Wei Peng | Making Climate Policy Models More Decision-relevant

Abstract: Efforts to achieve decarbonization targets often fall short. Integrated assessment models (IAMs) have been used widely to assess current policies and quantify the additional efforts needed to close the gap. Yet, IAMs still lack adequate considerations of socio-political factors that are central to climate policy making. This makes them overly abstract and simplistic to inform concrete decisions by national and subnational policymakers. In this talk, I will discuss our research focused on three areas to make IAMs more decision-relevant: 1) enhancing policy realism by incorporating political economy insights on policy instrument choices; 2) assessing winners and losers of climate policy by coupling IAMs with fine-scale impact assessment models; and 3) identifying equitable policy strategies by assessing multiple objectives under future uncertainties. I will demonstrate a range of modeling examples, from impacts of U.S. industrial policy on future decarbonization to the unintended health effects from a global carbon price.

Bio: Wei Peng is an assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University. She is a climate policy researcher and integrated assessment modeler of energy, air quality, and health. Her work focuses on modeling human-centered decarbonization pathways to inform energy strategies that are realistically implementable and politically durable. Her research has been published in Nature, Nature Climate Change, Nature Sustainability, PNAS among others, and has been featured in national and local media such as PBS and NPR. She also served as a co-author of the Fifth National Climate Assessment.

Peng received her PhD degree in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy from Princeton University and her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences from Peking University. She was also a faculty member at Penn State University and a postdoc fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School.

This event is presented as part of the 2024 Perspectives on the Climate Change Challenge Seminar Series:

Most Mondays, Spring Semester 2024, 2:55-4:10pmVia ZoomThis university-wide seminar series is open to the public (via Zoom), and provides important views on the critical issue of climate change, drawing from many perspectives and disciplines. Experts from Cornell University and beyond present an overview of the science of climate change and climate change models, the implications for agriculture, ecosystems, and food systems, and provide important economic, ethical, and policy insights on the issue. The seminar is being organized and sponsored by the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering and Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability.

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