News about Georgia's Shrinking Carbon Footprint

Footprint news

Despite a 10% growth in GDP, Georgia reduced its carbon emissions by 5% from 2017-2021. The principal driver of the 8% drop in per capita greenhouse gas emissions between 2017 and 2021 was the PSC-endorsed retirement of coal plants. Now the biggest climate polluter is transportation. While emissions from cars dipped early in the pandemic, Georgians are back driving again. But even more problematic is the pollution from trucks that has grown 16%, primarily due to the shift to on-line retail.


More needs to be done, but it's good to celebrate our progress--

Request for Proposals: Tracking Climate Solutions in Georgia

Drawdown Georgia is launching a request for proposals tracking climate solutions in Georgia. This task seeks to engage a wider variety of researchers across the state in Drawdown Georgia's ongoing work. This flyer is to let people know about an opportunity to apply for research grants of $15,000 for this summer.

On behalf of Drawdown Georgia, CEPL is pleased to announce the availability of research grants to examine
the adoption and use of high-impact climate solutions in Georgia. This solicitation invites faculty and
research associates from Georgia Universities and Colleges to submit proposals to track climate solutions
around the state. By tracking the implementation of climate solutions, we can identify places that are
leading vs lagging in adoption, winning approaches that can be replicated, and barriers that need to be

Dr. Marilyn Brown Presents on Carbon Reduction Strategies and System Resilience

An image from Dr. Brown's presentation at the Climate and Resilience Conference

Marilyn Brown gave a virtual keynote address at the Climate and Resilience Conference at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, on January 13, 2022. She emphasized policy and technology opportunities to deliver solutions aimed at decarbonizing the electricity system in ways that also enhance resilience and equity.

Solve Climate by 2030 Addresses Critical Solutions

Solve Climate by 2030 Globe Logo on Dark Green Background

On April 7, 2021 the Climate and Energy Policy Lab (CEPL) hosted its second annual climate dialogue -- Solve Climate by 2030. Top climate scientists from around the world are in agreement: we have ten years to curb global warming and mitigate climate change under a 3 degree Celsius temperature rise. Solve Climate by 2030 is an international project started at Bard College to find local and state level solutions to carbon emissions and curb global warming by the year 2030. 

Dr. Benjamin Sovacool presents virtual lecture: Vehicle-to-grid and Socio-Technical Transitions Beyond Electric Mobility

Dr. Benjamin Sovacool wears a collared shirt and suit. He is wearing glasses and smiling looking directly at the camera in a professional headshot.

Dr. Benjamin Sovacool, a Professor of Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School in the United Kingdom, delivered a virtual lecture focusing on the future of low-carbon source mobility as well as barriers to adoption. Dr. Sovacool's lecture answered three key questions:

Michael Oxman, Garry Harris, and Marilyn Brown present at the Just Energy Summit

Title slide for the presentation "Identifying the most promising solutions for reducing carbon emissions in Georgia"

On October 1, 2020, Dr. Marilyn Brown, Garry Harris, and Michael Oxman presented Drawdown Georgia's high impact solutions at the Partnership for Southern Equity's Just Energy Summit. The presentation highlighted the challenges and opportunities related to equitable solutions with a focus on rooftop solar and retrofitting. As part of Drawdown Georgia, the Beyond Carbon Working Group looks at how carbon mitigation solutions intersect and impact public health, equity, jobs, economic growth and the environment. 

Dr. Marilyn Brown Presents to Michigan Public Service Commissioners

Title slide for the presentation "Identifying the most promising solutions for reducing carbon emissions in Michigan: Lessons from Drawdown Georgia."

On June 25th, Dr. Marilyn Brown gave an overview of the methodology and preliminary findings of Drawdown Georgia to the Michigan Public Service Commissioners (MPSC) and a few dozen stakeholders. Brown’s presentation was part of a day spent discussing emerging climate technologies and potential pilot programs for the state of Michigan.

Our Energy Policy Webinar Discusses Building Electrification

Panelists and moderator at the Our Energy Policy webinar.

On July 15, Dr. Marilyn Brown participated in a webinar for Our Energy Policy on “Building Electrification: The Politics, Economics, and Infrastructure Around Converting America’s Building Stock.”

The panel discussed the main political, economic, and infrastructure issues surrounding building electrification in the United States. The discussion was moderated by Adam Zurofsky, former director of state policy and agency management for New York. Other panelists included:

MSEEM Professor Omar Asensio Receives NSF CAREER Award

Headshot of Omar Asensio.

Omar Isaac Asensio is an assistant professor in the School of Public Policy who teaches several Master of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Management (MSEEM) courses in data science, policy, and management. He was recently awarded the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) CAREER Award, which is given to those "who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization."

MSEEM Professor’s Study Harnesses Deep Learning to Drive Electric Vehicle Policy

Four animated researchers stand in front of monitors, analyzing data on electric vehicles.

A study led by Omar Asensio, an assistant professor in the School of Public Policy who also teaches several courses for the Master of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Management (MSEEM), was recently published in the June 2020 issue of Nature Sustainability.

The study harnesses machine learning techniques to provide the best insight yet into the attitudes of electric vehicle drivers towards the existing charger network. Its findings could help policymakers focus their efforts on electric vehicle policy.

Georgia Tech Master's Student Contributes to Report Chartered by Georgia House of Representatives

Headshot of Julian Powell.

