Energy and Environment

Featured

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.

  • Bio power plant with storage of wooden fuel, photo by Nostal6ie/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Uncertainty and Complexity: Biomass Can Help on the Path to Deep Decarbonization

    Feb 24, 2017

    While biomass will almost certainly never become the dominant fuel for the electricity sector in the United States, it is still worth including as part of a menu of greenhouse gas mitigation strategies.

  • The sun sets on Ice Camp Sargo during Ice Exercise 2016 at the Arctic Circle, March 8, 2016, photo by PO2 Tyler N. Thompson/U.S. Navy

    Report

    How to Maintain Arctic Cooperation with Russia

    Mar 2, 2017

    Despite tensions between Russia and the West, Arctic cooperation has remained intact. But America should prepare for changes that may alter Moscow's incentives. These include rising interest in Arctic resources and greater maritime access due to climate change.

Explore Energy and Environment

  • Vehicles on highway

    Journal Article

    How Can State Transportation Agencies Prepare for an Uncertain Energy Future?

    In what ways will the mandate, role, funding, and operations of state departments of transportation be affected by changes in energy supply and demand in the next 30 to 50 years? Different supply-and-demand scenarios will require robust decision-making techniques.

    Mar 3, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Why Chinese Discount Future Financial and Environmental Gains but Not Losses More Than Americans

    We examined differences between Chinese and Americans in discounting of future financial and environmental gains and losses.

    Feb 26, 2015

  • Flood waters from Hurricane Isaac partially submerge homes in Lafitte, Louisiana neighborhoods in August 2012

    Commentary

    Future of Coastal Flooding

    President Obama's executive order that directs federal agencies to plan and build for higher flood levels as they construct new projects in flood-prone regions will affect hundreds of billions of dollars of future public works projects. In an ideal world, planners would estimate the benefits and costs for each project, taking into account everything from the details of the local landscape to the potential for adaptive responses over time.

    Feb 25, 2015

  • Dissertation

    Competition and Collaboration: A Comparison of U.S. and Chinese Energy Outward Direct Investment

    Compares and contrasts the characteristics, current positions, and future trends of both the U.S. and Chinese energy outward direct investments.

    Feb 5, 2015

  • A road cuts through a forest on the island of Senja, north of the Arctic Circle in Norway

    Commentary

    Health Benefits of Addressing Climate Change

    Opponents of action to mitigate climate change often suggest that regulation could have a negative impact on jobs, but stakeholders need to consider benefits, too. For instance, lower emissions could produce savings in the form of lower health care costs, reductions in premature death, and greater well-being.

    Feb 4, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the gardens of Hyderabad House in New Delhi, January 25, 2015

    Commentary

    The Afterparade: No Breakthroughs — and That's Just Fine

    President Obama's visit to India last week was hailed in many quarters as a landmark event, perhaps signaling a new era of cooperation. In reality, the concrete takeaways were quite modest: there was no breakthrough on climate change, trade, or civil nuclear liability. But the trip should nonetheless be judged a success.

    Feb 2, 2015

  • nature, water, agriculture, green, garden, sprinkler, land, irrigation, irrigate, organic, system, plant, farm, field, vegetable, growth, crop, farming, gardening, fresh, food, sprinkling, mist, produce, spray, industry, industrial, wet, landscape, moisture, farmer, natural, health, summer, healthy, drop, grass, grow, outdoors, leaf, starch, biology, supply, irrigating, spring, agricultural, outdoor, vegetables, refreshing

    Report

    Developing Robust Strategies for Climate Change and Other Risks: A Water Utility Framework

    RAND researchers and collaborators present a comprehensive approach for water utilities to assess climate risks to their systems and evaluate adaptation strategies.

    Jan 28, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2015

    Blog

    State of the Union 2015: Clarion Calls on Terrorism, Cyber, Education, and More

    The agenda President Barack Obama outlined in his State of the Union address can perhaps best be characterized as broad, mirroring the range of diverse and emerging issues facing the U.S. in 2015.

