Beyond Bush: Environmental politics and prospects for US climate policy

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The United States was a pioneer in domestic environmental lawmaking, and it was a leader in international environmental cooperation in the final decades of the last century. During the current decade, however, it has moved away from cooperating with other states in finding new ways to protect the global environment. While its early efforts to address climate change were no worse, and often better than, other developed countries, it has fallen far behind as a number of European states and the European Union have started to implement robust policies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. This chapter recounts this evolution in US policy from environmental leader to environmental laggard. It summarizes the US climate change-related policies and diplomacy, recounting significant events during the presidential administrations of George HW Bush, Bill Clinton and George W Bush. It then extends this summary of events to assess the prospects for US climate policy in the near future. Copyright © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)966-971
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


Harris, P. G. (2009). Beyond Bush: Environmental politics and prospects for US climate policy. Energy Policy, 37(3), 966-971. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2008.10.042


  • Climate policy
  • United States
  • Environmental politics
  • Global warming
  • International environmental cooperation


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