Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Environmental Economics Program

Environmental Economics Program

Pollution and development are encroaching on the world’s ecosystems and degrading the natural environment.

Unless market systems are in place to properly account for the true costs of society’s damaging effects on air, water and land, these problems may only get worse. Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Environmental Economics Program, along with partners at Duke and across the world, uses economic principles, methods and models to advance incentive-based solutions that improve the world’s natural environment and help meet human needs.

Public and private policy makers seek the program’s objective economics expertise to develop policies to address critical issues like how economic incentives to reduce tropical deforestation can be sustained over time, and whether renewable energy subsidies are meeting goals.

The program develops and applies several economic models to examine the environmental and economic consequences of energy policies. In addition, the team studies pricing mechanisms for the efficient use of natural resources, including cap-and-trade mechanisms for greenhouse gases, tradable rights to address overfishing and tiered pricing of residential water use. 



Carbon Pricing

Carbon pricing is a market-based method for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Governments implement carbon pricing in two main forms—a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax or fee.


Environmental Markets

Environmental markets are focused on a broad range of challenges—from reducing greenhouse gas emissions to providing incentives for the restoration and protection of forests to improving water quality.


Transmission and Power Markets

More than two-thirds of electricity customers in the United States are served by competitive wholesale electricity markets known as Regional Transmission Organizations.