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Publications

Automated Extraction of Energy Systems Information from Remotely Sensed Data: A Review and Analysis

High-quality energy systems information is crucial for energy systems research, modeling, and decision-making. Unfortunately, actionable information about energy systems is often of limited availability, incomplete, or only accessible for a substantial fee or through a non-disclosure agreement. This systematic review explores remote sensing and machine learning for energy data extraction.

Developing a State-Level Natural and Working Lands Climate Action Plan

Natural and working lands—forests, wetlands, coastal, and agricultural lands—provide many benefits, including supporting key economic sectors, enhancing community resilience to hazards such as fires and floods, and contributing to climate mitigation by storing large amounts of carbon. This guide is aimed at states interested in developing plans for conserving, managing, and restoring these lands to preserve and enhance their benefits. The guide uses examples from North Carolina’s recently completed Natural and Working Lands Action Plan to walk through the planning process, helpful resources, and the tracking of plan implementation.

Climate Finance for Just Transitions

This paper investigates challenges in the international climate finance landscape through three issue areas: (1) aligning national climate strategies and international finance, (2) finding avenues for positive climate finance outcomes in an era of growing rivalry between Chinese and Group of Seven—particularly US—public financiers, and (3) reforming major climate finance practices and institutions to more effectively cater to the needs of LMIC stakeholders.

Guidebook for the Engaged University

The next phase of academic reforms must build toward the broad institutionalization of engaged scholarship, as demanded by students and the communities that surround and support universities. The Guidebook for the Engaged University gives the academy both a vision and a roadmap to a more impactful future, in which universities, including their scholars and staff, catalyze solutions for the world’s most pressing challenges.

Developing Key Performance Indicators for Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Planning

This document from the Resilience Roadmap project recommends a common approach to developing key performance indicators (KPIs) for climate change adaptation and resilience planning, drawing upon current science and tools referenced throughout. The work is particularly aimed to support climate adaptation and resilience planning by US federal agencies and thus presents principally US national-level data and online resources. The approach is broadly applicable across agencies, sectors, and systems and can also be applied by state or local planners and adaptation/resilience practitioners.

Proximity to Small-Scale Inland and Coastal Fisheries Is Associated with Improved Income and Food Security

Poverty and food insecurity persist in sub-Saharan Africa. The authors conducted a secondary analysis of nationally representative data from Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda to investigate how both proximity to and engagement with small-scale fisheries are associated with household poverty and food insecurity. Results suggest that households engaged in small-scale fisheries were less likely to be poor than households engaged only in agriculture. Households living in proximity to small-scale fisheries were more likely to achieve adequate food security and were less likely to be income poor, compared to the most distant households.

The Role of Taxes and Subsidies in the Clean Cooking Transition: A Review of Relevant Theoretical and Empirical Insights

Cost barriers are among the most significant challenges impeding progress toward use of clean cooking energy in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This brief discusses the role of subsidy and tax policies—levied on both the supply and demand side—in affecting progress toward universal access to clean cooking in LMICs. Also, combating a common myth among those opposing subsidies for clean cooking, the brief demonstrates that a “fear of spoiling the market” with such incentives finds little empirical support in the literature. Finally, the brief offers recommendations to policy makers. 

Building Climate-Resilient Communities for All: Suggested Next Steps for Federal Action in the US

Under President Biden, the federal government has made climate resilience a priority and has already committed more executive action, capacity, information resources, and funding to it than any previous administration. And yet, these historic efforts are not enough as the effects of climate change grow more intense across the United States and the world. This policy brief follows up on Resilience Roadmap’s original recommendations to suggest three catalytic steps for amplifying existing executive and legislative resilience-building actions.

Improving Rural Livelihoods, Energy Access, and Resilience Where It’s Needed Most: The Case for Solar Mini-Grid Irrigation in Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s levels of agricultural productivity and energy access are among the lowest in the world. Now Ethiopia is moving forward with the new Distributed Renewable Energy-Agriculture Modalities (DREAM) project to test distributed solar mini-grids as a solution for improving irrigation, increasing agricultural productivity and farmer incomes, expanding rural electricity access, and enhancing gender and social inclusion. This policy brief summarizes the approach, along with findings of an economic viability analysis examining how the solar mini-grid irrigation projects are likely to impact farmers' incomes at nine unique sites in rural Ethiopia.

Sea Level Rise Drives Carbon and Habitat Loss in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Coastal Zone

As the climate changes, marshes on the Atlantic coast will migrate inland and cause even more carbon to be released into the atmosphere, a new modeling study finds. Researchers developed a spatial model for predicting habitat and carbon changes due to SLR in six mid-Atlantic U.S. states likely to face coastal habitat loss. The modeling runs looked at land changes in coastal areas through the year 2104 in scenarios that predict intermediate sea level rise. In 16 out of the 19 runs of the model, inland marsh migration converted land from a net carbon sink to a net carbon source.