Peter Cannavò

In an essay titled "Getting around anti-Democratic obstacles to addressing climate change," Professor of Government Peter Cannavò explains how a fundamental problem in our system of governance stands in the way of enacting climate change legislation. Published on Dec. 7 in The Hill, the op-ed outlines the public support that exists for taking necessary action to address climate change.

At the same time, Cannavò points to the structural challenges posed by the Electoral College and other “anti-democratic institutions make it difficult to translate growing national concern about climate change into actual legislation. … the Senate and the Electoral College give disproportionate influence to less populated states and conservative, rural white voters, many of whom are employed in resource extraction and tend to oppose environmental regulation.”

Cannavò offers possible solutions President-elect Biden might employ. “The deep institutional hurdles facing Biden’s climate agenda are not going away. In the end, his best approach may be to expand the playing field to the states and localities and also take the fight to where the opposition seems greatest.”


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