What is the State of Climate Policy in the South?
At the national level, the United States has been reluctant to engage in the discussion of, much less enact, climate policy or a climate plan. Consequently, action has been deferred to the individual states. A November 8, 2012 analysis by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), indicates that 36 states have developed various climate action plans, two states have climate action plans in progress and twelve states have taken no action or have nothing under consideration. Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas are among the states in the no action category.
In this post-election period will a more lucid national climate policy and plan emerge? In terms of regional action, what role will the individual states play during the next three to five years? What efforts will occur in the South? What economic, natural resource and geographic considerations are related to national and state climate policies and plans?
- Marilyn Brown — professor, School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech & visiting distinguished scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Marilyn A. Brown joined Georgia Tech in 2006 from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where she held various leadership positions. While at ORNL, Brown led several energy technology and policy scenario studies, becoming a national leader in the analysis and interpretation of energy futures in the United States. At Georgia Tech, her research has included an assessment of the U.S. Climate Change Technology Program, development of a national climate change technology deployment strategy, and an evaluation of the supply- and demand-side electricity resources available in the Southeast.
She has authored more than 200 publications and two books including "Climate Change and Global Energy Security" (MIT Press, 2011), which argues that we have all of the technologies need to live sustainably. She has established the Climate and Energy Laboratory, which analyzes climate change and energy policies.
Brown served for thirteen years on the board of directors of the Alliance to Save Energy, and in that capacity she helped to found the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance. Among her honors and awards, she is a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for co-authorship of the report on Mitigation of Climate Change. In 2010, she was sworn onto the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation’s largest public power provider, following her nomination by President Barack Obama.
- Jonas Monast — director, Climate and Energy Program at Duke University's Nicholas Institute
Jonas’s work focuses on the interaction of state and federal energy policies, regulatory options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the intersection of financial markets and climate policy. He directed Duke University’s Climate Change Policy Partnership from 2007-2010 and coordinated the Nicholas Institute’s Carbon Market Initiative. He also teaches courses on the intersection of energy and environmental issues at Duke University’s School of Law and Nicholas School of the Environment.
Prior to joining Duke, Jonas worked as an attorney in the Corporate Social Responsibility Practice at Foley Hoag LLP, where he advised clients on emerging legal and reputational risks regarding human rights and the environment.