USC Center for Sustainability Solutions

Developing Solutions for a Sustainable and Equitable Future

Past Events

Paying for Pollution: Why a Carbon Tax is Good for America

March 19, 2019

Gilbert Metcalf Tufts University The threats posed by global climate change are widely recognized and carbon emissions are the major source of greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere. Metcalf discusses his new book, Paying for Pollution: Why a Carbon Tax is … Continue reading


Spatial Externalities in Groundwater Extraction: Evidence from California Agriculture

March 18, 2019

Louis Preonas University of Chicago Groundwater is a common-pool resource essential for agricultural production. When farmers extract a marginal unit of groundwater, this lowers nearby groundwater levels and increases their neighbors’ groundwater pumping costs. This paper estimates farmers’ elasticity of … Continue reading


Subsidizing Mass Adoption of Electric Vehicles: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from California

March 1, 2019

Erich Muehlegger, Associate Professor Department of Economics, UC Davis Little is known about demand for EVs in the mass market. In this paper, we exploit a natural experiment that provides variation in large EV subsidies targeted at low- and middle-income … Continue reading


Determinants of Equilibrium Particulate Exposure

November 9, 2018

Matthew Turner, Professor Department of Economics, Brown University Regulation of airborne particulates influences locations of people and the location and nature of production. Thus, an understanding of particulates exposure requires an understanding of these responses to particulates regulation. To investigate … Continue reading


Greenwashing Culture and Sport

November 5, 2018

We often think of the culture industries as green, certainly in comparison with the extractive or manufacturing sectors. But culture is integral to what Toby Miller has termed “greenwashing” and to ecological destruction through both the sponsorship of culture by … Continue reading


Moral Hazard, Wildfires, and the Economic Incidence of Natural Hazards

October 19, 2018

Judson Boomhower Assistant Professor Department of Economics, UC San Diego Worsening wildfires are one of the most salient impacts of climate change in North America. A large share of the total social costs of wildfires comes from wildland firefighting costs, … Continue reading


Life after death on a remote Pacific reef: Lessons in resilience

September 25, 2018

Kim Cobb, Professor & Chair Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology The global-scale coral bleaching and mortality event that took place in 2016 brought into sharp relief the near-term impacts of continued ocean warming on global reefs. In … Continue reading


The Global Energy Challenge

April 26, 2018

Kenneth Medlock, Senior Director Center for Energy Studies, Rice University The challenge of meeting existing and emerging energy demands around the world with dual goals of economic and environmental sustainability is daunting. To be sure, markets, policy and technology will … Continue reading

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The California Experience Goes Global

April 5, 2018

Terry Tamminen CEO, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation In this presentation, former CalEPA Secretary Terry Tamminen examines California sustainability policies that succeeded in the state (including “lessons learned” and setbacks), but which also became models around the globe for advancing environmental protection … Continue reading

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The Roles of Price and Persuasion on Consumer Behavior: Experimental Evidence from Water Consumption

March 30, 2018

Casey J. Wichman Resources for the Future Social comparisons are a popular behavioral nudge to promote conservation of energy and water, partially because raising the price of these resources is politically difficult. Nudges may interact with prevailing prices, however, potentially … Continue reading


Hidden Order: Lessons from Bali’s Water Temples

March 5, 2018

J. Stephen Lansing Along a typical river in Bali, small groups of farmers meet regularly in water temples to manage their irrigation systems. They have done so for a thousand years. Over the centuries, water temple networks have expanded to … Continue reading

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New Developments in Building Ecological Civilization in China

February 22, 2018

Dr. Hua Wang Dr. Hua Wang is Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics and Dean of the School of Environment and Natural Resources at Renmin University of China (RUC). Dr. Wang holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Management and Policy from … Continue reading

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From Independent to Influential: The Growth of China Zero Waste Alliance and Its Challenges

February 8, 2018

Dr. Mao Da Founded in the end of 2011, China Zero Waste Alliance (CZWA) has been actively involved in advocating a sustainable municipal solid waste (MSW) management system in China. Bio: Mao Da, PhD, is an environmental history researcher and … Continue reading

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Residential Sorting and the Incidence of Local Public Goods: Theory and Evidence from Air Pollution

January 18, 2018

Daniel Sullivan While the costs of environmental policies are generally thought to be regressive, the distribution of benefits is less understood. This paper explores the incidence of an unexpected decrease in air pollution in metropolitan Los Angeles by estimating the … Continue reading

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The Contributions of Social Sciences to Sustainability Policy and Institutional Change

October 30, 2017

Ravi Kanbur T.H. Lee Professor of World Affairs, International Professor of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University Prof. Kanbur served as one of the chairs of the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP). IPSP is uniting the world’s leading researchers … Continue reading


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