Rethinking Environmental Federalism in a Warming World Nov 19, 2012 By William Shobe Rethinking Environmental Federalism in a Warming World Climate change policy analysis has focused almost exclusively on national policy and even on harmonizing climate policies across countries, implicitly assuming that the harmonization of climate policies at the subnational level would be mandated or guaranteed. We argue that the design and implementation of climate policy in a federal union will diverge in important ways from policy design in a unitary government. National climate policies built on the assumption of a unitary model of governance are unlikely to achieve the expected outcome due to interactions with policy choices made at the subnational level. In a federal system, the information and incentives generated by a national policy must pass through various levels of subnational fiscal and regulatory policy. Effective policy design must recognize both the constraints and opportunities presented by a federal structure of government. Furthermore, policies that take advantage of the federal structure of government can improve climate governance outcomes. Climate Change Economics Climate Change Economics Areas of focus Environmental Policy William Shobe William Shobe is a professor of public policy at the Batten School and the Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Studies at UVA’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. Shobe's current research includes emission market and auction design, environmental federalism, improved economic modeling of Virginia’s economy, state economic development incentives and state economic forecasting. Read full bio Related Content William Shobe Emerging Issues in Decentralized Resource Governance: Environmental Federalism, Spillovers, and Linked Socio-Ecological Systems Research Federalism as an academic discipline studies how multilevel political jurisdictions interact, both vertically and horizontally. Environmental federalism shifts and expands the focus by concentrating on environmental goods, which are related to ecosystem services. This shift necessarily expands the inquiry to include investigation of how ecosystem services respond to changes in resource management by human governance institutions. From Zero to Hero?: Why Integrated Assessment Modeling of Negative Emissions Technologies Is Hard and How We Can Do Better Research Efforts by the United Nations and others to develop a coordinated global response to climate change rely heavily on an ensemble of Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) to make projections linking human activities to climate outcomes (IPCC, 2014, 2018). IAMs are coupled models of the global economic and climate systems, first developed to represent fossil fuel emissions from the energy system (Reister and Edmonds, 1977), and later expanded to include land use change and forestry emissions, as well as non-CO2 emissions (Di Vittorio et al., 2014). Shobe: Net-zero emissions by 2050 are achievable, affordable in Va. News In an article for The Virginian-Pilot, Batten's William Shobe writes that with careful planning and policy design, decarbonization in the Commonwealth is achievable by 2050. Earlier this year, Shobe and his colleagues at UVA’s Energy Transition Initiative released the state's first study to analyze the actions needed to reach this goal. Batten Professor Tells Northam That Decarbonization By 2050 is ‘Achievable and Affordable’ News As part of the Virginia Clean Energy Summit on Tuesday, Batten professor William Shobe outlined how it is feasible for Virginia to “decarbonize” the state’s economy by 2050.