Air Quality and Climate Change as Integrated Policy - 1

Topics: Policy, Climate change, Air pollution Pages: 3 (934 words) Published: November 27, 2012
Environmental policies largely influence the way humans interact with the environment. Policies targeting air quality, namely the Clean Air Act, have been effective in lowering the emissions of pollutants; however climate change is still something that concerns some scientists, citizens, and policymakers. As such, the need for further progress is necessary. In order to make such progress policymakers may need to develop air quality and climate change policies through an integrative approach. Doing this, however, does not come without political, social, and scientific obstacles. Although there are obstacles to recognizing integrative approaches for policymaking, air quality and climate change may be addressed simultaneously, less costly, and more effectively by using such an approach.

Air quality and climate change are interrelated and, as such, policies should be developed through an integrative approach. The federal government’s approach to climate change policy has included only voluntary measures thus far. This conservative approach has failed to address climate change effectively (Dale, 2011). Policy making is both time- and cost-extensive. Therefore addressing air quality and climate change separately prolongs the policymaking process and increases the costs associated with that process. As greenhouse gas emissions affect air quality and climate change, an integrative approach to developing policies may result in timelier, less cost extensive policies that better address both issues.

Air quality and climate change are interrelated, thus policies that address both issues simultaneously may provide better health, economic, and environmental benefits. Air quality and climate change are influenced by common air pollutants. As such, focusing on one pollutant to improve air quality may increase or decrease other pollutants that affect climate change (Thambiran & Diab, 2011). The complex interaction between air quality and climate change makes it...
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