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Organizing Federal Government to Address Climate Change
Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Panel photo -

Congressional and other proposals to address climate change assign new responsibilities to existing federal agencies and in some cases, suggest governmental reorganization or wholly new agencies. Some plans would move climate-related activities of the federal government well beyond those provided under the 1990 Global Change Research Act and embodied in the current Climate Change Science Program and Climate Change Technology Program.

For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may assume a large role in managing greenhouse gas emissions. Some Congressional proposals call for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to establish a “National Climate Service” modeled after the National Weather Service. Recently, several former government leaders have suggested merging NOAA and the U.S. Geological Survey into a combined “Earth System Science Agency” for managing new information requirements about the physical and socioeconomic dimensions of a changing climate and to support policy-related decision making. 

Our panel discussed how best to organize federal agencies for effective governance in addressing climate change, and covered regulation, diplomacy and international engagement, science and information, and economic policy.

Moderator: Molly K. Macauley, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future

Panelists include:

John H. Gibbons, former Director, White House Office of Science and Technonlogy Policy
William Hooke, Director, Policy, American Meteorological Society
Dina Kruger, Director, Climate Change Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Nigel Purvis, Visiting Scholar, Resources for the Future; and President, Climate Advisers
Michael Toman, Professorial Lecturer in International Economics at the Nitze School of International Studies, Johns Hopkins University


Video and Audio

Listen to Event Audio (MP3)



Event Agenda

Introduction:
Phil Sharp, President, RFF
   

Panel Introduction:
Molly Macauley, Senior Fellow, RFF
   
The role of government as a regulator in managing greenhouse gas emissons:
John H. Gibbons, former Director, White House Office of Science and Technonlogy Policy
   
The role of government in international climate diplomacy:
William Hooke, Director, Policy, American Meteorological Society
   
The role of government in climate change technology research and development:
Dina Kruger, Director, Climate Change Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
   
The role of government in climate information distribution:
Nigel Purvis, Visiting Scholar, Resources for the Future; and President, Climate Advisers
   
Coordination of government agencies in addressing climate change:
Michael Toman, Professorial Lecturer in International Economics at the Nitze School of International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
   
 Panel question and answer session    

At RFF’s monthly First Wednesday Seminar Series, scholars and experts exchange ideas and views with the RFF community on important energy, environmental, and natural resource topics.

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