President Barack Obama has made energy and climate policy a top priority for his administration while expectations for U.S. leadership in the international climate negotiations run high. Meanwhile, the current state of the global economy will have an impact, affecting both the development of new technologies necessary to meet reduction targets and U.S. policy negotiations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
On June 8, the Brookings Institution hosted a preview of a forthcoming report on the economic impact of climate change reduction strategies by Brookings experts Warwick McKibbin, Adele Morris and Peter Wilcoxen. They analyzed the economic and environmental effects of potential U.S. greenhouse gas cap-and-trade programs, including emissions reduction scenarios that are broadly consistent with the targets proposed by the Obama administration and key committees in the House of Representatives. They also examined whether modest short-term targets can be consistent with cost-minimizing attainment of ambitious long-run goals.
Kemal Derviş, vice president and director of the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings, provided introductory remarks. David Goldston, columnist with Nature, moderated the discussion.