Publish in OALib Journal
APC: Only $99
While the United States has not established federal regulations for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, many US states have adopted their own standards and guidelines. In this study we examine state adoption of targets for GHG reductions during the ten-year period of 1998-2008, and identify factors that explain variation in target adoption. Potential influences are drawn from research from the public policy formulation and diffusion literature, and from studies specific to climate policy adoption. Potential influences on GHG reduction efforts among US states include socioeconomic attributes of residents, political and ideological orientations of citizens and state government, interest group activities, environmental pressures, and proximity to other states that have adopted GHG reduction targets. The findings of the multinomial logistic regression analysis indicate that states are more likely to adopt GHG reduction targets if they share a border with another state with a similar climate program and if their citizens are more ideologically liberal. Other factors including socioeconomic resources and interest group activities were not found to be associated with policy adoption. The findings yield insights into the conditions under which states are more likely to take action to reduce GHG’s, and are relevant both to state policy makers and residents with an interest in climate planning, and for researchers attempting to estimate future greenhouse gas reduction scenarios.
In an effort to address climate change, many cities have joined the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) whose members commit to work toward five specific program objectives designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This study examines the extent to which 257 member cities in the U.S.have been successful in achieving these program milestones and identifies factors that may explain variation in the performance of member cities. Potential influences on milestone attainment include socioeconomic, political and ideological characteristics of residents, length of ICLEI membership, existence of other climate programs within the state, and local environmental pressures. Multiple regression results indicate that length of membership is the strongest predictor of milestone attainment, regardless of local socioeconomic conditions, ideological and political orientations of residents, or other climate-related initiatives within the state. This finding supports the general effectiveness of ICLEI’s network organizational model and its outreach and education efforts. However, member cities facing more “climate stress”, including higher levels of hazardous air pollutants (HAP’s) and greater automobile use among residents are making slower progress. The findings yield insight into the conditions under which cities engaged in climate planning are more likely to succeed in reducing local greenhouse gas emissions-relevant information for planners, community stakeholders and administrators of organizations like ICLEI.
Many have voiced concern about the long-term survival of coastal communities in the face of increasingly intense storms and sea level rise. In this study we select indicators of key theoretical concepts from the social-ecological resilience literature, aggregate those indicators into a resilience-capacity index, and calculate an index score for each of the 52 coastal counties of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Building upon Cutter’s Social Vulnerability Index work , we use Factor Analysis to combine 43 variables measuring demographics, social capital, economic re- sources, local government actions, and environmental conditions within the counties. Then, we map the counties’ scores to show the spatial distribution of resilience capacities. The counties identified as having the highest resilience capaci- ties include the suburban areas near New Orleans, Louisiana and Tampa, Florida, and the growing beach-tourist com- munities of Alabama and central Florida. Also, we examine whether those counties more active in oil and gas develop- ment and production, part of the region’s “energy coast”, have greater capacity for resilience than other counties in the region. Correlation analyses between the resilience-capacity index scores and two measures of oil and gas industry ac- tivity (total employment and number of business establishments within five industry categories) yielded no statistically significant associations. By aggregating a range of important contextual variables into a single index, the study demonstrates a useful approach for the more systematic examination and comparison of exposure, vulnerability and capacity for resilience among coastal communities.