy portfolio standards and even by adopting their own or regional market-based emissions trading system. This paper reviews the various measures taken at the federal and state level to protect the environment and fight climate change, with a view to identifying where leadership in this particular policy domain is exercised in the US.