Write a three page memo that will inform your client (an executive of a compnay) about the implications of different approaches for the U.S. to implement and address climate change.
Memo Section Details
The memo should be written in memorandum format and divided into three sections: a background section, a policy process analysis section, and a policy recommendation section. Begin each section by offering your client a foundational understanding of the issue before moving into details and analysis.
Background Section: The Policy Problem
This section should introduce climate change as a policy topic. In one or two paragraphs provide your client with a brief overview of climate change as an environmental problem and how human activities are implicated in causing it.
Next, offer a quick stakeholder assessment for the issue. That is, give some indication whether there are lots of stakeholders or just a few and whether stakeholder interests are very similar or wildly different.
To conclude this section, offer a policy position for your fictitious client. This goal is your choice, and this position must make sense with the recommendation in the last part of your memo. For example, if you are writing for an environmental advocacy organization, your client would probably be in favor of a climate change policy. If you are writing for a client with a vested interest in the fossil fuel industry, your client?s position may be different, such as hostile to or skeptical about climate change. That said, you are free to be creative in the policy position you assume as long as you make it clear that you addressing your client?s needs.
Policy Process Analysis Section: The Cap-and-Trade Option
This section is the meat of your memo. Its policy analysis focuses on policy outputs, instruments, and venues.
The first part of this section should discuss the focal option for the memo, a cap-and-trade approach to reducing carbon emissions. Provide a brief overview (one paragraph) explaining what cap-and-trade means as a policy approach. Use the readings listed below, as well as material from previous units and other credible materials that you find online.
The second and third parts of this section are the most important components of the entire memo.
The second part of this section should be a review of the cap-and-trade approach. Your goal in this section is to explain the implications of cap-and-trade by characterizing it as a policy instrument. To do so, you should survey in the articles you read online.
There are numerous instruments and approaches that you could discuss. Select enough of them to help you make your point in this section and to set up your recommendation in the final part of this memo. To aid your recommendation, you should go beyond describing the options and also provide some indication of the kind of stakeholders who prefer them and why.
In the final part of this section, discuss the implications of a cap-and-trade as an approach. Use ideas about policy outputs and venues (i.e., policy stages and institutional actors) to structure your discussion. Work toward answering this question: How could a cap-and-trade program be put into place? To offer an explanation, review the ways that climatechange policy could be approached at different stages in the policy process. Do this in three parts:
? First, begin your analysis by offering your reader a brief, orienting description of the policy stages. That is, give a brief overview of the policy process.
? Second, review the key institutional stakeholders (e.g., Congress, administrative agencies, the
President, the courts, etc.) and the outputs that they could produce. Link these ideas to stages in
the policy process. (Hint: keep in mind that there is only a loose fit between institutional
stakeholders and policy stages.)
? Third, use these two sets of ideas to explain the venues you might ?shop? to take action. For
example, you could argue that a particularly strong approach would be to focus on the ?Policy
Formulation? stage and lobby Congress to pass new legislation outlawing all carbon-based fuel
burning. Alternatively, you might argue that your client could focus on the ?Policy Evaluation?
stage by using a lawsuit against the U.S. EPA in the hope that the Courts will charge EPA with a
failure to regulate carbon emissions adequately under the Clean Air Act.
Keep this in mind: the goal of this section is to introduce and describe a number of options so that you can make a recommendation in the last part of your memo. Your goal should be to offer a balanced representation of options. You do not need to be exhaustive, and you do not need to indicate clearly which one you are going to recommend. However, think strategically here and prepare your client for your recommendation.
Conclusion: Policy Recommendation
Conclude your memo by providing a recommendation to your client. You should begin by reviewing your client?s goal (i.e., the one you chose in the first section) and by repeating your description of cap-andtrade as a policy instrument. Then explain the venue you recommend and the implication in terms of the institutional stakeholder and policy output involved. Be sure to provide a justification for your recommendation, and try to be as specific as possible.
Use the below online sources for your memo. There are numerous other resources online as well, and you are welcome to use as many as you want. Just be sure to include a list of your sources as an appendix to the memo.
? Website: Brookings Institution – A US Cap and Trade System to Address Global ClimateChange
? Website: American Enterprise Institute – Climate Change: Caps versus Taxes
Feel free to browse these two web sites broadly for other pieces on climate change as an issue or cap and trade as an instrument.
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