Do Climate Change At-Risk States Generate More Renewable Energy?
Smith, Andrew Villard
As the risk of climate change grows across the planet, reducing greenhouse gases will become increasingly important. However, damage from climate change is not felt equally across the U.S. Some areas feel the effects of it much more harshly than others. Using fixed effect regressions for the years 2001 to 2014, I estimate the relationship between renewable energy production and storm damages associated with climate change at the state level. My hypothesis tests whether states that are at risk due to the effects of climate change produce more renewable energy. I find that states that states with higher levels of damages from storms linked to climate change do produce more renewable energy, on average. In testing my hypothesis I also examined which state level policies have the biggest impact on renewable energy production and conclude that the Mandatory Utility Green Power Option is an effective program in producing renewable energy. I propose that states that are directly impacted by climate adopt this policy to help reduce greenhouse gases and potential future damages.