The influences of power, politics and risk on US subnational climate action


Location: Galvin 115B


America’s recent loss of federal climate leadership emphasizes the important need for understanding drivers of US subnational climate action and inaction. The influence of power dynamics and politics on subnational climate action has largely focused on mitigation rather than adaptation.

The primary objectives of this study include: constructing indices to aid in predicting the influence of sociopolitical and economic conditions (power dynamics between public and private interests) on state and local climate action; assessing whether risk of climate impacts appears to motivate local climate action; and examining the influence of political party affiliation on state and local climate action. This study’s unit of observation is the city and the state, including 136 US cities and 33 states.

Dr. Rachel Gurney is a postdoctoral researcher at Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative. She holds a PhD in Environmental Sociology from Oklahoma State University. Sponsored by the Environmental Change Initiative Brown Bag Seminar Series.

Originally published at

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