Environment, Energy, and Climate Action in India: Generating Evidence for Policy through Randomised Evaluations

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The past decade has seen significant innovation in the environment, energy, and climate action space in India. Alongside ambitious targets in climate action and renewable energy announced at the 26th UN Climate Conference, India has launched a national programme to tackle air pollution and is increasing public resource allocations for climate action at local levels. 

To deliver on these policy commitments, India needs to implement real-world solutions whose effectiveness and scalability are backed by research and evidence. 

Rigorous impact evaluations of interventions using randomised evaluations can answer pertinent questions around human behaviour, program design, the adoption of new technology in real-world settings, and the scaling up of effective solutions. 

This webinar will explore why, when, and how randomised evaluations can be used in the environment, energy, and climate action space and the role of rigorous evidence in designing policy that can effectively tackle challenges in this field.

Drawing on J-PAL’s work in the Environment, Energy, and Climate Change sector, this webinar will bring together researchers, policymakers, and members of civil society to analyse the use of randomised evaluations to move the needle on critical climate outcomes. 

J-PAL affiliated researchers will also discuss their experiences from evaluations and scale-ups in India to showcase the relevance of randomised evaluations in designing solutions that address climate change while considering the needs of vulnerable populations. 

Who Should Attend

This webinar aims to address the questions encountered by governments, non-profit organisations, researchers, and donors engaged in designing climate action, energy, and environment programmes for individuals living in poverty

Join the conversation to learn how randomised evaluations can test programmes for their effectiveness and how they can help decision-makers identify cost-effective climate strategies to invest in while making judicious use of existing resources.


R Lakshmanan

R Lakshmanan
Executive Director, REC Limited, Ministry of Power, Government of India

Shri R. Lakshmanan is a member of the Indian Administrative Service batch of 2004 batch, Bihar cadre. He is also a Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. As Executive Director at REC Limited, he oversees the financing of state owned power utilities and Stressed Asset Management, and heads the implementation of the Revamped Distribution Sector scheme with an outlay of over 3 Lakh Crore rupees. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of REC Power Development and Consultancy Limited, a subsidiary of the REC. Prior to joining REC Limited, he served the Government of Bihar for 14 years through various positions including Managing Director of Discom, Transco & Genco, District Magistrate of Darbhanga & Saharsa districts, ACEO, Rural Road Development Agency, and Additional Chief Electoral Officer. Shri Lakshmanan holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Annamalai University.

Karan Avtar Singh

Karan Avtar Singh
Chairperson, Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority, Government of Punjab

Dr. Karan Avtar Singh is a member of the Indian Administrative Service batch of 1984, Punjab cadre. He took charge as the Chairperson of the newly formed Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority in August, 2020. Prior to that, he was the Chief Secretary for the Government of Punjab. Dr. Singh holds a PHD in Economics from the University of Michigan and has done his LLB from the University of Delhi.

Jai Asundi

Jai Asundi
Executive Director, The Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy

Dr. Jai Asundi is the Executive Director at the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), Bangalore, India. He has been involved in the research and development of projects in multiple areas and is currently focusing on organisational development. He spearheaded the creation of the Centre for Air Pollution Studies at CSTEP and the establishment of AI for Social Impact as a sector of research. His research interests lie in the areas of information technology for development where he is working on developing decision support systems for a variety of public policy problems. He is a senior member of the IEEE. Prior to CSTEP, Dr. Asundi was a faculty in Information Systems at the University of Texas at Dallas. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh where he is currently Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy.

Namrata Kala

Namrata Kala
Assistant Professor, Applied Economics, MIT Namrata Kala is an Assistant Professor in Applied Economics at the MIT

Namrata Kala is an Assistant Professor in Applied Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Her research interests are in environmental and development economics. Her current research projects include studying how firms and households learn about and adapt to environmental change and regulation, the returns to environmental technologies, and the returns to worker training and incentives. From fall 2015 to 2017, Namrata was a Prize Fellow in Economics, History, and Politics at Harvard University and a Postdoctoral Fellow at J-PAL. She received her PhD in environmental economics from Yale University in 2015. She also holds a BA (Honors) in economics from Delhi University, and an MA in international and development economics from Yale University.

Nicholas Ryan

Nick Ryan
Assistant Professor of Economics, Yale University

Nick Ryan is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Yale University. He studies energy markets and environmental regulation in developing countries. Energy use enables high standards of living, but rapid, energy-intensive growth has caused many environmental problems in turn. Nick’s research measures how energy use and pollution emissions respond to regulation and market incentives. His work includes empirical studies of the effect of power grid capacity on electricity prices, how firms make decisions about energy-efficiency, and how environmental regulation can be designed to best abate pollution at low social cost. Nick received a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012.

Kunal Sharma

Kunal Sharma (Moderator)
Director - Policy, Training, and Communications, J-PAL South Asia

Kunal Sharma leads J-PAL South Asia’s engagements with governments, donors, and civil society organizations to initiate new research, disseminate policy lessons, and scale up evidence-based programs. Prior to joining J-PAL South Asia, Kunal was Director of Programs at The Nature Conservancy – India, where he oversaw the design and implementation of TNC’s conservation projects in the country. In an earlier role, he led the Climate Policy portfolio at Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, where he helped advance policy development on climate change and air quality management in collaboration with the Indian government and civil society. Kunal holds Masters degrees in Environmental Studies and International and Development Economics from Yale University and an undergraduate degree in Economics from Delhi University.


Webinar recording