Equitable Transitions

Supporting equitable transitions to more sustainable and more resilient systems and operations

Governments and communities worldwide are working to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change on infrastructure and the people that depend on it. This requires transitioning the way infrastructure is designed, operated, and managed. It also necessitates a transformation of global energy systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate future climate changes. RAND recognizes that not all climate risk and not every climate solution is equitably distributed or provides equal benefits within and across communities. Thus, a core focus of RAND’s research is equitable transitions: ensuring that the individuals most impacted by climate change can also receive the benefits of climate action as energy and other infrastructure systems change to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change.

  • How Could the United States Incentivize Investors to Decarbonize the Economy?

    While mandatory climate-related disclosure may improve information and decisionmaking for investors, it alone is unlikely to accelerate investment in decarbonization at the rate needed. To motivate private investment in climate mitigation, policymakers could explore additional policies.

  • Equity Metrics for Climate Adaptation in the Electricity Sector

    In 2020, the California Public Utilities Commission adopted a ruling that requires utilities to assess communities' vulnerability to climate impacts and evaluate how climate adaptation efforts can promote equity. Researchers developed a set of context-specific equity metrics that Southern California Edison could build on and incorporate into its ongoing work toward climate adaptation.

  • Environmental Racism

    Past housing policies—such as redlining—have an enduring legacy on urban neighborhoods today, and have contributed to which communities enjoy more trees, less traffic, and better air quality, and which face hazards such as pollution, toxic waste sites, and flooding risk.

  • Incentivising Solar

    The U.S. energy landscape has changed markedly, and solar power is rapidly growing as a sector. This report provides an overview of the U.S. solar energy market, the changes it has undergone, and the challenges that lie ahead as the broader energy system evolves.

  • The Benefits and Costs of Decarbonizing Costa Rica's Economy

    Costa Rica set the ambitious goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050. An evaluation of the benefits and costs of its National Decarbonization Plan finds that under most plausible assumptions about the future, the plan would achieve or nearly achieve its goals and do so at a net economic benefit.

  • Developing Future Projected Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) Curves: Technical Report

    To support stormwater managers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and Virginia in adapting to climate change, this study updated intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves, a common tool used for stormwater infrastructure design, to reflect future climate changes.

  • A Scoping Literature Review on Indicators and Metrics for Assessing Racial Equity in Disaster Preparation, Response, and Recovery

    Disasters have the potential to exacerbate preexisting racial inequities. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency have made commitments to reduce social inequities, but frameworks, indicators, and metrics are needed for tracking progress toward equity goals.