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Michael Levi on Climate Change

Interviewee: Michael A. Levi
Interviewer: Toni Johnson
January 25, 2008

Many environmental experts say they are waiting for the next administration in order to move forward with climate change policy. Michael Levi, director of the CFR’s program on energy security and climate change, says most of the presidential candidates have some sort of climate policy agenda. However, he says those agendas focus on domestic policy and “have been relatively thin on the international front.” He also notes “the sort of legislation that’s been percolating in Congress is almost certain to move through regardless of who the next president is.” Levi argues the next president is going to need a strong domestic approach to climate change to be credible internationally but has a complicated challenge. “There’s been too much focus on particular approaches whether it’s the UN framework or cap-and-trade system and not enough on what countries are actually going to do and how strong their commitments are,” Levi says. “That needs to be the bottom line.”

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