Influences on Adoption of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets among US States, 1998-2008


While the United States has not established federal regulations for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, many US states have adopted their own standards and guidelines. In this study we examine state adoption of targets for GHG reductions during the ten-year period of 1998-2008, and identify factors that explain variation in target adoption. Potential influences are drawn from research from the public policy formulation and diffusion literature, and from studies specific to climate policy adoption. Potential influences on GHG reduction efforts among US states include socioeconomic attributes of residents, political and ideological orientations of citizens and state government, interest group activities, environmental pressures, and proximity to other states that have adopted GHG reduction targets. The findings of the multinomial logistic regression analysis indicate that states are more likely to adopt GHG reduction targets if they share a border with another state with a similar climate program and if their citizens are more ideologically liberal. Other factors including socioeconomic resources and interest group activities were not found to be associated with policy adoption. The findings yield insights into the conditions under which states are more likely to take action to reduce GHG’s, and are relevant both to state policy makers and residents with an interest in climate planning, and for researchers attempting to estimate future greenhouse gas reduction scenarios.

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Cale, T. and Reams, M. (2013) Influences on Adoption of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets among US States, 1998-2008. Open Journal of Political Science, 3, 39-43. doi: 10.4236/ojps.2013.31006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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