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Analysis of State Climate Action Plans: What Influences States to Adopt

  • Yaroch, Ethan
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2024
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
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Federal-level policies aimed to address and mitigate the effects that will arise from climate change have become an extremely polarizing issue in the United States. Given this policy stalemate, individual states have stepped up to address the national-level shortcomings by publishing state-level Climate Action Plans (CAPs). CAPs mainly consist of emissions mitigation goals and other non-binding policy initiatives that provide a basis for future compulsory legislation. This paper examines whether party identification in the state legislature, public opinion, susceptibility to the risks associated with climate change, and proximity to neighboring states with published CAPs influence states to adopt CAPs. Employing a logistic regression model, I find that state legislature party identification is the only variable that significantly impacts determining a state's likelihood to adopt CAPs. While CAPs are largely symbolic proposals, states looking to publish comprehensive binding policies to address climate change can utilize the results of this study as a basis to determine the best course of action a state without a CAP can take to publish one.

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