News Archive:

ERG Dan Kammen Interviewed in MCJ Podcast On Nuclear Energy, Carbon Pricing, and More

ERG professor Dan Kammen was featured in the latest episode of the My Climate Journey (MCJ) Podcast. Kammen discussed numerous topics, including the feasibility of carbon pricing in the US, the implications of switching a fossil fuel economy to a renewable economy, and much more.

“There’s no question that 100% renewables is possible. I’ve done a lot of research, my lab works on scenarios to get the U.S., China, Mexico, Kenya, Bangladesh, Morocco to 100% renewables. And in many cases where the technology mix is improving enough, the climate favors that you can do that. It’s also a case that we are not today ready to think about a solar and wind only world, but solar and wind plus storage, plus geothermal, plus potentially nuclear,” Kammen states.

Listen to the full podcast here.

ERG Alumnus Niklas Lollo on Improving Sustainability in the Apparel Industry

ERG Alumnus Niklas Lollo recently published his research paper, “Measurement without Clear Incentives to Improve: The Impacts of the Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM) on Apparel Factory Practices and Performance” on SocArXiv Papers. He discusses how the Facility Environment Module (FEM), an annual assessment of an apparel facility’s environmental management capabilities, could be improved to better the environmental performance of the apparel industry.

Read the full research paper here.

 

ERG Professor Kammen and Alumnus Zeke Hausfather on China’s Announcement of Ending CO2 Emissions

On a recent Scientific American article, ERG Professor Dan Kammen and Alumnus Zeke Hausfather was featured commenting on China’s sudden announcement to end CO2 emissions within 40 years. Both ERG affiliates discuss the significance of the commitment, since this pledge marks the first time China and its top political leader have made a long-term commitment to reducing emissions.

“Reaching that goal by 2060 will require a massive makeover of China’s economy… If they are serious about this, it is certainly the biggest climate news in the last decade in terms of what will bend down global emissions,” Hausfather said.

Read the full article here.

ERG Alumna Barbara Haya on the Ins and Outs of Carbon Offsets

In a recent Washington Post article, “How do carbon offsets work?”, ERG alumna Barbara Haya was quoted on the purpose of carbon offsets and how they potentially help reduce overall carbon emissions. The article discusses both the benefits and drawbacks of enforcing carbon offsets, and offers an in-depth look on their utilization.

“The whole purpose of offsets is to create a way for an individual or a company or a university to pay someone else to reduce emissions to cover emissions that they can’t reduce themselves,” Haya states.

Read the full article here.

ERG PhD Student Jose Lara Receives 2021 Siebal Scholars Award

ERG PhD student Jose Lara was recently awarded the prestigious 2021 Siebel Scholars Award by the Siebal Scholars Foundation. Lara’s new title as a Siebel Scholar demonstrates his ability as an exceptional student, and he is to join around 100 other top scholars to form the Siebel Scholars Foundation’s Class of 2021.

“‘Every year, the Siebel Scholars continue to impress me with their commitment to academics and influencing future society. This year’s class is exceptional, and once again represents the best and brightest minds from around the globe who are advancing innovations in healthcare, artificial intelligence, the environment and more,’ said Thomas M. Siebel, Chairman of the Siebel Scholars Foundation. ‘It is my distinct pleasure to welcome these students into this ever-growing, lifelong community, and I personally look forward to seeing their impact and contributions unfold.'”

Read the official press release here: Siebel Scholars Foundation Announces Class of 2021

ERG PhD Student Nancy Freitas Featured in New Webinar Series “Midday Science Cafe”

In the new virtual series “Midday Science Cafe” hosted by Science at Cal, ERG PhD student Nancy Freitas will be speaking in the upcoming episode, “Climate Change Solutions: Managing the Global Carbon Cycle”. The event will be taking place on Thursday, September 17th, 12pm – 1:30pm.

Freitas will presenting “how quantifying carbon dioxide and methane emissions released from deep lake sediments in the Arctic can improve Earth system models, advancing the quality of climate model projections.”

To register for the event here.

ERG Kammen on New Berkeley Study — “90% carbon-free electricity achievable by 2035”

In a new Berkeley study “2035 – The Report: Plummeting Solar, Wind, and Battery Costs Can Accelerate Our Clean Energy Future,” ERG professor Dan Kammen comments that its findings of the U.S. being able to achieve 90% carbon-free, “clean” electricity could become a reality.

“That goal – 90% carbon-free electricity by 2035 – can be achieved without increasing consumer electricity costs ‘at all,'” Kammen states. “Solar, wind, and storage costs have fallen so significantly that even conservative leaders, conservative states, districts, countries can legitimately look at renewables, and actually economically need to look at renewables, as their next purchases.”

Read the full article on Yale Climate Connections here.

ERG PhD Student Esther Shears on Improving Data Access and Equality

ERG PhD student Esther Shears recently published her work in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Her publication, titled “Improving data access democratizes and diversifies science”, focuses on how critical data access is for empirical research and the diversity of scientific research.

Shears shares a two-sentence summary from the abstract of what she found from her analysis, stating that “Scientists who start using Landsat data after access is improved tend to focus on previously understudied regions close to their home location and introduce novel research topics. These findings suggest that policies that improve access to valuable scientific data may promote scientific progress, reduce inequality among scientists, and increase the diversity of scientific research.”

Read the full paper here.

ERG Professor Isha Ray on the Reality of Drinking Water Monitoring in Rural India

ERG professor Isha Ray recently co-authored and published her research paper, “The reality of water quality monitoring for SDG 6: A report from a small town in India” on IWA Publishing. The paper features their study of microbial water quality in a small town (Alibag) in India, and focuses on the weaknesses of water quality monitoring and testing infrastructure.

“We show the practical limitations of monitoring for fecal indicator bacteria to meet SDG 6… We find that even when water quality monitoring and testing infrastructure is in place, low institutional capacity and the pressure to not ‘fail’ the expected water quality standards can result in the failure to accurately report bacterial water quality,” the paper states.

Read the full research paper here.

Kammen Responds to California’s Canceled Rolling Blackouts in AP News

ERG professor Dan Kammen was recently quoted in AP News regarding California’s power grid operator cancelling rolling blackouts. These scheduled widespread blackouts were averted after regulators warned that the electric grid would not have enough power to meet demands in the midst of a heat wave.

Kammen commented that the state needs to do more to store and sell clean energy sources, and he hopes this week’s blackouts will prompt officials to act.

“This is kind of a stress test on the system,” he said. “We have not built up enough of a smart enough system to take advantage of all the renewables we have in place.”

Read the full article here.