Events & Media

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



"Overlapping Policies for Renewable Energy:
Is the Whole Less than the Sum of its Parts?”

Carolyn Fischer
Senior Fellow, Associate Director
Center for Climate and Electricity Policy

Resources for the Future

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"Carolyn Fischer is a leading environmental economist focusing particularly on energy and the environment. We are lucky to have her visiting Bren for the entire winter quarter." - Charles Kolstad, host

Since the energy crisis in the 1970s and more recently the growing concern about climate change, policymakers at all levels of government and around the world have been enthusiastically supporting a wide range of incentive mechanisms for electricity from renewable energy sources. Motivations range from energy security to environmental preservation to green jobs and innovation, and measures comprise an array of subsidies to mandates to emissions trading. But do these policies work together or at cross-purposes? To evaluate renewable energy policies, one must understand how specific policy mechanisms interact with each other and under what conditions multiple policy levers are necessary. In this talk, Fischer will review some of the recent environmental economics literature on the effectiveness of renewable energy policies and the interactions between them, with a focus on the increasing use of tradeable quotas for both emissions reduction and renewable energy expansion.

Carolyn Fischer's research focuses on policy mechanisms and modeling tools that cut across environmental issues, from allowance allocation in emissions trading schemes to wildlife management in Zimbabwe. In the areas of climate change and energy policy, she has published articles on designing cap-and-trade programs, fuel economy standards, renewable portfolio standards, energy efficiency programs, technology policies, the Clean Development Mechanism, and the evaluation of international climate policy commitments. A current focus of her research is the interplay between international trade and climate policy, options for avoiding carbon leakage, and the implications for energy-intensive, trade-exposed sectors. In renewable energy, she is investigating the effects of such overlapping policies as subsidies, portfolio standards, and emissions regulation on environmental and innovation outcomes. In areas of natural resources management, her research addresses issues of wildlife conservation, invasive species, and biotechnology, with particular emphasis on the opportunities and challenges posed by international trade.

NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


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