Common Tragedies

Thoughts on Environmental Economics

Organizing deckchairs

Posted by Danny Morris on December 3, 2008

Hey all,

It the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for the First Wednesday Seminar here at RFF. This one is particularly interesting and timely, especially if you’re really into federal organization and action on climate change. Let’s be honest, who isn’t into that type of thing? I’ll eventually write more about this topic, but for now, if you’re looking for something to do from 12:45 to 2:00, check out the webcast here. The formal description goes something like this:

Organizing Federal Government to Address Climate Change

Congressional and other proposals to address climate change assign new responsibilities to existing federal agencies and in some cases, suggest governmental reorganization or wholly new agencies. Some plans would move climate-related activities of the federal government well beyond those provided under the 1990 Global Change Research Act and embodied in the current Climate Change Science Program and Climate Change Technology Program.

For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may assume a large role in managing greenhouse gas emissions. Some Congressional proposals call for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to establish a “National Climate Service” modeled after the National Weather Service. Recently, several former government leaders have suggested merging NOAA and the U.S. Geological Survey into a combined “Earth System Science Agency” for managing new information requirements about the physical and socioeconomic dimensions of a changing climate and to support policy-related decision making.

Our panel will discuss how best to organize federal agencies for effective governance in addressing climate change, and will also cover regulation, diplomacy and international engagement, science and information, and economic policy.

Moderator: Molly K. Macauley, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future

Panelists include:

John H. Gibbons, former Director, White House Office of Science and Technonlogy Policy
William Hooke, Director, Policy, American Meteorological Society
Dina Kruger, Director, Climate Change Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Nigel Purvis, Visiting Scholar, Resources for the Future; and President, Climate Advisers
Michael Toman, Professorial Lecturer in International Economics at the Nitze School of International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

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