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Seminar on US climate policy
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Tuesday, 29 May 2012, 15:30 - 17:00 at UNU-IAS in Yokohama

Why the United States Lacks a Federal Climate Policy: A Divided Democratic Party
by Eric Zusman
Climate Policy Researcher, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)


Photo: UNU-IAS

Seminar Description
Seminar language: English

In 2009, President Barack Obama and a majority Democratic 111th Congress came to office in a favorable position to enact federal climate legislation. But less than two years later prospects for passing that legislation dimmed considerably. Explanations for this quick reversal fault 1) institutional rules requiring bills receive a 60-vote supra-majority to cloture a Senate filibuster; and 2) the Obama administration’s prioritization of health care over climate change. Both of these explanations, however, presume the Democratic Party uniformly backed climate legislation. This presentation uses a logistical regression model on House Bill (H.R.) 2454 (The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009) to demonstrate Democrats were deeply divided on the issue. Long-standing industrial ties and blue dog allegiances suggest that United States climate policy will consist of subnational clean energy and national air quality programs for the foreseeable future. It also implies why single-party states like China will spend less money and time making a low carbon transition.

This presentation is based on a working paper co-authored by Koji Fukuda, Madoka Yoshino and Jun Ichihara.

Mr. Koji Fukuda is a Climate Change Policy Researcher at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies in Hayama, Japan. His research at IGES focuses on the post-2012 Climate regime and financial mechanisms supporting climate smart development in Asia. Mr. Fukuda has a master's degree in International Development Studies from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS).

Ms. Madoka Yoshino is a Climate Change Associate Researcher at IGES. Her research focuses on the future climate regime. Prior to joining IGES, she earned a Master of Public Affairs / Master of Science in Environmental Science from Indiana University as well as a Masters of Agriculture from Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology.

Dr. Jun Ichihara is a researcher in the Program Management Office at IGES. His research focuses on market mechanisms in developing Asia (with a particular emphasis on India and Indonesia). Dr. Ichihara has a PhD from the University of Tokyo and Masters of Arts from Yale University and the University of Tokyo.

Download the paper here

Programme

15:30 - 15:35 Opening Remarks
Jose Puppin de Oliveira, UNU-IAS Assistant Director
15:35 - 16:15 Why the United States Lacks a Federal Climate Policy: A Divided Democratic Party
Eric Zusman, Climate Policy Researcher, Climate Policy Project, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
16:15 - 17:00 Discussion

Video and Audio Podcasts

Opening Remarks
by Jose Puppim de Oliveira, Assistant Director, UNU-IAS

[Archived Video- 2 minutes];

Why the United States Lacks a Federal Climate Policy: A Divided Democratic Party
by Eric Zusman, Climate Policy Researcher, Climate Policy Project, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)

[Archived Video- 44 minutes]; [Archived Audio- 44 minutes]

Discussion

[Archived Video- 36 minutes]; [Archived Audio- 36 minutes]


Photo Gallery


Speaker's Biography

Eric Zusman is a senior climate policy researcher at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in Hayama, Japan. At IGES, his research focuses on the co-benefits of climate policies in key sectors and the political economy of low carbon development in Asia. He recently published a co-edited book on Low Carbon Transport in Asia: Strategies for Optimizing Co-benefits (Earthscan 2012). Prior to joining IGES, Eric received his PhD in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Registration is free and open to the public. For further information, please contact UNU-IAS at unuias[at]ias.unu.edu or 045-221-2300.
Registration is closed.
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