Earlier this year, Professor Stephen R. Miller's co-edited book, Contemporary Issues in Climate Change Law and Policy: Essays Inspired by the IPCC, was published by the Environmental Law Institute. His essay included in that volume, The Local Official and Climate Change, was recently selected for re-publication in the most recent edition of the Environmental Law Reporter. Here is the abstract of the essay:
This essay seeks to provide a way to make the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment accessible to the U.S. local official. The chapter also places a special emphasis on issues facing local officials in fast-growth U.S. cities that have yet to establish a concerted response to climate change. The chapter first investigates how the IPCC can provide a common language for cities to talk about climate change as a global problem and, in particular, discusses several sections of the Fifth Assessment of interest to local officials. The chapter then investigates how the Fifth Assessment can provide a framework for working through the institutional problems that can cause local governments to fail in addressing climate change. While politics will always play a role in the effectiveness of governmental responses to climate change, the Fifth Assessment provides a much-needed framework for discussing how the functioning of government itself can serve also as an impediment. Perhaps the most succinct statement to this effect in the Fifth Assessment is that “[o]vercoming the lack of political will, restricted technical capacities, and ineffective institutions for regulating or planning land use will be central to attaining low-carbon development at a city-scale.” This essay uses this framing statement of the Fifth Assessment in investigating both global problems facing local officials and those that are specific to local officials operating under the U.S. land use legal rules.