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Obama's Climate Policy: A Work in Progress

bridges vol. 21, April 2009 / Pielke's Perspective

By Roger A. Pielke, Jr.

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pielke_r_new_small.jpgLeaders around the world have come to agree that the continuing accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere poses risks requiring action.  But as the Obama Administration is learning, accepting the need for action and actually implementing effective carbon policies are two different things.

The Obama Administration favors an approach called cap and trade, which establishes a cap on total emissions and sets up a market to buy and sell emissions allowances under the cap.  The theory is that, as the binding cap declines over time to some target value, the market will determine the most efficient manner of reducing emissions.

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