Table of Contents
Climate change is no longer an illusion in the minds of many people, down from the poor ones in any society to the most complex super rich ones. Climate change is currently considered as the dreaded threat to the survival of any living species in the universe, and America has not escaped from the wrath either. Therefore, if urgent actions to remedy the situation are not taken by enforcing the policies that seek to stabilize the climate variations, not any summit or conference will be useful in the future. In fact, America now has to act more aggressively and hesitate (Seskin et.al. 1983).
The term ‘climate change’ has been conceived differently from different fronts. However, all these forces conform to a general definition by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). According to UNEP, climate change is considered in terms of the overall statistical properties and times. That is when there is a significant variation in statistical properties of the climate occurring over a relatively longer period of time; then, climate change has occurred. Significantly, this definition is more articulate, as it enables countries to assess any fluctuations in their environment, so as to take appropriate actions. More importantly, changes that happen over short periods of lea than decades cannot be considered as climate change (Newman, P. A. et.al. 2006).
In recent development made by scientists all over the world, climate change has been narrowed to mean changes in climate, as caused by the human activities. This latest development dispels assertions linking the climate change to Earth’s natural processes; hence, the change is purely taken as a function of human activities. The anthropogenic global warming causing jitters all over the world is a manifestation of the human activity (Seskin et.al. 1983).
In line with the already mentioned definitions of climate change, America, as a country, has been forced to make policy adjustments and formulations in order to remain relevant in handling the climate issues for the better of Americans and the entire world. To do this, my department has come up with a policy to reduce greenhouse gas Emissions. This policy dubbed “Fundamental Reduction of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions” is the only way to tackle the escalating rise in temperature levels in the United States, as well as in other countries of the world. There are scientific proofs all over the world linking emissions of the greenhouse gas to the global warming; therefore, reducing such gases is inevitable, if America is to succeed environmentally (Zerbe et.al 1999).
In handling the reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions, it is to be recognized that America is one of the major emitters of the dreaded gas. This means that the heavy effects of the global warming facing the less developed countries of the world are purely not because of those countries’ actions, but because of the actions of the more industrialized nations like America. The less developed countries do not have the kinds of industries in the US emitting so much gas into the environment, but instead, continue to suffer from something they are not responsible for. Therefore, for America to continue commanding respect in the whole world, it has to take appropriate actions immediately. This is the whole essence of this proposed policy to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, and hope every stakeholder who feels for the environment to be involved in its implementation (World Bank 2000).
Influence of Congress, Judiciary and other Government Agencies on the Policy
As it was mentioned above, implementation of this policy is excessively intensive, and many stakeholders have to be brought on the board for it to succeed. Indeed, the policy has significant effect on corporate world who are the owners of large industries, and they can do anything to oppose its implementation just for them to continue rocking in billion profits. Therefore, congress, more specifically, is to be at the forefront at ensuring that the bill safely secured against the corporate influence. Corporate influence on the policy could be through lobbying of senators and governors to oppose to it in the floor of the house, or make changes, so that it looks friendly to them. The congress, therefore, has to live to its true sense and ideals and rise above any malpractice (Steven et.al. 2006).
Congress has to be monumental for this policy to succeed, just as in any other policy of the United States. First of all, for the implementation to kick off, congress has to give it a nod by passing it in the house. This is because, being the legislative body of the government, nothing becomes a law, unless congress approves it. In this regard, the supremacy of the congress is inevitable and the government through the president should do everything possible for congress to pass this landmark policy. The work of the congress is not just limited to legalizing the policy, but also introducing the necessary subsidiary legislations that would give it thumbs up. Lastly, for the implementation to be effective, resources are needed to effect that implementation. This is another area where congress is highly critical. It should vote for the sufficient amount of resources necessary for the entire implementation plan (Steven et.al. 2006).
Next on the implementation protocol is the judiciary. It is the common knowledge in any democracy that judiciary is the epicenter of the policy implementation. This is because any policy formulated will have to rub shoulder with other forces, as it is implemented. This is where the judiciary comes in for this policy of the greenhouse gas reduction. For instance, the policy recommends dire penalties for those industries that fail to comply with the regulations to reduce gas emissions. Such stringent penalties have a direct correlation to court decisions; hence, courts should be on high alert to the issue judgments that are just environmental (Sullivan, 2007).
