"Despite the doom and gloom you sometimes hear, the U.S. federal government is not helpless to address climate change. There are many actions that the Executive Branch can take, even without help from the Congress,” said Jeff D. Colgan, Director of the Climate Solutions Lab and the Richard Holbrooke Associate Professor of Political Science at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Presidential leadership must drive these 10 recommended policy changes. The report urges the United States to make changes domestically, collaborate and coordinate with foreign allies, and apply appropriate pressures to persuade reluctant foreign actors to engage. Colgan co-authored the October report with Fred Shaia, a Ph.D. student and Presidential Fellow in the Department of Political Science at Brown University, after extensive discussions with nationally-known climate change experts at Brown University and across the country.
Because former Vice President Joe Biden has issued the most assertive climate change plan in U.S. history – surpassing efforts by President Barack Obama – the report recognizes the Biden campaign’s climate commitments and proposes 10 additional recommended actions. Regardless of who wins the election, Colgan said, “The report contains recommendations that Democrats and Republicans can work together on, such as a climate club that commits to deliver a carbon emissions tax, which has gained support on both sides of the political aisle.” To that end, the report will be sent to Congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, Biden climate policy advisors, and nonpartisan think tanks such as Brookings, American Enterprise Institute and the Niskanen Center. It provides a timely and meaningful roadmap for the next president to implement and enforce climate change solutions.