Policy ForumClimate

A Madisonian Approach to Climate Policy

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Science  16 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5742, pp. 1820-1821
DOI: 10.1126/science.1113180

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Climate change is a global phenomenon, but the institutions needed to implement effective policy reside mainly with national governments. This mismatch explains why serious efforts to control emissions of greenhouse gases, such as markets for emission credits, are fragmented across national and regional lines. Climate policy is emerging from the bottom up rather than through globally orchestrated treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol. The authors of this Policy Forum state that fuller efforts to control emissions will require serious engagement of the United States and developing countries, as well as viable schemes for integrating the many fragmented policies that are arising as governments grapple with the climate challenge.