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Life Cycle Assessment and the U.S. Policy-Making Context

Cohen, Steven Alan

Environmental policy makers use life cycle assessment (LCA) to reduce scientific uncertainties about the environmental impact of technologies and products. However, the structure of the U.S. policy-making system often acts as a roadblock to the use of LCA outputs in decision making. This chapter discusses specific characteristics of the U.S. political system, which often make uncertainty-reducing assessments like life cycle assessment fall in a decision-making context: the incremental nature of the U.S. policy-making system; the place-based nature of environmental politics in the United States; and the uncertainties associated with the most environmental and scientific challenges.


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Also Published In

Emerging technologies: socio-behavioral life cycle approaches
Pan Stanford

More About This Work

Academic Units
Earth Institute
Published Here
September 30, 2015