Resurrecting the Patchwork Strategy
This session assessed the prospects for major new or continued top-down or bottom-up climate and energy policies at both the U.S. and international level and discuss the potential implications for meeting our energy and climate goals.
9:00 am Welcome and Introduction
Sarah Ladislaw, Senior Fellow, CSIS Energy and National Security Program
9:10-10:00 Panel Presentations:
Elliot Diringer, Vice President for International Climate Strategies, Pew Center on Global Climate Change
Kathryn Zyla, Director of Research and Policy Analysis, Georgetown State and Federal Climate Resource Center
Bill Tyndall, Senior Vice President, Federal Government & Regulatory Affairs, Duke Energy
10:00-10:30 Questions and Discussion
For much of the last decade environmental groups, businesses, and politicians advocated for federal and global architectures to bring coherence and coordination to the patchwork of energy and climate policies that were emerging at the state and local level and within different sectors of the economy. This level of coordination seems to be stalling out at both the international and U.S. federal level. The international community failed to deliver on this global architecture at the UN Conference of Parties meeting in Copenhagen and instead produced an “accord” which adopts a bottom-up approach to recording individual country targets and policies, instead of a rigorous system of targets and timetables. The United States Congress is struggling to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation, mostly due to concerns over the economic impact of a cap and trade program on an already weak U.S. economy. In the absence of broader coordination, the patchwork approach to climate policy might once again become the predominant force for forward momentum. The question remains, however, if the patchwork approach will be robust or if support for energy and climate policies from the bottom-up will also erode.