wind farm

Climate & Energy

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. It has and will continue to threaten  food security, human health, water availability, and economic activity around the world. Such an unprecedented problem requires innovative new solutions, through research and policy engagement. emLab’s Climate & Energy program approaches climate change using economic theory, big data, and cutting-edge empirical techniques to both understand the consequences of climate change and to design smarter and more equitable climate policies.  

Key Themes

person holding sign that reads "climate justice now" at a rally

Equity and climate justice

Climate change could exacerbate existing inequities, but the need for urgent climate action provides an opportunity to implement climate policies with built-in equity objectives that reverse existing disparities in pollution exposure, energy costs, and employment opportunities along economic, racial, gender, and other dimensions. Our projects aim to understand the distributional consequences of climate change impacts and policies, with the ultimate objective of designing equity-enhancing climate policies. 

Related Projects

group of men installing solar panels

Clean energy transitions

Inducing a major transition to clean energy is a prerequisite for any effective climate policy. But such transitions require large-scale shifts in innovation, how and where energy is produced, and where labor market opportunities reside. Effective climate policies must not only reduce carbon emissions, but must also minimize accompanying economic and social disruptions. Our work in this area focuses on the equity and labor market consequences of clean energy transitions.  

Related Projects

city with smog

Assessing climate risk

Climate change disrupts the natural, economic, and social systems we depend on. From food security to job stability and public health, the effects of climate change are far-reaching and often unequal, hitting some countries harder than others. Our research delves into this inequality, aiming to accurately measure environmental damages crucial for shaping effective climate mitigation and adaptation policies. We combine economics, remote sensing, data science, and climate science to quantify climate change impacts across the globe, with particular focus on identifying the populations that are most at risk.

Related Projects

The social cost of carbon

How are the benefits of new climate policies weighed against the costs of their implementation? Climate economists and scientists have created a value called the social cost of carbon in order to better understand the cost/benefit relationship of climate policies and regulations.

Find out how the social cost of carbon is calculated, how it should, perhaps, be calculated, and why the effort to quantify this value is necessary despite its imperfections with the help of two climate experts, Dr. Tamma Carleton of UC Santa Barbara and Dr. Bob Kopp of Rutgers University.

emLab Blog: Our 2 Cents

Related to

Climate & Energy, General
Climate & Energy, General

In the News

Related to

Timeless principles for better figure design

Gabriel Englander

World Bank Blogs

Professor Olivier Deschenes wins the Hicks-Tinbergen Medal

UC Santa Barbara Economics Department