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  • Fall 2009- Global Climate Change- Challenges and Options in North Carolina and Beyond

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Richard "Pete" Andrews, Professor of Public Policy and of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, UNC-Chapel Hill
Climate change poses major challenges and policy choices both for America and North Carolina. One such challenge is in determining what North Carolina can do--, and what makes sense for us to do-, to mitigate the rapid pace of global warming. How can we reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions before they do even more damage than is already inevitable? Another challenge is in determining how North Carolina can best adapt to the global warming that has already occurred and to its consequences, such as sea level rise, droughts, storms, and more. How can we make wise decisions to create a sustainable and productive economy in the context of these trends? A third challenge is deciding what policy changes are needed. North Carolina has already taken some initial policy initiatives, but what further steps are needed, and how will these work as the federal government now begins to create national policies to address these issues? How will these policies affect other important aspects of North Carolinians' lives-- businesses, households, local governments, and particularly people of modest income struggling with the effects of the present economic recession? How can effective climate policies be designed to serve these other needs as well?

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