Environment & Energy 

Explore J-PAL's current and ongoing work in environment & energy.  
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Access to reliable and inexpensive energy can raise incomes, improve health, and generally improve people's well-being. However, poor environmental quality, often as a byproduct of energy production, undermines the well-being of current and future generations. Too many energy and environmental policies are chosen without knowledge of their costs and benefits, because reliable information on their causal impacts does not exist. The J-PAL Environment & Energy Initiative aims to conduct randomized evaluations that will help identify cost-effective solutions to the energy and environment challenges that confront developing countries. Although it was only recently launched, J-PAL affiliates are already investigating improving pollution regulation and auditing, the effects of clean cookstoves on health and the environment, and conditional payments for forest conservation.

The immediate research priorities of J-PAL’s Environment & Energy Program focus on understanding the complex relationship between human welfare, the environment, and energy consumption. Three key areas of research are:

  • The benefits of environmental quality in terms of human health and welfare
  • The costs of producing environmental quality through reducing pollution
  • Climate change, with a particular focus on the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the costs of adaptation in response to climate change

The long-term vision of the Environment & Energy Program is to conduct randomized evaluations and disseminate the resulting policy lessons to answer questions at the intersection of environment, energy, and poverty reduction. To achieve this, the Environment & Energy Program has launched the Environment & Energy Initiative, and will host conferences with leading researchers in the field to identify knowledge gaps, and work with J-PAL’s Policy Group to disseminate the results and lessons from studies to policymakers, stakeholders, and development organizations around the world.