Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States provides a “legal playbook” for deep decarbonization in the United States, identifying well over 1,000 legal options for enabling the United States to address one of the greatest problems facing this country and the rest of humanity.
The book is based on two reports by the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) that explain technical and policy pathways for reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. This 80x50 target and similarly aggressive carbon abatement goals are often referred to as deep decarbonization, distinguished because it requires systemic changes to the energy economy.
Legal Pathways explains the DDPP reports and then addresses in detail 35 different topics in as many chapters. These 35 chapters cover energy efficiency, conservation, and fuel switching; electricity decarbonization; fuel decarbonization; carbon capture and negative emissions; non-carbon dioxide climate pollutants; and a variety of cross-cutting issues. The legal options involve federal, state, and local law, as well as private governance. Authors were asked to include all options, even if they do not now seem politically realistic or likely, giving Legal Pathways not just immediate value, but also value over time.
While both the scale and complexity of deep decarbonization are enormous, this book has a simple message: deep decarbonization is achievable in the United States using laws that exist or could be enacted. These legal tools can be used with significant economic, social, environmental, and national security benefits.
Michael B. Gerrard & John C. Dernbach,
Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States,
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/2272