Program on Energy and Sustainable Development

The Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD) is an international, interdisciplinary program that draws on the fields of economics, political science, law, and management to investigate how the production and consumption of energy affect human welfare and environmental quality. In addition to undertaking world-class research, the Program leads advanced graduate and introductory undergraduate courses and seminars in energy and environmental policy at Stanford. The Program’s core sponsors are BP, plc, and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

PESD’s current research concentrates on the following areas:

  1. Climate Policy Instruments in an Imperfect World: Policy tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol include a cap-and-trade system in Europe and an international offset market allowing parties bound by carbon limits to buy emissions allowances from developing country projects. PESD research on climate policy focuses on how the actual operation of such instruments deviates significantly from idealized economic models. It also suggests new strategies to engage developing countries in climate change mitigation by leveraging rather than fighting their inherent national interests;
  2. National Oil Companies (NOCs) in the World Oil Market: Roughly 80% of world reserves of oil and natural gas are controlled by state-owned oil companies, and yet the functioning of these diverse entities is poorly understood. Based on field research on 15 of the world’s most important NOCs,