November 01, 2014

A Better Buildings Challenge for Indian Country

Dean B. Suagee

What are Indian tribal governments doing to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? I thought there might be some information to answer this question in the recently released National Climate Assessment. Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment (2014) (Assessment). The Assessment, available at, is an extensive collection of documents produced by a team of 300 experts, guided by a 60-member advisory committee, as authorized by the Global Change Research Act of 1990. Pub. L. No. 101-606 (16 U.S.C. § 2921 et seq.). Of its thirty chapters, most present information on the impacts of climate change. Five chapters focus on responses, including one chapter on mitigation. Chapter 27, “Mitigation,” says that, in the absence of comprehensive national climate legislation, “a variety of policies and measures that lower emissions are currently in place at federal, state, and local levels in the United States.” Assessment at 649 (2014).

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