    Jan 21, 2015

  • Saudi border guards patrol Saudi Arabia's northern border with Iraq

    Commentary

    ISIS Aims to Occupy Mecca

    As ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi reaches for control of the holy sites in and around Mecca and Medina and the wealth that comes with them, the U.S., NATO, and others should consider providing significant equipment and know-how to shore up the border defenses of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan.

    Jan 19, 2015

  • Forbidden City on a foggy day in Beijing, China

    Commentary

    China Can Fix Its Severe Pollution Problem

    China's economic transformation over the last three decades has produced potentially deadly air pollution its people inhale every day. But an investment of $215 billion annually could substantially reduce pollution, lessen its drag on productivity, spare the lungs of countless people, and save lives.

    Jan 19, 2015

  • Grandparents teaching their grandson how to play Xiangqi, Chinese chess

    News Release

    China's Aging Population Poses Challenges, but Changes to Health and Migration Policies Can Help

    While the rapid aging of China's population is thought to condemn the nation to a dismal future, past policies on education and new policies to improve health and foster internal migration could ease the challenges posed by an older citizenry.

    Jan 19, 2015

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin exchanges documents with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, December 22, 2014

    Commentary

    Can Eurasian Energy Compete?

    Cheaper oil, government interference, and market dynamics jeopardize the future of Russian and Caspian energy. To be globally competitive, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan should let the private sector play a greater role and make more decisions on commercial, rather than political grounds.

    Jan 16, 2015

  • Holding a tablet computer with a weather icon

    Report

    The Adoption of New Smart-Grid Technologies

    A smart grid for the United States could have large-scale benefits. There are technological, economic, and regulatory barriers, but new policies or changes to policy could help overcome them.

    Jan 15, 2015

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

    Report

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

    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.

    Jan 12, 2015

  • Aerial view of the Miami Beach seashore

    Announcement

    RAND Announces New Water and Climate Change Resilience Center

    RAND has established a new Water and Climate Resilience Center to address one of the most significant policy challenges of our time: How do we plan, build, and organize our societal systems to become more resilient to the unavoidable impacts of climate change?

    Jan 6, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Bringing Online in Line: Contribution to an Impact Assessment for the Delegated Act to Implement the Online Provisions of the Revised Energy Related Products Directive

    Objectives for the Delegated Act are directly derived from the Energy Related Products Directive, and specifically aimed at the online environment.

    Dec 29, 2014

  • City global warming concept art

    Project

    WCRC Helps Organizations Plan for Climate Challenges

    The RAND Water and Climate Resilience Center conducts policy research and develops innovative tools to support decisionmakers at all levels of government as they confront challenges presented by climate change.

    Dec 18, 2014

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands at the end of a news conference in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 12, 2014

    Commentary

    U.S.-China Global Warming Deal Could Signal Shift on Climate Change

    The U.S.-China agreement on limiting greenhouse gas emissions represents a significant and welcome shift in the international approach to addressing climate change. For the first time, a large developing country has agreed to limit its greenhouse gas emissions—a crucial step since these countries have become the world’s largest sources.

    Dec 9, 2014

  • A bulldozer is parked in the Queens borough of New York where a concrete foundation is all that remains of a house that burned to the ground during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012

    Report

    Lessons Learned from Implementing Infrastructure Resilience Guidelines

    The Presidential Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force developed guidelines to ensure that federal agencies incorporate key principles of resilience into their formulation, evaluation, and prioritization of infrastructure investments related to Sandy rebuilding. An initial assessment of the implementation of the guidelines identifies opportunities and challenges.

    Dec 9, 2014

  • The Mariannhill landfill site in Durban, South Africa

    Commentary

    In South Africa, Bold Investments Turn Trash into Treasure

    In South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province, investments made over the past 20 years have created a dump with a difference. Rather than being a blight on the neighborhood of Mariannhill, the state-of-the-art Mariannhill Landfill Conservancy is an asset.

    Dec 3, 2014