How-to guide aims to grease the skids for climate legislation

If cities and states are shouldering much of the burden of fighting climate change, it’s important that they have all the resources they need to draft effective legislation for curbing carbon emissions. To that end, a pair of law school professors as published a set of policy ideas that state and local lawmakers can use to write laws: Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States.

From ThinkProgress’ write up of the initiative:

Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, and John Dernbach, director of the Environmental Law and Sustainability Center at Widener University, have published a 1,100-page compendium of policy ideas, and they are organizing lawyers across the United States to write laws based on the ideas laid out in the book  — laws that can then be distributed, ALEC style, to local, state, and federal lawmakers.

To help implement those policies, Dernbach and Gerrard, with the help of Richard Horsch, a retired environmental lawyer, are assembling a battalion of legal experts who will work pro bono to turn the recommendations into draft laws. And they are developing a website where those draft laws will be available for lawmakers to copy and paste.

The climate change legislation playbook is modeled on the strategy adopted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-wing policy organization that helps state legislatures enact industry-drafted legislation aimed at subverting environmental and other regulations. Here’s hoping the playbook proves just as effective in the hands those fighting climate change.