The climate crisis has provoked a call for action from all sides. Private governance, public regulation, and individual behavior are all vital pieces of our path toward decarbonization and climate adaptation. Despite this, some scholars and policymakers argue that private environmental governance undermines public efforts to regulate climate harms. This paper draws on existing scholarship in law, policy, and psychology to answer these critiques, proposing four taxonomies of beneficial public-private collaboration on environmental governance. It then applies these models, tracking the shift in U.S. environmental legislation from “polluter pays” to “beneficiary pays” strategies to show a shift from rivalry to collaboration between public and private governance. Tracking examples of this shift, it analyzes the ways that the Inflation Reduction Act and Draft Federal Acquisition Regulation demonstrate the potential of public-private climate partnerships. Finally, it analyzes similar collaborative approaches in international law to show that rather than a “race to the bottom,” the interaction of public and private governance can form virtuous cycles that have the capacity to increase decarbonization efforts across sectors.
Recommended CitationElodie O. Currier, Virtuous Cycles: The Interaction of Public and Private Environmental Governance, 40 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 526 (2023)
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pace.edu/pelr/vol40/iss4/1