Julian Powell, a master's student in Sustainable Energy and Environmental Management (MSEEM), was recently part of a team tasked by the Georgia House of Representatives Rural Development Council to prepare a report on the decommissioning of solar panels. Powell currently interns at the Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC), where he’s part of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy team.

Georgia Climate Project featured on WABE “Closer Look with Rose Scott”

Interview Panel including Dr. Brown,

Dr. Marilyn Brown, founder of Georgia Climate Project at Georgia Tech shares the Georgia Drawdown project's carbon neutrality strategy. Listen to the interview at wabe.org (minute 32 begin Dr. Brown's comments). Dr. Brown promotes the science of climate change and the exciting partnerships developing to shift policy.

2019 Solar Decathlon Design Challenge at NREL


A Georgia Tech team won first place for its net-zero energy, urban single-family home at the 2019 Solar Decathlon Design Challenge at NREL! Partnered with the Grove Park Foundation and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity to make it affordable. 

The Georgia Tech team was led by Tyler Pilet, Ph.D. in Architecture student with a focus area in high performance building (HPB). “Our team designed a community-driven, low cost, net-zero home in Grove Park,” said Pilet. 

Ganz Co-Authors Real Clear Policy Article on Carbon Tax

Scott Ganz

Scott Ganz and AEI Resident Fellow Alex Brill recently co-authored an op-ed on Real Clear Policy that examines the economic incidence of a revenue neutral carbon tax across the roughly 3,000 counties in the United States. In their analysis, the revenue associated with a $25 per ton tax is redistributed via a decrease in taxes on wages. Read article.

Car warranties pose hurdle for EV owners

EV News

A federal advisory group is urging the DOE to study electric vehicles' impact on the grid, including their potential use as emergency power sources (see the full story). "As EV adoption levels and grid integration become material, there is a need to better understand the pros and cons of alternative use cases that support different business models and provide different benefits for the grid, new businesses and the public," said the group's Smart Grid Subcommittee, led by professor Marilyn Brown

Rose Scott--WABE Closer Look: Listen to radio discussion here

WABE Closer Look

Last Friday (June 1, 2018) was the one year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. Since then, many states and cities have said they will continue to honor the agreement. Here in Georgia, a new consortium of university researchers is working to address the state’s most pertinent climate-related issues — it’s called the Georgia Climate Project, and it just published it’s first ‘roadmap’ for addressing climate change.

Georgia needs better research and resources to deal with changes in climate, new report says


Environmental Management JournalMarilyn Brown and Dan Matisoff from the Climate and Energy Policy Lab, with other researchers from across Georgia published an article in the Environmental Management Journal outlining Climate Research Priorities for policy-makers, practitioners, and scientists in Georgia

Profile on Ross Beppler

The Philosophy of Energy

Ross Beppler is a Ph.D. student in the Climate and Energy Policy Laboratory in Georgia Tech's School of Public Policy. His goal is to contribute to future energy policy. The Georgia native's research looks at distributed solar, electricity rate design, and the interaction of human behavior and energy use.

DOE Official: Clean Energy Funding Should Be Cut for ‘Exceeding Goals’


Liz Noll, a CEPL alum, weighed in on the proposed DOE budget cuts for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, noting that gutting EERE funding is “like stopping research in home-movie technology after the VCR". Read the full article here: https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/official-clean-energy-funding-should-be-cut-for-exceeding-goals#gs.ZI_mrQs

Trump Expected To Roll Back Obama's Climate Change Plan


...“Market forces, particularly with gas prices being so low, have created a great deal of momentum in the right direction,” said Marilyn Brown, a professor at Georgia Tech's School of Public Policy. “But those are all really short-term advances. The question is, what are we going to be able to do to meet the longer-term goals? There's so much uncertainty.” ...

Green Savings


''"Professor Marilyn Brown talks about demand side management and her new book, Green Savings: How Policies and Markets Drive Energy Efficiency.

Clean Power Plan Should Ease Virginia Electric Bill


New Research says an EPA plan to reduce carbon emissions should actually cut electricity bills, ... Professor Marilyn Brown from the Georgia Tech School of Public Policy says efficiency and shifting to wind, solar and biomass should make a typical utility bill somewhat smaller. "We see a reduction of, depending on the state, anywhere from 5 to 10 percent rather than an increase," she relates.

Alumni Elizabeth Noll Testifies Before House Subcommittee


Elizabeth Noll, of the Natural Resources Defense Council and MSPP graduate, testified before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power on Energy Efficiency. The hearing focused on the recently released discussion draft of potential energy efficiency legislation. In her blog, Noll states three provisions, "that seek to weaken, delay, and repeal strong clean energy programs that work and are what Americans want."

Marilyn Brown Quoted in CNN Article


CNN's Elizabeth Landau wrote an article on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report on Mitigation. Here is a brief exerpt from her article:

U.N. report: Don't delay on climate change

The longer we wait to mitigate the detrimental levels of carbon dioxide thrown into the atmosphere, the harder it's going to be to work against rising temperatures, says a leaked draft report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, obtained by CNN.

CEPL Cited in Environmental Research Web Article


"Many building owners overlook opportunities to improve the energy performance of their buildings. New analyses from the Climate and Energy Policy Laborator at Georgia Tech, US, suggest that a policy called 'energy benchmarking' offers a low-cost way of addressing this issue whilst reducing pollution and saving money." -IOP: Environmental Research Web Read the full article here.