Energy and Environment

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RAND energy and environmental analyses examine the implications of existing and proposed energy policies on the environment. Building on a long history of policy research, RAND helps balance the need for environmental protections and economic development.

  • Environmentalists hold a banner which reads in part, "For the Climate," near the Eiffel Tower during the World Climate Change Conference 2015, photo by Mal Langsdon/Reuters

    Commentary

    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.

  • A man wearing a mask looks up as he walks on a street on a foggy day in Bozhou, China, January 30, 2013, photo by China Daily/Reuters

    Report

    How Can China Reduce Its Air Pollution, and How Much Will It Cost?

    Jan 12, 2015

    Air pollution has been one of the most harmful consequences of China's last three decades of economic transformation and growth. China must address its air-pollution problem soon, but approaches to improve air quality come at a cost.

Explore Energy and Environment

  • Journal Article

    Reinvigorating the Scenario Technique to Expand Uncertainty Consideration

    Scenarios are widely used for long-term climate and energy analysis. However, in the great majority of studies with a handful of scenarios or scenario categories, both scenario developers and users capture only a subset of future uncertainties.

    Feb 4, 2016

  • People wearing masks walk in front of a statue of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong on a hazy day in Shanghai, December 26, 2013

    Commentary

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

    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.

    Jan 18, 2016

  • U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington, January 12, 2016

    Blog

    State of the Union 2016: Insights on Obama's Last Address

    RAND research, analysis, and expertise provide context for many of the issues discussed in President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address, including the threat of ISIS, global climate change, and bringing peace to Syria.

    Jan 13, 2016

  • Report

    The Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) and Proposed Wilderness Areas: Issues Affecting the NTTR's Land Withdrawal Renewal

    This research seeks to help the U.S. Air Force understand the implications for future operations in the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) of Desert National Wildlife Refuge land that overlaps the NTTR and is also proposed wilderness.

    Jan 12, 2016

  • Testimony

    The Role of Oil in ISIL Finances: Addendum

    Document submitted on January 6, 2016 as an addendum to testimony presented before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on December 10, 2015.

    Jan 6, 2016

  • A Super Scooper aircraft battles a 40-acre fire east of the Sepulveda Pass in Los Angeles

    Commentary

    Wildfires Getting More Destructive

    The potential for smoke to harm air quality and cause health problems was especially acute in 2015 because a record number of wildfires broke out in the United States. Pre-wildfire season preparedness could go a long way toward protecting public health.

    Dec 28, 2015

  • Pumpjack and oil refinery plant in West Texas

    Commentary

    What Will Happen After the Oil Export Ban Is Repealed?

    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.

    Dec 22, 2015

  • Participants are seen in silhouette as they look at a screen showing a world map with climate anomalies during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, December 8, 2015

    Commentary

    Paris Gets the (Decision) Science Right

    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.

    Dec 18, 2015

  • Environmentalists hold a banner which reads in part, "For the Climate," near the Eiffel Tower during the World Climate Change Conference 2015

    Commentary

    COP21: Ambition and Momentum

    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.

    Dec 17, 2015

  • t-call-experts-hr

    Multimedia

    RAND Experts on the Paris Climate Change Accord

    RAND experts discuss the agreement adopted in Paris at the COP21 summit and discuss what comes next.

    Dec 17, 2015

  • The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp passes the guided-missile destroyers USS Cole and USS James E. Williams on its way to the pier in New Orleans, Louisiana

    Commentary

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

    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.

    Dec 16, 2015

  • New Orleans, Louisiana, photo by Pattie Steib/Fotolia

    Content

    Findings Shared from Study on Economic Impact of Louisiana Land Loss

    RAND researcher Craig Bond presented a report on the economic impact of land loss in Louisiana to a Governor's Advisory Commission.

    Dec 16, 2015

  • Barrels of fuel are displayed inside a damaged, non-functioning petrol station in Aleppo, Syria, January 13, 2015

    Testimony

    The Role of Oil in ISIL Finances

    Sales of oil and refined oil products are the most important single source of recurrent revenues for ISIL. Targeting ISIL's oil loading facilities and heavy trucks can weaken the group, but this alone will not lead to its demise.

    Dec 10, 2015

  • The bones of a bowhead whale, a food source and cultural icon of the native Inupiat peoples who have lived in Alaska for centuries

    Commentary

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

    In September, a relatively new kind of storm, made possible due to larger swaths of ice-free Arctic Ocean, battered Barrow, Alaska, washing away chunks of coastline, threatening businesses, houses, and the freshwater supply. While mitigation efforts are necessary on a macro level, adaptation measures are needed now for such Arctic communities.

    Nov 30, 2015

  • Syrian refugees at Al Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, November 1, 2015

    Report

    How the Syrian Refugee Crisis Can Improve Jordan's Outlook

    Syrian refugees might benefit the Jordanian economy by stimulating growth. Donors and lenders have increased their support to Jordan, in turn offering the government an opportunity to improve the lives of both refugees and Jordanian citizens.

    Nov 30, 2015

  • A man applies a sticker which reads 100% electric next to the logo of the upcoming COP21 Climate Change Conference on a Nissan LEAF electric car in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, November 16, 2015

    Commentary

    COP 21 Not a Silver Bullet on Climate Change

    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.

    Nov 24, 2015

  • Dissertation

    Improving Energy Security for Air Force Installations

    Develops a methodology and tool that will allow installation commanders and energy managers the ability to evaluate the cost and effectiveness of various energy investment options.

    Nov 23, 2015

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    Journal Article

    The Effect of Near-Term Policy Choices on Long-Term Greenhouse Gas Transformation Pathways

    This paper introduces a new agent-based, game theoretic model designed to compare how near-term choices regarding alternative policy architectures influence long-term emission reduction trajectories.

    Nov 23, 2015

  • The coastline in the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru

    Commentary

    Ensuring Robust Water Management Strategies in Lima-Callão, Peru

    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.

    Nov 16, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Embedding (Some) Benefit-Cost Concepts Into Decision Support Processes with Deep Uncertainty

    This paper argues that new approaches exist that can help reduce the tension between the benefits of providing useful, scientifically based information to decision makers and the costs of aggregating uncertainty and differing values into single best estimates.

    Nov 13, 2015