Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Seminar Series: Elizabeth Wilson

Date and Time
Friday, March 16, 2012 - 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.


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Elizabeth Wilson, associate professor of energy and environmental policy and law in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, will present a talk titled "Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Lessons from the States."

Understanding how state-level factors are affecting low-carbon technology adoption and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction policy preference across the United States is a crucial component to securing long-term emission reductions. This talk will focus on two studies. The first project analyzes Climate Action Plans (CAPs) developed in eleven states and surveys the CAP advisory group members. This research offers insights into how states approach the problem of choosing emissions-abatement options that maximize benefits and minimize costs, given their unique circumstances and the constellation of interest groups with power to influence state policy. The state CAPs recommend ten popular GHG reduction strategies to accomplish approximately 90% of emissions reductions, but they recommend these popular strategies in different proportions: a strategy that is heavily relied on in one state's overall portfolio may play a negligible role in another state. The second project presents qualitative findings from our state-level case studies on how wind power is portrayed by energy stakeholders. This study highlights how the state-context differs dramatically for the same technology and highlights the different policy and political environments that can facilitate or thwart future deployment.