Exit Paris Accord, Enter Carbon Tax?

President Trump is pulling the United States out of the Paris climate change agreement, which calls on countries to limit global warming by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Marilyn Brown, the Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems in the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology, explains the ramifications of Trump’s decision for the U.S. and the world and discusses the rise of the Carbon Dividend Plan.

The Ramifications of a Paris Exit

The U.S. must stay in the Paris Accord to help combat the clear and present danger of climate change. If the U.S. does not act, how can we expect others to address the problem? The U.S. Senate did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol 20 years ago because the Protocol did not include goals for developing countries. Now the U.S. is threatening to be a “free rider,” but in reality it would be a “big loser.”

Georgia Tech Panel: Wind, Solar and Other Clean Energy Sources Could Supply All of Our Power

Atlanta, GA—Wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources now make up just about 13 percent of the nation’s electricity supply, but transitioning to 100 percent clean energy in the South is both necessary and feasible, academic experts and clean energy advocates said at a lunch panel held at Georgia Tech on Wednesday.

New GA Tech Study Concludes that Clean Power Plan Could Deliver Significant Energy Bill Savings to Cities and Businesses Nationwide

ATLANTA, GA – City skylines have long been a symbol of innovation and prosperity. What you can’t see is that these same buildings are some of the United States’ largest energy consumers and are therefore responsible for significant amounts of the nation’s carbon pollution.  However, a new study by Dr.

A Big Step Toward Clean Energy in the South

This past weekend, licensed reactor operators at the Tennessee Valley Authority safely connected a new source of nuclear power to its electric system. It is an historic moment for the nuclear industry because it is the first new U.S. nuclear generation of the 21st century.  Marilyn Brown, the Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems in the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology, chairs the TVA Nuclear Oversight Committee. She explains  the importance of this achievement.

Calm Down – The Supreme Court’s “Stay” on the Clean Power Plan is Just a Procedural Step

On February 9th, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court placed a “stay” on implementing the Clean Power Plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. power plants. With a 5-to-4 vote, the Court has put a halt to the regulation while its legal fate is being decided. The request for a stay came from a coalition of 27 states, led by West Virginia and including most of the states in the South. The claim is that the regulation is overly far-reaching and burdensome. 

Watch out for Political Fallout from the Paris Climate Accord

In 1992, President George H. W. Bush signed the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) along with leaders of 194 other countries. The treaty’s objective was to “Stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” Few knew that at that time, dangerous interference was well already underway.

Public Comment on EPA’s Federal Plan and Model Rule

By Marilyn A. Brown, Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology

November 19, 2015


The U.S. fleet of fossil fuel fired power plants is our nation’s single largest source of climate-destabilizing pollution and one of the largest sources in the world. 

Climate change presents a clear and present danger to human health and the environment. All Americans need to be protected from the serious adverse impacts of climate pollution, in whichever state they live.

Getting Past Rate Fixation to the Benefits of the Clean Power Plan

Making use of energy efficiency can help contain the cost of complying with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and reduce electricity bills. Yet as climate policy discussions try to balance the urgent demand for quick action with upfront capital investments, energy efficiency isn’t without its skeptics. As efficiency programs are being ramped up by utilities with an over-capacity of power plants, rates may also rise for a few years before they fall. Policymakers and stakeholders need to get past “rate fixation” to see the long-term value of energy efficiency.