UC Partnership to Study Environment, Energy, Economics (UCE3)



Santa Barbara, Calif. ― It is impossible to address today’s policy challenges in either energy or the environment without a deep understanding of energy, the environment, and economics. That is the foundational assumption behind the new University of California Center for Energy and Environmental Economics (UCE3), established this past summer with financial support from the University of California Office of the President.

UCE3 will draw on the strengths of two world-class research centers in energy and environmental economics and policy: the UC Energy Institute and UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. Severin Borenstein, professor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and Director of the UC Energy Institute, and Charles Kolstad, professor at UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, will serve as co-directors of the new center, which will have a physical presence at both universities. Serving as associate directors are Professor Maximilian Auffhammer of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley and Professor Olivier Deschenes of the Department of Economics at UC Santa Barbara.

“The economic and policy challenges in addressing climate change and other environmental goals require a more careful integration of energy and environmental economics so that the impacts from a proposed policy can be understood prior to adoption,” said Professor Borenstein.

UCE3 will function as a hub of research excellence in energy and environmental economics, providing resources to bring affiliated faculty and graduate students from sister UC campuses to the two UCE3 locations for both short-term events and longer-term visits. UCE3 will also host intensive collaborative research events at which researchers from both fields will share knowledge in the pursuit of more comprehensive approaches to some of today’s most challenging energy and environmental issues. The research agenda will encompass four general areas at the intersection of energy and environmental economics: Energy and Climate Policy, Energy Efficiency, Market-Based Environmental Regulations, and Behavioral Economics and the Environment. Individual research results will also be distributed through the new UCE3 Working Papers series.

Professor Kolstad said he was thrilled to have the opportunity to bring to fruition a concept developed by faculty at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara, and suggested that graduate students, in particular, will benefit from the richness and breadth of the research program. “This unique center, in combination with the wealth of UC energy- and environmental-research resources, will attract creative, innovative students and professors who truly want to be on the cutting edge in terms of finding answers to some of our most challenging environmental problems,” he said.


Prof. Severin Borenstein (borenste@haas.berkeley.edu)

Prof. Charles Kolstad (kolstad@bren.ucsb.edu)

Karen Notsund (knotsund@berkeley.edu)

Further information: www.uce3.berkeley.edu and www.uce3.ucsb.edu