A historical analysis of US climate change policy in the Pan-American context

  • Erin C. Pischke
  • Barry D. Solomon
  • Adam M. Wellstead


The problem that climate change poses globally is being addressed locally through the use of diverse policy responses in many countries. Following its five-decade history of environmental policy making in the USA, the country has employed a particular mix of different renewable energy policy instruments, or tools, in order to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and replace fossil fuels with renewably sourced energy. We analyze and compare renewable energy policies and policy instruments from 2000 to 2016 for Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico with the USA, to determine what makes the USA unique in its robust approach to climate policy and reflect on the time periods when policy making has been the most active. We found that the most often used regulatory instruments in the USA to achieve its climate policy goals have been Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements implemented at the state level, with federal climate mitigation policy being contested.


Renewable energy Climate change policy Historical policy analysis Pan-America 


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© AESS 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erin C. Pischke
    • 1
  • Barry D. Solomon
    • 1
  • Adam M. Wellstead
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA

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