Climate Change Adaptation: A Collective Action Perspective on Federalism Considerations
Although an extensive literature concerning the federalism implications of climate change mitigation policy has developed, less has been written about the
federalism issues arising from climate change adaptation policy. This article, published in Vol. 40 of Environmental Law, provides a framework for determining how to structure a policy to facilitate adaptation to climate change that assigns appropriate roles to all levels of government. The article addresses three questions. First, when is participation by the federal government in directing climate change adaptation policy appropriate? Second, should the federal government set a floor that requires participation, or at least conformance with federal requirements, by states and localities? Third, should the federal government ever displace state and local adaptation responses based on the threats they pose to federal interests? Collective action principles can assist in answering these questions and determining the proper institutional arrangements for dealing with climate change adaptation.