News Archive:

New Research From ERG Alumnus Frank Errickson Connects Animal-based Foods With High Climate Costs

ERG alumnus Frank Errickson recently published research on Nature, “Animal-based foods have high social and climate costs”, quantifying the climate costs of animal-based agricultural greenhouse gas emissions at a regional level.

“Global food supply chains sustain a population of more than 7.8 billion people but produce over 26% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Nearly 80% of these emissions are attributable to livestock production, and projections suggest that this sector’s contribution to climate change will increase as populations grow,” the research states.

Read the full paper here.

ERG Alumna Laura Moreno Studies the Staggering Reality of Food Waste

ERG alumna Laura Moreno was recently featured on the California Magazine for her research on understanding food waste in the United States. Her study, which surveyed Nashville, Denver, and New York City, found that Americans throw out the equivalent of around $218 billion of food every year.

“The Bureau of Labor statistics estimates that the average American family spends $7,700 on food annually, $1,500 of which is discarded. The most wasted foods are fruits, veggies, and then leftovers and prepared foods,” she states.

Read the full feature on Moreno’s work here.

Equity Matters in Calculating the Social Cost of Methane ERG Professor Anthoff and Alumnus Errickson Find

ERG assistant professor David Anthoff and alumnus Frank Errickson recently published a report on Nature finding that “by accounting for economic inequalities between countries and regions, the social cost of methane drops by almost a factor of 10 in sub-Saharan Africa and jumps by almost a factor of 10 for industrialized countries, such as the United States.”

“President Biden’s action represents a much-needed return of science-based policy in the United States,” Anthoff states. “Devastating weather events and wildfires have become more common, and the costs of climate impacts are mounting.”

Read Anthoff’s and Errickson’s full feature in the UC Berkeley Rausser College of Natural Resources’ page here.

ERGies Jess Kersey, Annelise Gill-Wiehl, and Hilary Brumberg Awarded NSF Fellowships & Honorable Mentions

Congratulations to ERG Master’s student Jess Kersey and PhD student Annelise Gill-Wiehl for receiving the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP), and newly admitted student Hilary Brumberg for an Honorable Mention! The NSF GRFP “recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.”

Lean more about the NSF fellowship here.

Berkeley Lab and ERG Dan Kammen Agree That Electrifying Trucking Proves To Be More Cost-Efficient

In a recent Daily Cal article, ERG professor Dan Kammen was featured discussing a study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finding that commercial trucking is capable of undergoing major electrification. The researchers determined that “not only is electrifying regional and long-haul trucks a possibility, but it could offer a cost-effective energy supply for the commercial trucking sector. They also found that electrification could aid efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions,” the article states.

“Electrified vehicles are just simply much cheaper to own and operate,” Kammen states in the article. “And it means that the path to zero carbon is just further clarified.”

Read the full article here.

ERG Alumni Deshmukh, Phadke and Professor Callaway Suggest India Double Down on Renewables

ERG alumni Ranjit Deshmukh, Amol Phadke and associate professor Duncan Callaway recently had their research, “Least-cost targets and avoided fossil fuel capacity in India’s pursuit of renewable energy” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Their analysis on India’s power usage, weather patterns and energy infrastructure was featured in the The Current, and suggests that the country is “well positioned to take advantage of green energy sources”.

Read their full report here, and the feature in The Current here.

Over Half of Americans Are Covered by Net Zero Target ERG PhD Student Kate Cullen Reports

ERG PhD student Kate Cullen recently published a US net zero policy report on Net Zero Climate examining the quantity and quality of targets. With colleagues at the University of Oxford and Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit, Cullen led an analysis of US subnational and corporate net zero targets and co-authored a global stocktake of net zero targets.

“In the US report, our findings are cautiously hopeful: we find that more than half of Americans (53%) are covered by net zero target. US companies accounting for at least $5.2 trillion in yearly sales have also committed to net zero. But we also find that the quality of net zero targets vary widely; some are shy on scope, most don’t mention equity, few have clear restrictions on offsetting. We call for a four-pronged federal strategy to ensure the US achieves its climate ambitions, together, and in a just, equitable and cost-effective way,” Cullen stated in an email.

Read the full US report here, and the full global report here.

ERG Dan Kammen Addresses Texas’ Recent Electric Grid Failure

In a recent San Francisco Chronicle article, titled “Why the massive power outages in Texas are so much worse than California’s summer blackouts,” features ERG professor Dan Kammen discussing how such energy outages have highlighted a similarity between California and Texas.

“What is so interesting here is that like in California — extreme weather (for us, fires) — has stressed an old, outdated and ‘not smart’ grid,” Kammen stated. “Without well-integrated solar, wind, AND energy storage our grids are vulnerable.”

Read the full article here.

Bloomberg Features ERG Professor Callaway on Electric Power and Stock Market Crashes

A recent article in Bloomberg News, titled “The Electrical Power Crash Is Just Like a Stock Market Crash,” features ERG associate professor Duncan Callaway. The article discusses the state-wide electrical grid failure in Texas, and how the record cold snap caused plants to fail all at once.

Callaway suggests that building more connections between the electricity grid of Texas and the two other man grids that cover the rest of the contiguous 48 states could pose as a potential solution. “If Texas were interconnected with other parts of the U.S., this certainly would not have been as bad,” he states.

Read the full article here.