Multilevel Environmental Governance
Show Less

Multilevel Environmental Governance

Managing Water and Climate Change in Europe and North America

Edited by Inger Weibust and James Meadowcroft

The literature on Multi-level governance (MLG), an approach that explicitly looks at the system of the many interacting authority structures at work in the global political economy, has grown significantly over the last decade. The authors in this volume examine how multilevel governance (MLG) systems address climate change and water policy.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 7: Bottom-up versus top-down: the evolving American climate policy odyssey

Barry G. Rabe


Three of America's most prominent political leaders gathered in May 2009 on the White House lawn to announce an intergovernmental pact on climate change. President Barack Obama declared a new agreement on vehicle fuel efficiency and tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide, establishing stringent new national standards intended to reduce American greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger beamed his consent, as this step represented the formal federal government embrace of legislation passed seven years earlier in Sacramento and later backed by 14 other states. Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm was also on hand to endorse the deal, even though her state had earlier opposed the efforts of other states to go into the federal courts to seek such a decision. This tableau underscores the fact that climate change policy has increasingly - and unexpectedly - assumed an intergovernmental dimension. This is true in formal federations such as the United States as well as for other governments around the world that foster some degree of cross-level governance. Of course, this challenges much conventional analysis, as climate change was long framed as anything other than an intergovernmental issue. Since its initial arrival on both the international and American domestic agendas in the 1970s and 1980s, climate change has been commonly presumed to entail a dominant role for major national powers that would cobble together a multinational pact to be implemented by an international regime.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.