Richard B. Norgaard is professor of energy and resources at the University of California, Berkeley. Norgaard currently is a member of the Independent Science Board of the Delta Stewardship Council in California, a lead author of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and a member of the United Nations Environment Programme’s International Panel on Sustainable Resource Management.

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Worldwide, there is a growing consensus that strong action is needed to reduce carbon emissions. European Union (EU) governments have begun large-scale policy initiatives to do so; the United States lags behind but has finally begun a serious debate about proposals for climate legislation. Yet at their best, both EU and proposed U.S. policies …

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