Center for Climate Strategies Catalog of Policy Options

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Climate Mitigation Actions

U.S. states play an important role in contributing to global solutions to climate change because of their size and their ability to formulate effective responses. State policies resulting from these plans have been compiled here: State Policy Tracker [updated 1/25/10].

State climate action plans—a product of intensive stakeholder and technical work group collaboration—are designed to reduce state greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through a wide range of specific policies and programs in the following categories:

Energy Efficiency and Conservation
Clean, Advanced, and Renewable Energy Supply
Transportation and Land Use Improvements
Forest and Farm Conservation
Waste Management
Industrial Processes Improvements

A typical climate plan has 40 to 70 actions that are combined into a balanced and comprehensive “portfolio” that covers all sectors and uses a combination of implementation methods, with elements of both traditional and innovative policy mechanisms:

Codes and Standards
Market-Based Systems
Funding and Technical Assistance
Reporting and Disclosure
Voluntary Agreements
Information and Education Programs
Other Methods

Policy actions in the portfolio are adopted and integrated over time through administrative or legislative action at the state, regional, or national level. Together, they achieve the desired level of emissions reductions that are best suited to the unique economic circumstances and needs of each state. To see what states have done more specifically, please see our track record. CCS maintains a catalog of more than 300 policy options that states have undertaken for a variety of reasons, including emissions reductions. For further information, feel free to contact us directly.

Climate Policy Integration To work most effectively, policy actions in different economic sectors and levels of government must be integrated. In addition, because many actions that reduce greenhouse gas pollution may be implemented for reasons other than climate protection (such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transportation improvements), it is important that they be integrated with actions designed specifically for climate policy. This is true, for instance, of market-based systems such as cap-and-trade that may require or benefit from companion policies and measures at the state or federal level in each of the economic sectors in order to address specific market barriers. For instance, programs to support energy efficiency through demand-side management may address “split incentives” or fragmented markets that discourage demand-side market participation in supply-side policy incentives. As the nation develops comprehensive approaches to climate policy, it will be important to address economic, governance, and environmental issues through various types of policy integration.


  1.  "Center for Climate Strategies"