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Off the Shelf: Vivian Thomson’s Book Maps Out Climate Change Policy

May 30, 2014
  • Vivian Thomson, “Sophisticated Interdependence in Climate Policy: Federalism in the United States, Brazil, and Germany.” Anthem Press.

In her new book, Vivian Thomson, associate professor of environmental sciences and politics at the University of Virginia, offers a framework for climate change policy in the U.S., acknowledging the crucial role of coherent state and federal regulations in a nation of regions with often disparate political, cultural and economic contexts.

“Sophisticated Interdependence in Climate Policy” frames state-national Clean Air Act partnerships so as to intertwine climate protection, energy security, fiscal discipline, renewable energy, environmental justice and energy diversification while integrating constraints and opportunities faced by the states into the plans approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She also connects domestic actions with those in Germany and Brazil, powerhouse countries that also have federal systems.

“Cross-country comparisons can stimulate new ways of thinking and help foster international collaboration,” she said.

Thomson was a member and vice chair of the State Air Pollution Control Board in Virginia between 2002 and 2010, an appointee of Virginia Govs. Mark Warner and Timothy Kaine, and also has been senior air pollution policy analyst at the EPA.

On Monday, the EPA is announcing draft regulations under the Clean Air Act that will set the stage for the 50 states to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from electric power plants.

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