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A Madisonian Approach to Climate Policy

Author: David G. Victor, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Science and Technology
September 2005


After years of gridlock and indecision, serious efforts to slow the greenhouse express are finally taking hold. Unlike the integrated global scheme envisioned under the Kyoto Protocol, progress is arriving via fragmented and multispeed efforts. The decentralized system is akin to the messy federalism that James Madison embraced in the U.S. Constitution. Whereas Madison foresaw individual states becoming "laboratories" for political innovation, this global federalism of climate policy has emerged through innovation within nations, regions, and individual firms.

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