The implementation of the policy cannot be completed before involving in the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA has one crucial program for the successful and whole implementation of this policy; Partner Network. It important to note that up-to-date knowledge on the patterns of current climate change is necessary for its relevancy. Environmental protection agency that has been in the field for quite long should, therefore, be incorporated fully to provide such knowledge. Again, as one of its functions, EPA was legally instituted to integrate communication among state decision makers on climate and energy issues. It, thus, has a responsibility of providing sound information and linking various government departments on issues of climate concern (Sullivan 2007).
Evaluation of Influence of Political Parties, Interest Groups and the Media
Political parties serve as an important vehicle through which policies are given expedition and analysis. In America, governments are, first of all, political parties with manifestos and ideologies. As such, political parties with sound policies admired by the electorate are elected to form the government. What this means is that, political parties will have to weigh critically the policy in terms of its benefits and downfalls against their chances of forming the next government. Should they realize that the policy has got the ability of boosting their chances of being elected, they obviously will stick to it. Despite political parties’ always weighing the balance, this policy has got every kind of benefits to the future generation of America, if the country is to remain sustainable. Political parties should, therefore, be at the forefront fighting for the implementation of this policy and not to negate it (Environmental Protection Agency, 1992).
The influence of media on any policy cannot be undermined. For the public to acquaint themselves with the policy, the media has to be at the forefront. People learn new issues, as well as their implications majorly through the media. Debates on the same policies are much more lively articulated through the media, such as Facebook, twitter, print media, televisions, radio among others. It is to be noted that media has the capacity to create the negative aspersions concerning the policy, and if not properly dealt with, it might have too much damage on the reputation of the policy. Mostly, industrialists with huge billions are also the major owners of most of the media houses. They, therefore, have the capacity to use such influence to derail the implementation of the policy by engaging in media attack on the policy (Environmental Protection Agency 1992).
Just as the media, interest groups cannot be left out in having influence in the policy implementation. In America, there are many interest groups that have been at the forefront of fighting for the environment. Such groups encompass NGOs, religious organizations, civil society groups among others. These organizations have been instrumental even beyond America, as they fund many other non-governmental organizations overseas in tackling the environment degradation. Indeed, this policy is a reprieve to them, and it is expected that they will resonate well with the policy. On the same note, there are other interest groups allied to the industrial owners and are not likely to take lightly the policy implications on their business. Such groups are likely to give strong resent to the policy. However, it should be remembered at all times that issues of environment does not only affect the consumer of industrial commodities, but even the industries themselves are at risk in the near future (Tietenberg 1985).
Strategies and Options
Having in mind the likely influence from the above groups, several strategies have to be devised to ensure that the challenges the group poses are defeated. The first strategy would be for the White House to mobilize for the congress support. Since everything begins with the congress, it is prudent that the president tries all means possible to secure the congress support. This has formidable advantages, such as: ensuring support from all states through their representatives; ensuring a unified voice in the house in giving the effective legislation concerning the policy. It is to be recognized that seeking the congress support will not go without disadvantages. For instance, it is likely to consume a lot of time that at time won’t be necessary, hence, delaying the implementation.
The second strategy is for the government to organize the crucial meetings with the stakeholders involved, who are mostly industrial owners. This has significant advantages. Firstly, it is to be recognized that these industrial owners play a crucial role in the overall American economy. They create jobs; source of government revenue and should be treated with a lot of precaution. The major advantage of it is that it brings impeccable conformity between the real people affected with the policy. Secondly, it makes possible for the government to understand the insight of these crucial players in American economy, helps in making comprehensive decisions that take into account all interests. However, the major obstacle in articulating this option rests on the fact that the industrialists might have fixed mentality supported by the heavy investment they have made. Hence, such meeting might be futile and even consume more time than expected, while America needs to act now.
Looking critically on the pros and cons of the strategies proposed above, the bottom line is to try to move with everyone on the board. So, moving with the congress which is the author of all America’s legislations is the best way forward. Congress protects the interests of all people of America, including the owners of industries that might be at logger head with the policy. Therefore, it is inevitable that various congressmen and women will first of all consider the interests of people they represent, including industrialists.