Journal Articles & Working Papers

  • Climate Ambition and Sustainable Development for a New Decade: A Catalytic Framework April 2021 - Global Policy, April 2021Authors: Chan, S., Boran, I., van Asselt, H., Ellinger, P., Garcia, M., Hale, T., Hermwille, L., Liti Mbeva, K., Mert, A., Roger, C.B., Weinfurter, A., Widerberg, O., Bynoe, P., Chengo, V., Cherkaoui, A., Edwards, T., Gütschow, M., Hsu, A., Hultman, N., Levaï, D., Mihnar, S., Posa, S., Roelfsema, M., Rudyk, B., Scobie, […]
  • The Urban Environmental Renaissance April 2020 - Authors: Danielle Spiegel-Feld & Katrina Wyman City governments were an important source of environmental protection in the United States from the 1800s until well into the 1900s. However, since Congress passed a series of landmark environmental statutes in the 1970s, scholars have primarily equated environmental law with federal law. To the extent that scholars consider […]
  • Impact of mandatory energy audits on building energy use March 2020 - Constantine Kontokosta, Danielle Spiegel-Feld & Sokratis Papadopoulos Nature Energy (2020) Cities are increasingly adopting energy policies that reduce information asymmetries and knowledge gaps through data transparency, including energy disclosure and mandatory audit requirements for existing buildings. Although such audits impose non-trivial costs on building owners, their energy use impacts have not been empirically evaluated. Here […]
  • Closing the high seas to fishing: A club approach March 2020 - Jessica Green & Bryce RudykMarine Policy, Volume 115, May 2020, 103855The world’s fisheries are governed by a vast, and largely ineffective, set of international and regional institutions. If we are to preserve and manage what remains of the oceans’ fisheries, bolder solutions are needed. In this paper, we present a new approach: closing the high […]
  • Cities as Global Environmental Actors: The Case of Marine Plastics September 2019 - As the impacts of marine plastic pollution become ever more apparent, a number of states have begun calling for the development of a new international agreement to address the problem. This essay considers which jurisdictional entities should be engaged in the drafting of such an agreement if one should materialize. While nation states have traditionally […]
  • Emissions Trading for Buildings? September 2019 - In April of 2019, the New York City Council passed groundbreaking legislation that caps the amount of greenhouse gases that large building owners can emit, or cause to be emitted, for free. The new law, known as Local Law 97 of 2019 (“Local Law 97”), holds great promise for reducing building energy use, which accounts […]
  • The Urban Environmental Renaissance April 2019 - Authors: Katrina Wyman and Danielle Spiegel-Feld City governments were an important source of environmental protection in the United States from the 1800s until well into the 1900s. However, since Congress passed a series of landmark environmental statutes in the 1970s, scholars have primarily equated environmental law with federal law. To the extent that scholars consider […]
  • Do Mandatory Energy Audits Reduce Building Energy Use?: A Bayesian Analysis of New York City’s Local Law 87 November 2018 - Cities are experimenting with a range of policy and regulatory tools to reduce energy use in the building sector as a pathway to substantial carbon emission reductions. Increasingly, cities are turning to policies that reduce information asymmetries and knowledge gaps through data transparency, focusing on existing buildings and the potential to achieve up to 50% […]
  • Expanding Green Roofs in New York City: Towards a Location-Specific Tax Incentive July 2018 - Vegetated, or “green,” roofs provide numerous social and environmental benefits to urban areas. Compared with conventional roofs, green roofs promote biodiversity, reduce building energy use, decrease noise, and improve the productivity of solar photovoltaic installations. They can also mitigate the urban heat island effect and reduce stormwater runoff, thereby diminishing flooding and pollution of local waterways. […]
  • Linking Across Borders: Opportunities and Obstacles for a Joint Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative-Western Climate Initiative Market March 2018 - Despite the strong consensus in the scientific community that anthropogenic climate change requires urgent attention, neither the United States nor Canada has implemented a comprehensive national policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Into this void have stepped two regional cap-and-trade programs that regulate greenhouse gas emissions in parts of both countries.  One, the Regional Greenhouse […]
  • March 2017: Building blocks: a strategy for near-term climate action March 2017 - Authors: Richard Stewart, Michael Oppenheimer and Bryce Rudyk The Paris Agreement cemented a new framework for global climate policy based on the voluntary and non-legally binding emission reduction actions by both developed and developing countries. The building blocks strategy for climate action discussed in this Special Issue is well adapted to and strongly complements this […]
  • Allocating the Economic Benefits of Renewable Energy Between Stakeholders on Small Island Developing States (SIDS): Arguments for a Balanced Approach March 2016 - Authors: Bryce Rudyk and Danielle Spiegel-Feld For many Small Island Developing States (SIDS) the cost of producing electricity from imported fossil fuels is so high and the cost of renewable energy technology has fallen so significantly that transitioning towards renewable energy is likely to produce cost savings. A recent workshop at NYU School of Law, […]
  • FPA Preemption in the 21st Century February 2016 - Author: Matthew Christiansen On February 24, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing. In deciding this case, the Court must determine whether an effort by the State of Maryland to incentivize the construction of new power plants is field preempted by the Federal Power Act (“FPA”)—that is, whether the Maryland law […]
  • The Merits of an ‘Integrated’ Approach to Performance-Based Regulation, 28 Electr. J. 8 (2015) May 2015 - Author: Benjamin Mandel The composition of utility revenues under performance-based regulation depends on the approach used to set base revenue allowances and the magnitude of financial performance incentives. For the most policy-responsive regime, regulators should pursue ‘integrated PBR’ by both broadening the set of performance incentives they offer and embracing benchmarking for base revenue allowances. This article, based on an […]
  • Performance-Based Regulation to Improve Upstream Energy Efficiency, 27 Electr. J. 20 (2014) November 2014 - Author: Benjamin Mandel Traditional utility regulation provides inadequate incentives for electric utilities to invest in technologies that reduce network energy losses. This article examines how alternative regulatory designs influence such investments, and simulates the procurement and performance of distribution transformers under differing regulatory scenarios, to demonstrate the enormous potential benefits of a performance-based regulation scheme that targets network losses. This article is featured […]