As part of the Public Administration Review's (PAR) symposium on Climate Change and Public Administration, Matto Mildenberger published a commentary on the political benefits of inefficient climate policies. Matto argues that, instead of uncritically enacting climate policies with the least marginal costs, policymakers must consider how climate policy options shape the relative political strengths of different actors over time. As he writes:
"Our atmosphere makes no distinction between a molecule of carbon dioxide released by a coal-fired power plant in Wyoming or by a rainforest fire in Brazil. Yet, the choice to target Wyoming coal or Brazilian deforestation has substantial political repercussions: decisions about who should bear the cost of climate mitigation today reshapes who will have political voice during future rounds of climate policymaking."
One counterintuitive result of this research: policies that are inefficient in the short-term may ultimately produce stronger pro-climate coalitions, and consequently stronger climate policy, over the long-term.
To read Matto's full commentary, please click here.