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WEBINAR: Energy Access and Equity Research

  • May 13, 2024
  • 2:00pm–3:20pm ET
  • Online via Zoom

                                                            REGISTER HERE

The energy transition is an economy-wide undertaking, and it will have wide-ranging impacts on supply chains, energy prices, and the job market. Researchers are currently working to better understand the distributional impacts of our changing energy system and how we can avoid placing disproportionate burdens on certain communities already bearing the brunt of harmful pollution and climate change. At this event, several researchers discussed their ongoing projects in this area and their initial findings. We also heard from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Deputy Commissioner for Climate Change, Air Resources, and Energy about his current work and his views on what kind of equity-focused research is most helpful and necessary for policymakers at this moment.

View a recording of the event here.

Speakers included:

  • Jon Binder is the Deputy Commissioner for Climate Change, Air Resources, and Energy at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). As Deputy Commissioner, Jon oversees DEC’s Division of Air Resources and its Office of Climate Change. He is responsible for the development and execution of a wide range of efforts to reduce air pollutant emissions and help achieve the State’s climate and clean energy policies. For example, Jon is leading DEC’s implementation of the State’s ambitious and nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, most notably through the development of New York’s economywide cap-and-invest program. He is also responsible for DEC’s regulatory and permitting activities under the federal Clean Air Act. Jon is a graduate of Cornell University and Tulane University Law School.
  • Dr. Jonathan Colmer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Virginia, and the Co-Founder and Director of the Environmental Inequality Lab. His research combines data with insights from economic theory and environmental science to better understand how economic activity and the environment influence one another. He holds a B.A. and an M.Sc. in economics from the University of Exeter and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.
  • Dr. Anissa Dickerman is the Chief Executive Officer for Pecan Street Inc. where she leads resource and partnership development, guides strategy, and ensures the delivery of programs that achieve measurable results in climate and conservation. Dr. Dickerman has extensive leadership experience applying big data analytics to policy and systems in the education field. Prior to Pecan Street, she served as chief program officer for a national nonprofit centered on system-level leadership and professional learning for educators. She has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit leadership, resource development, social impact research, and working at the nexus of big data and place-based social justice. She applies her equity-centered research and policy approaches from the education sector to help design an equitable climate transition. Dr. Dickerman holds a B.S. and a Master of Education degree from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Planning from the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Dr. Diana Hernández is an Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University where she conducts research at the intersection of energy, equity, housing and health. A sociologist by training, her work examines the social and environmental determinants of health and has studied the impacts of policy and place-based interventions on the health and well-being of socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. Her foundational research on energy insecurity has explored the multiple dimensions of this phenomenon, identifying sociodemographic disparities, adverse consequences, and promising interventions toward energy equity and justice. Much of her community-oriented research has been done in collaboration with community groups and government agencies around the country, including in the South Bronx, where she has led small-scale housing redevelopment projects. Dr. Hernández holds a B.A from Hunter College, City University of New York and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.
  • Dr. Benjamin Sovacool is the Director of the Boston University Institute for Global Sustainability (IGS) and a Professor in the Department of Earth & Environment. He works as a researcher and consultant on issues pertaining to global energy policy and politics, energy security, energy justice, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation. More specifically, his research focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, the politics of large-scale energy infrastructure, designing public policy to improve energy security and access to electricity, the ethics and justice of energy, and building adaptive capacity to the consequences of climate change. Dr. Sovacool holds a PhD in Science & Technology Studies from Virginia Tech.

This webinar was part of a series highlighting environmental and energy research projects funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.