Energy and environment

Our community recognizes the urgent global climate crisis and is working on interdisciplinary policy solutions rooted in community engagement, economics, political science, psychology, and urban planning. 

It's been described as one of this generation's greatest threats and it bleeds into every facet of our lives. Finding ways to address the climate crisis affects housing, education, immigration, agriculture, tax policy, and many other cross-cutting issues—and at local, state, national, and international levels. Energy and environmental policy influences individual behavior and corporate practices and can be felt by families and communities across the globe. 

The Ford School is consistently ranked as a top-10 public affairs program for environmental policy. Our faculty conducts research and informs policy change related to energy regulation, personal sustainability practices, government cooperation and collaboration, corporate investments, international climate agreements, and more. 

Students are involved in and out of the classroom. The Psychology of Climate Change seminar brings together undergraduates, graduate students from SEAS and the Ford School, and Engineering PhDs. Students in the Fall 2020 Strategic Public Policy Consulting course provided analysis for Resource Recycling to help industries reduce waste and recover valuable resources. And this year's Integrated Policy Exercise addressed climate change migration. 

Research insights

More than half of Michigan's local governments have developed energy plans

The Michigan Local Energy Survey was conducted by CLOSUP to better understand local officials' perceptions of the costs, benefits, and their likelihood of developing energy policies.
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Student experience

Students address food waste as part of U-M Carbon Taskforce

Marc Jaruzel (MPP ‘20) and Jaclyn Kahn (MPP ‘21) provide analysis and recommendations in the final report to President Schlissel to reduce carbon emissions.
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Research insights

Zoning for utility-scale solar in rural communities

With a new grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, Sarah Mills will study the impact of utility-scale solar on rural communities.
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Student experience

James VanSteel (MPP/MURP '21) co-authors electric vehicle report for The Ecology Center

Using research from his summer internship, VanSteel's report analyzed the electric vehicle fee structure as the state of Michigan seeks to support road infrastructure.
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Student experience

Students address climate change migration in Integrated Policy Exercise

Through a virtually simulated UN General Assembly meeting, MPP students considered issues related to the rights of climate migrants and refugees.
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Research insights

Resources Radio podcast

Hosted by Lecturer Daniel Raimi, Resources Radio is a weekly podcast, featuring interviews with leading experts about climate change, electricity, ecosystems, and more.
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North American Colloquium on climate policy

A collaborative effort of the Ford School's International Policy Center, in partnership with the University of Toronto's Munk School and the National Autonomous University of Mexico's Center for North American Research, to bring together scholars, policymakers, and students from all three North American countries. NAC seeks to strengthen policy conversation and contribute to trilateral cooperation between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. (Photo credit: U.S. Department of Labor / CC0)
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Policy engagement

Research into action: Hausman’s research key to legislation mitigating methane emissions

Based on Catherine Hausman's work, the State of Washington passed legislation creating economic incentives for utilities to fix natural gas distribution leaks.
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Policy engagement

Daniel Raimi testified before U.S. House Natural Resources Committee

A federal program to help plug orphan oil and gas well has the potential to provide jobs to struggling businesses, while also providing environmental benefits.
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