Infrastructure Resilience and Environmental Policy

JIE's Infrastructure Resilience and Environmental Policy Program (IREP) conducts research and analysis for federal, state, non-profit, and private-sector clients on the impacts of urbanization and other stresses. This includes research on infrastructure development, infrastructure financing, energy policy, urban planning and the role of public-private partnerships, transportation policy, climate response, mitigation and adaption, environmental sustainability, and water resources management and coastal protection.

Selected News & Publications

  • China Has Done More About Pollution Than You Think (But It Must Do More)

    Jan 18, 2016

    It is not obvious from recent headlines, but China's central and local governments have done more to curb the nation's air pollution over the past two years than casual observers may realize.

  • What Will Happen After the Oil Export Ban Is Repealed?

    Dec 22, 2015

    Without the crude oil export ban, producers could sell their product abroad without discounting it, and the Gulf Coast refineries could specialize in the heavier oil for which they are optimized. On the whole, the global refining industry would likely enjoy efficiency gains.

  • Paris Gets the (Decision) Science Right

    Dec 18, 2015

    The framework for the Paris negotiations is in sync with what science tells us about how to make effective public policy decisions. This alone makes them historic and may provide a model for both local and global action on more than climate alone.

  • COP21: Ambition and Momentum

    Dec 17, 2015

    Negotiators in Paris achieved a historic breakthrough by adopting a fundamentally different, and likely more effective, institutional framework to address climate change. It builds on two concepts missing from past attempts to forge a global treaty: voluntary participation and adaptive policymaking.

  • Climate Change Is a National Security Issue, but Not for the Reasons You Think

    Dec 16, 2015

    All U.S. policy decisions can and should be guided by clear evidence. Climate change policy is no exception. The United States should focus on addressing the clearest vulnerabilities, such as securing coastal defense infrastructure.

  • It's Getting Harder and Harder to Live on Top of the World

    Nov 30, 2015

    Climate change has hit the Arctic hard, and communities like Barrow, Alaska, bear the brunt of it. Adaption measures will be essential to protect these vulnerable communities, as well as mitigation on a macro level.

  • COP 21 Not a Silver Bullet on Climate Change

    Nov 24, 2015

    The Paris climate conference cannot provide the engine that will drive a solution to the world's climate change challenge. Rather, it can best serve as a mediator that will help guide and structure the swirling, bottom-up process of radical change that is the best hope of preserving Earth's climate.

  • Ensuring Robust Water Management Strategies in Lima-Callão, Peru

    Nov 16, 2015

    Water resource agencies around the world are grappling with how to make smart investments to ensure long-term water reliability at a time of unprecedented water stress, growing demands, uncertain climate change, and limited budgets.

  • Current and Future Flood Risk in Greater New Orleans

    Oct 20, 2015

    Since Hurricane Katrina, efforts to improve coastal defenses have significantly reduced the flood risk for New Orleans, but that risk may increase in the future unless levees are maintained or further upgraded.

  • Adapting to a Hotter World

    Oct 2, 2015

    Because climate change is largely irreversible, mitigation alone won't solve the problem. While mitigation will prevent even greater, future climatic changes, adaptation — efforts to adjust to climate change's effects — will prepare the world for a new set of living conditions, whatever they may be.