F&ES 979b / 2018-2019

Capstone: Sub-national playbook for significant greenhouse gas reductions by 2030

Credits: 3

Spring 2019: Th, 1:00-3:50, 301 Prospect

The recent IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels provided a stark warning of the future our planet faces unless we make dramatic and meaningful greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions by 2030 – approximately 45% reductions below 2010 levels.  In the United States, in the absence of leadership at the federal level, states, cities, and corporations must step into the breach if we have any hope of avoiding the most serious consequences of global warming. 
Students will work in teams to develop a policy playbook designed for a hypothetical new governor, mayor, and/or CEO who is committed to significant GHG reductions by 2030.  In this capstone experience, students will apply skills and tools learned from previous classes to develop and pitch implementable policies and programs in five major categories (corresponding to the chapters of the playbook): 
  • Electricity,
  • Buildings,
  • Transportation,
  • Materials management, and
  • Natural/working lands. 
Teams must evaluate and prioritize policies and programs based on their GHG reduction potential, costs, co-benefits (e.g., health, enhanced resiliency, job creation etc.), and feasibility of implementation. Each team must also address cross-cutting themes of equity, environmental justice, measurement/verification, potential conflicts between policies, life-cycle analysis, legal structures/governance, communication, and politics.
Limited to 15