Although a coordinated national policy on climate change should be developed, initiatives at the local government level through the land use planning and regulatory control processes have tremendous potential to dramatically contribute to the reduction of green house gas emissions, leading to a reduction in the carbon footprint and ultimately to a more sustainable environment. Part I of this article discusses opportunities for using the comprehensive land use planning process to address sustainability and provides examples of how this is being accomplished across the country. Part II mentions the growing number of state and local climate action plans (and cross-references a forthcoming article from the Houston Environmental & Energy Law and Policy Journal that details current developments in this area). Part III focuses on addressing emissions through the use of environmental impact reviews, and Part IV highlights how sustainability is being addressed through zoning and other land use regulations. Part V examines how green building standards are addressing sustainability, and Part IV illustrates how storm water and landscaping initiatives are also being employed to accomplish these goals.
34 Wm. & Mary Envtl. L. & Pol'y Rev. 121 (2009).