News - Environmental Inequality

Alix Peterson Zwane, Ph.D., the first executive in residence with the James E. Rogers Energy Access Project at Duke University, discusses what brought her to Duke and how international aid and development can be better targeted to improve people’s lives while minimizing environmental impact.

Investments aimed at building the resilience of climate-vulnerable communities are falling woefully short—and the private sector is almost entirely absent, write Rania A. Al-Mashat (Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation), Jyotsna Puri (International Fund for Agricultural Development) and Jonathan Phillips (James E. Rogers Energy Access Project at Duke) in a blog post for NextBillion. To help enable this investment, the trio discuss an initiative to measure and monetize climate resilience in an effort to establish a "resilience credit."

World leaders—along with government officials, nongovernmental organizations, researchers and activists—gathered in Dubai for the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference to discuss ways to advance climate action. Experts from the Nicholas Institute attended the conference, released publications or announced initiatives tied to it and/or followed the proceedings closely.

At the eighth annual Energy Week at Duke, experts across diverse sectors shared insights on the global transition to clean energy. Hundreds of students, faculty, professionals and community members took part in the event series, which included a one-day conference in addition to panel discussions, a field trip, a business case competition and more.

One of eight student-led events during Energy Week at Duke, "Bringing the Transition Home: Energy Justice in NC," explored the origins of energy injustice in North Carolina and the importance of ensuring a clean energy future for all. The session was sponsored by the Nicholas Institute and the Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment (EDGE) at the Fuqua School of Business.

In a virtual Duke Forever Learning Institute session, an expert panel discussed the qualities of foundational to high-impact volunteering and considered how unintended consequences can stand in the way of making a difference. The panel included Kay Jowers, director of Just Environments, a joint project of the Nicholas Institute and the Kenan Institute for Ethics.

During Energy Week at Duke (Nov. 6-10, 2023), members of the university community will explore strategies for swiftly advancing an equitable clean energy transition. Organized by Duke students from diverse undergraduate and graduate degree programs, this year’s Energy Week events feature insights from industry and community leaders along with opportunities to compete, network and share ideas.

A photo exhibit at Duke's Kenan-Keohane Gallery spotlights the ongoing influence in the environmental justice movement of protesters who stopped a toxic waste landfill in Warren County more than four decades ago. “It’s important for the Duke community to understand the story of Warren County and other grassroots movements so that we can incorporate environmental justice into all of our sustainability efforts," Kay Jowers, director of the Just Environments program, told NC Health News.

The new Office of Climate and Sustainability brings together several of Duke University's climate, energy, and environmental assets—including the Nicholas Institute—to help advance the mission of the Duke Climate Commitment.

A peer-reviewed analysis led by Duke University researchers suggest municipal bond markets are mispricing climate and race risk at a large scale. Lead author Erika Smull, a 2022 Ph.D. graduate of the Nicholas School of the Environment, told ImpactAlpha the result is Black communities are less likely to be able to invest in climate resilience upgrades.