This article describes how local governments, through the clever application of existing land use techniques, can mitigate climate change. This strategic path follows one developed by Princeton professor Robert Socolow, who identified and described fifteen categories for organizing society’s climate change mitigation efforts. Five of Socolow’s strategic categories fall within the reach of local land use authority: reduced use of vehicles, energy efficient buildings, vegetative carbon sequestration, wind power, and solar power. Through the aggregation of these local land use techniques, significant energy savings and carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction can be achieved. After making some background points, this article describes how local governments are attacking the root causes of climate change and how state and federal policies can embrace local power, energy, and people to launch a coordinated attack on perhaps the greatest challenge our nation faces.
John R. Nolon, The Land Use Stabilization Wedge Strategy: Shifting Ground to Mitigate Climate Change, 34 Wm. & Mary Envtl. L. & Pol'y Rev. 1 (2009), available at http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/630/.