The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions targets interdisciplinary research to problems as they arise to provide timely analyses of policy changes and their long-term implications. It's through our adaptability--and through the premium we place on collaboration--that we are finding opportunities to break down barriers to environmental progress. In this year's annual report, we describe three projects that blur the distinctions among our programs, bringing together teams that draw on whatever expertise best illuminates the problem and its potential solutions. Read about (1) a blueprint for converting the American West's prior appropriation water rights system into a water rights trading system that keeps water withdrawals within sustainable limits, generates diverse income streams, and improves environmental outcomes; (2) a project in the western and central Pacific Ocean to develop a strategy to ensure the world's last healthy tuna stocks will be maintained; and (3) an environmental justice effort that integrates three knowledge-gathering techniques to shape research questions and inform identification of policy mechanisms to address community-prioritized issues.
A study co-authored by Nicholas Institute faculty fellow Billy Pizer and published in the journal Nature Climate Change uses four integrated assessment models to produce metrics of Paris Agreement emissions reduction pledges. The study shows the variation in ambition across countries and the need for increased future ambition in light of climate goals. Cost savings are available through joint mitigation efforts, carbon price coordination, or both.
Former New Jersey Governor and former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator under President George W. Bush, Christine Todd Whitman will speak at Duke University September 7. The Nicholas Institute and the Sanford School of Public Policy will co-sponsor her talk on the role of nuclear energy in a clean and safe energy future. The talk will be moderated by William Reilly, EPA Administrator from 1988-1993 and chair of the Nicholas Institute Board of Advisors. The conversation begins in Sanford's Fleishman Commons at 5 p.m., and a reception will follow from 6-7 p.m. 

September 9, Durham, North Carolina
September 13, Atlanta, Georgia
The Role of Nuclear Energy in a Clean and Safe Energy Future: A Conversation with Governor Christine Todd Whitman
September 7, Durham, North Carolina
2017 Winter Forum: Power to the People: Tackling Energy Inequality Through Clean Energy Solutions
January 8-10, 2017, Durham, North Carolina
Analysis Examines Clean Power Plan Costs
The Clean Power Plan aims to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. Assuming it survives judicial review, the Clean Power Plan is likely to intensify the electricity industry's already-underway shift from coal-fired generation to natural gas and renewables generation. 

Watch the recording of Martin Ross, lead author of a new working paper, discussing how the Nicholas Institute's Dynamic Integrated Economy/Energy/Emissions Model was used to evaluate electricity industry trends and Clean Power Plan impacts on the U.S. generation mix, emissions, and industry costs. The analysis suggests that industry trends are likely to make Clean Power Plan compliance relatively inexpensive; cost increases are likely to be on the order of 0.1% to 1.0%. However, policy costs can vary substantially across states and may lead some of them to adopt a patchwork of policies that, although in their own best interests, could impose additional costs on neighboring states.
 Rutland Herald, Progress in Cutting Carbon
ClimateWire, Utility Experts Urge State Lawmakers to Continue Planning ($)

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
View our profile on LinkedIn
View our videos on YouTube