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Leah C. Stokes and Hanna L. Breetz

In the absence of federal action, states and cities in the United States have taken a leadership role in addressing the climate crisis, attempting to drive carbon emissions reductions. In this chapter, we review subnational policy actions across four areas: states pricing carbon; state-level low-carbon electricity policies; state-level low-carbon transportation policies; and city-level climate mitigation policies. After reviewing the major policies in each of these areas, we also discuss the weaknesses in current state and city approaches to climate change mitigation. We argue that while these subnational actions are laudable, they are insufficient. In fact, many states are failing to act at all. Interest group opponents and partisan polarization are both impeding progress at the subnational level. We conclude with a series of open research questions on state and local climate action in the United States.

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Jeff Feng, Matto Mildenberger and Leah C. Stokes

Over the past decade, thousands of community environmental leaders and indigenous land rights activists have been assassinated. There is an urgent need for the research community to document the full scale, logic, and effects of these human rights violations. In this chapter, we first explore diverse literatures on ecological human rights, indigenous environmental justice, and violence. We then outline our research priorities for future work on this topic: first, new work to study the meso-level logic of violence against environmental activists; second, the development of new datasets to document the scope of this violence; and third, a sustained focus on intersectional analyses of the impact of this violence, particularly on women.