Democracy: What Next on Climate?

July 5, 2011

Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center, is one of five experts highlighted in the Summer 2011 edition of Democracy.  The article "What Next on Climate?"  captures a roundtable discussion on the state of climate policy following Congress' failure to pass cap-and-trade and prospects for the future.

See the full version of the article at

A short excerpt from Arroyo's comments is below:

"I think I can paint an optimistic view, especially listening to businesspeople who are really doing great things in terms of promoting efficiency and renewables in electricity, or transportation, with investment in hybrids and plug-ins.  Looking at that, we really could be in a different place in 2021.


"We work with a lot of governors, because our center is focused on states' activities.  And if you look at the leading governors who have really stepped up on these issues, it's been more bipartisan than we've seen here in Washington.  They're closer to the impacts.  They're the ones who are having to declare states of emergency with unprecedented frequency.  Washington Governor Chris Gregoire talks about climate change and the fact that she's having floods and fires.  Same thing with former Governor Schwarzenegger, a Republican.  The fire season is now year-round in California, and its coasts are also vulnerable."

"But these leaders could these concerns with a message of opportunity.  Maybe some groups stopped talking about the science because it can leave people feeling overwhelmed and helpless.  If you look at these skillful politicians, they talk about the fact that you can address this problem while investing in a new energy economy that proves more homegrown sources of power that are safer and can create jobs."