Type: Public event

North American methane policy and "green bilateralism"

NAC climate policy (2020-21) paper release event


Barry Rabe, Debora VanNijnatten, Mark McWhinney, Patricia (Trish) Fisher, Heather Millar

Date & time

Apr 5, 2022, 4:00-5:00 pm EDT


This is a Virtual Event.

Join us for a conversation about the findings of three papers from 2020-21's North American Colloquium on climate policy. The authors of the following papers, dealing with the topics of "North American Methane Policy and 'Green Bilateralism,'" will present their key findings and take questions in a discussion moderated by Heather Millar (University of New Brunswick):

  • "Canada-US Green Bilateralism: Targeting Cooperation for Climate Mitigation" by Debora VanNijnatten (Wilfrid Laurier University) and Mark McWhinney (Carleton University)
  • "Methane Politics and Policy in North America" by Barry G. Rabe (University of Michigan)
  • "The 'Dark Horse' of Climate Change: Agricultural Methane Governance in the United States and Canada" by Patricia (Trish) Fisher (University of Michigan)

From the speakers' bios

Barry Rabe is the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Professor of Public Policy at the Ford School. He is also the Arthur Thurnau Professor of Environmental Policy, with courtesy appointments in the Program in the Environment, the Department of Political Science, and the School for Environment and Sustainability. Rabe examines the political feasibility and durability of environmental and energy policy, with a particular emphasis on efforts to address climate change in the United States and other nations. Rabe's research regularly considers political and policy issues in the context of federalism, including his 2020 Brookings Institution Press book, Trump, the Administrative Presidency, and Federalism, co-authored with Frank Thompson and Kenneth Wong. Rabe is also the author of Can We Price Carbon? (MIT Press), Greenhouse Governance (Brookings, 2010), Statehouse and Greenhouse (Brookings, 2004), Beyond NIMBY (Brookings, 1994), and When Federalism Works (Brookings, 1986). He is the recipient of four American Political Science Association awards in honor of his research and publications. This includes the 2017 Martha Derthick Award in recognition of the book on federalism and intergovernmental relations that has had an enduring impact for more than a decade. This award recognized Statehouse and Greenhouse, which previously won the Lynton Caldwell Award for its contribution to environmental politics and policy. Rabe is a non-resident senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Debora L. VanNijnatten is Professor in the Department of Political Science and North American Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is also on the faculty of the Balsillie School of International Affairs and a Research Fellow at the Laurier Center for the Study of Canada. Her research and publications have focused on transboundary environmental governance in North America, at the Canada-US, US-Mexico and continental scales. She has been an avid observer of Canadian and American climate policy, as well as Canada’s bilateral and international engagement on climate change mitigation. She is also studying shared surface and subsurface water management in the US-Mexico Rio Grande basin and the US-Canadian Great Lakes Basin. She is the co-author/editor of 5 books (including successive editions of Canadian Environmental Politics and Policy; Environmental Policy in North America: Approaches, Capacity and the Management of Transboundary Issues; and Climate Change Policy in North America: Designing Integration in a Regional System) and 50 articles and book chapters on various aspects of transboundary environmental cooperation.

Mark McWhinney is a Political Science PhD student at Carleton University. His research is focused on ameliorating science-policy interfaces between disparate research disciplines. In particular, he is interested in bridging gaps in Canadian defence procurement policy through the employment of climate scenarios and statistically downscaled modelling. He has worked on climate change issues through a bilateral cooperative lens, specifically focusing on carbon capture and storage as an undervalued means of reaching net-zero.

Patricia (Trish) Fisher is a graduate student at the University of Michigan pursuing dual master’s degrees public policy and public health. Trish’s research interests lie at the intersection of climate, food, and health policy; she is particularly interested in protein transition policy that centers climate justice and health equity. As a Research Assistant for the North American Colloquium on Climate Change, Trish conducts research on agricultural methane governance in the United States and Canada. Trish continues to consult with nonprofits and foundations, specializing in strategy development and business planning. Over the past seven years, she has consulted with hundreds of organizations including Meals on Wheels San Francisco, Skoll Global Threats Fund, and the California Department of Public Health. Trish has a BA in History and Middle Eastern & North African Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and studied abroad in Egypt and Lebanon.

Heather Millar, who will moderate the conversation, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of New Brunswick. Her research interests include Canadian provincial energy and climate politics; risk perception, policy learning and feedback; and social acceptance of new technologies. Heather is also affiliated with the Institute for Science, Society, and Policy at the University of Ottawa and the Environmental Governance Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. Heather has recently published research articles on provincial climate and energy policy in Environmental Politics, Review of Policy Research, and Policy Sciences.

North American Colloquium

This event is a product of the 2020-21 North American Colloquium (NAC) on Climate Policy, organized by the International Policy Center (IPC) at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy with generous support from the Meany Family Foundation, and co-sponsored by the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto and the Center for Research on North America at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. The objective of the NAC is to provide a forum that strengthens a wider North American conversation and more fruitful trilateral cooperation between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. Sign up here to stay informed about related events.