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Study Quantifies Lobbying Influence on Climate Change Policy

Professor Kyle Meng studies the effects of political lobbying on likelihood of climate policy enactment

May 27 2019 UCSB Current

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Photo by Ella Ivanescu on Unsplash

For all the evidence that the benefits of reducing greenhouse gases outweigh the costs of regulation, disturbingly few domestic climate change policies have been enacted around the world so far.

So say UC Santa Barbara professor and economist Kyle Meng, and co-author Ashwin Rode, a former UCSB Ph.D. student now at the University of Chicago, in a paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

“There is a striking disconnect between what is needed to avoid dangerous climate change and what has actually been done to date,” said Meng, a professor at the Bren School and in the UCSB Department of Economics. One common explanation for that disconnect, he added, is that jurisdictions are reluctant to adopt climate policy when they can simply benefit from the reductions implemented by other jurisdictions.

However, say Meng and Rode, the political process that leads to climate change regulation can be a barrier to its own legislation.

“There is an increasing concern that this lack of climate action may be due to political influences,” said Meng, who is also a director at the Bren-based Environmental Market Solutions Lab (emLab). Lobbying between special interest groups and the legislators they target can decrease the chances of putting such policies into effect.

Read full story at: The UCSB Current

Credit: Sonia Fernandez