Environmental Regulation


Environmental regulations attempt to protect public health and the environment from pollution by industry and development. RAND research has sought to develop methods for collecting interpretable, quantitative information about the costs and benefits of environmental regulations in areas where compliance imposes a financial burden, awareness of the health risks of noncompliance is lower, and officials are less trusting of the data on which regulations are based.

Explore Environmental Regulation

  • High voltage power lines


    Policy Options for Better Service Outcomes from the Future Electric Grid: A Stakeholder Symposium

    This symposium's goal was to identify important policy questions related to the present and future electric power grid system. This convening aimed to identify problem areas that could benefit from stakeholder-driven objective research.

    Apr 18, 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


    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

  • 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


    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


    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

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    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

  • 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


    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

  • Report

    Quality of Life Indicators and Policy Strategies to Advance Sustainability in the Pearl River Delta

    Proposes a system of quality of life indicators and identifies policy options to improve quality of life in the Pearl River Delta, a region of Guangdong Province in southeastern China.

    Nov 6, 2015

  • The humanoid robot AILA (artificial intelligence lightweight android) operates a switchboard during a demonstration at the CeBit computer fair in Hanover, Germany, March, 5, 2013


    How to Overcome the Risks of Artificial Intelligence

    The warnings and promises of artificial intelligence aren't new, but advances in technology make them more pressing.

    Oct 22, 2015

  • Global climate change visualization


    Adapting to a Hotter World

    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.

    Oct 2, 2015

  • Cooling towers of a nuclear power plant


    Overcoming Obstacles to Advanced Nuclear Reactor Technologies

    If nuclear fission is to play a big role in the future of the U.S. energy supply, a more cost-effective type of nuclear power plant must be commercialized. But there are barriers to commercializing next-generation nuclear reactors. How can policymakers overcome them?

    Aug 31, 2015

  • Residents do morning exercises at a park on a hazy day in Shenzhen, Guangdong province February 12, 2015


    China at Home: Marrying Prosperity and Well-Being

    As China strives to sustain its upward economic trajectory, it must also address its domestic problems—such as air pollution and the challenges presented by its aging population—if its people are to share fully in the rewards of economic development and expansion.

    Aug 21, 2015

  • Engineer looking at factory emissions


    Climate Targets: Values and Uncertainty

    Policymakers know that the risks associated with climate change mean they need to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. But uncertainty surrounding the likelihood of different scenarios makes choosing specific policies difficult.

    Aug 11, 2015

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


    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

  • Forbidden City on a foggy day in Beijing, China


    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

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


    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

  • Dissertation

    The Political Sustainability of Carbon Control Policies in an Evolutionary Economics Setting

    Analyzes the long term coevolution of market structures, technological change and government institutions.

    Sep 29, 2014

  • EPA administrator Gina McCarthy announces steps under the Clean Air Act to cut carbon pollution from power plants during a news conference on June 2, 2014


    New Coal Plant Rules Need Sustained Support to Succeed

    Stopping climate change will require the U.S. and the rest of the world to virtually eliminate emissions over the course of the 21st century. Getting anywhere close to zero emissions demands sustained political and public support, driven by an energy production sector given enough incentives.

    Jun 30, 2014

  • Report

    Links Between Air Quality and Economic Growth: Implications for Pittsburgh

    This report assesses what evidence exists for the ways in which local air quality could influence local economic growth and how those effects might be relevant to the Pittsburgh region.

    Dec 20, 2013

  • illustration of cars, trucks, buses, and helicopter traveling in a city


    What Mobility Might Look Like in the U.S. in 2030

    Mobility — the ability to travel from one location to another — may look very different in the United States in the year 2030. Three key drivers differentiate possible scenarios: the price of oil, the development of environmental regulations, and the amount of highway revenues and expenditures.

    Oct 28, 2013

  • depiction of fast-moving traffic at night


    Scenarios Examine Future of Mobility in the United States

    What might one expect for the future of mobility in the U.S. in 2030? A six-step scenario development process resulted in two thought-provoking scenarios that address this question, and three key drivers differentiate the scenarios: the price of oil, the development of environmental regulation, and the amount of highway revenues and expenditures.

    Oct 24, 2013