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Environment and Health in a Global Context

Understanding the effects of tradeoffs between the social benefits and costs of environmental protection is essential to designing good policy. Policy relevance serves as a guiding force behind all of IGCC’s work on the environment. Led by Research Director Joshua Graff Zivin, projects on sustainable fisheries, air quality, climate change, and other issues illuminate both the human and economic costs of environmental degradation.

The majority of this work focuses on the relationship between the environment, health, and human capital. Health and education lie at the core of human capital formation and are profoundly influenced by environmental quality; however, scientific evidence for how—and how much—factors such as rising temperatures and air pollution affect productivity and learning was scarce until recently. The UC-wide Climate, Environment, and Human Capital Working Group launched by IGCC in 2012 helped establish the agenda of this emerging field of inquiry.

Promoting Energy Innovation

Accelerating energy innovation is both a necessary part of climate change mitigation and a spur to economic growth, but a number of institutional challenges make such innovation particularly difficult. In this proposal for the Hamilton Project, Anna Goldstein, Pierre Azoulay, Joshua Graff Zivin, Vladimir Bulović propose three types of reform to the energy innovation system that build on lessons from pharmaceutical innovation.

Download the policy proposal