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Searching for a New Deal on Climate? Look to the States

In response to ambitious climate proposals like the Green New Deal, Robert J. Klee asks: "Is there a version of this massive investment in decarbonization somewhere out there that is aggressive enough to meet the bar set by the scientists, yet pragmatic enough to work politically and as a matter of law and policy?" 

The answer: "Yes, there is." Klee is a lecturer at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and served as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection from 2014 to 2019. In this series, he highlights policies from states across the country that could form the architecture of a comprehensive U.S. decarbonization plan.

Part I lays the groundwork and provides a roadmap for the series. Part II covers setting and achieving climate targets, Part III explores how to transform the electric grid, and Part IV takes on transit. Part V concludes the collection with an outlook on how to scale up states' successes. 

For years, red and blue states across the country have been building the policy architecture for ambitious national climate action. Part II of "Searching for a New Deal on Climate" explores how the federal government can follow the states’ lead on setting economy-wide greenhouse gas targets, establishing renewable energy requirements...
Block Island Wind Farm
States across the country have led efforts to revamp the electric grid: modernizing century-old systems, promoting energy efficiency, and investing in distributed energy generation that replaces central grids. Through smart investment and incentives, the federal government has the ability to usher in this new energy future nationwide, and ensure that...
Rooftop solar installers in CO
To support decarbonization efforts, we will have to overhaul our transportation system. Over the course of the past century, we used fossil fuels to revolutionize the way we move from place to place — creating unprecedented mobility, but substantially contributing to climate change. About 30% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions...
BMW i3 charging
The policies explored in this series, taken together and adopted at national scale, would allow the United States to do its part in limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Can it be done? The final installment of “Look to the States” concludes with an outlook and some tools — drawing once...
Greta Thunberg at New York City climate strike