Can Michigan achieve a 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by embracing new climate change policies?

Climate change policy formation in Michigan – The case for integrated regional policies

From International Regional Science Review

Following 30 other US states Michigan recently launched The Michigan climate initiative to begin addressing the problem of climate change. This article shows how research was integrated into the policy process to inform decision makers about environmental policy and it estimates the potential gains.

It looks to the successful experience of the European Union Trading System with its Carbon Tax system and puts forward policies that limit emissions by placing a ‘‘cap,’’ enforced by the issuance of permits, or ‘‘allowances.’’

The article concludes  that a combination of sector-based measures and market incentive based policies could attain a low cost, high co-benefit solution.

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Like 30 other states in the U.S., Michigan recently began addressing the problem of climate change through comprehensive mitigation action planning. The Michigan climate initiative involved combining a stepwise, fact-based, stakeholder decision process and technical analyses to formulate a consensus-based climate action plan. This paper reports on the results of work conducted by policy analysts and facilitators of the policy-making process in response to state government and stakeholder decisions on three key aspects. First is the choice of policy actions used to establish a comprehensive portfolio of actions and economy-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) goals and targets. Second is the design of policy instruments to use to implement these specific GHG mitigation actions. Third is the decision on whether the state should pursue its target for net GHG reduction through sector based policies and measures, a regional cap and trade program, or both combined. We summarize the results of applying a formal model for analyzing the implications of alternative environmental policies and instruments. The model was applied to data on the financial costs/savings and applicability of a spectrum of GHG reduction options developed by a consensus of stakeholders from all segments of the Michigan population. We conclude that a combination of sector-based measures and market incentive-based policies could attain a low cost, high co-benefit solution if Michigan joined with other Midwestern States in developing the cap and trade aspect of its climate action plan.

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Article detais:
Rose, A., Wei, D., Wennberg, J., & Peterson, T. (2009). Climate Change Policy Formation in Michigan: The Case for Integrated Regional Policies International Regional Science Review, 32 (4), 445-465 DOI: 10.1177/0160017609341381

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