Climate Change

Climate Change

Governments around the world are struggling to determine the optimal policy responses to climate change. All regions, including Illinois, are subject to its varied global effects. The Climate Change Policy Initiative seeks to understand how public policy can help protect Illinois residents from the effects of climate change. These effects will include not only hotter summer temperatures, heat stroke, and heat-related diseases, but also higher levels of air pollution and increased numbers of droughts and floods for the state.

These changing weather patterns affect not only the health of the local population, but also the costs and profitability of important state industries such as agriculture and energy. The Climate Change Policy Initiative helps to evaluate forward-looking public policies that can help protect Illinois’s productivity, health, and future economic welfare.

The initiative’s policy topics include the following: a state carbon tax or cap-and-trade permit system to help control carbon dioxide emissions and replace other taxes; gasoline excise taxes or tolls to reduce emissions, relieve congestion, and pay for roads; energy production and regulation; air quality regulation; water supply infrastructure such as dam, reservoir, and waterway construction; and crop rotation and planning for climate change.

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“Our analysis of the latest academic research and investigations into state and federal policy will help Illinois plan today to insure ourselves against the uncertain future effects of climate change.”

Lead Experts

Gutgsell Professor of Finance

Expertise: Economic Policy

Don Fullerton researches energy and environmental policy issues, including household garbage and recycling behavior, air and water quality regulation, and climate change policy.  He studies the economic effects of these regulations including their cost effectiveness, the distribution of their burdens, and the interactions between environmental policy and other tax policy. He also has done extensive research on taxation issues including the economic incidence and investment incentive effects of the corporate income tax and other federal and state taxes.

Assistant Professor

Expertise: Economic Policy

Julian Reif is an assistant professor in the Department of Finance at the College of Business in Urbana-Champaign and has been part of the IGPA faculty since 2012. He researches health care economics and spends time on environmental policy and the effect of taxation on environmental and climate policy. He is co-leader of IGPA's Climate Change policy initiative, and also holds a position as a research economist at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Affiliated Experts

Associate Professor

Expertise: Economic Policy

Kathy Baylis is an associate professor in the department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois. She joined the department after several years as an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia where she remains an adjunct faculty. She earned her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in 2003, where she specialized in international agricultural policy and trade. Her current research evaluates agriculture, food and conservation policy in developing countries and the United States. In 2001-02, Kathy was the staff economist in charge of agriculture and forestry for the Council of Economic Advisors in the White House, and in the mid-1990s, she worked as Executive Secretary of the National Farmers Union in Canada. Professor Baylis has helped bring in over $25 million in grants, and has supervised over 20 graduate students and 4 post docs. She has published more than 40 journal articles and book chapters on agriculture, forestry and environmental policy. She has also coauthored a textbook on Canadian-U.S. agricultural policy, which is used at universities in Canada and the United States.

Assistant Professor

Expertise: Economic Policy

Tatyana Deryugina’s research interests are in the fields of environmental economics, public finance, and behavioral economics. She has expertise in key environmental problems such as air and water pollution, climate change, natural disasters, and the effect of policies that address these issues on businesses and other social entities. Deryugina’s recent work has focused on evaluating the long-run economics impacts of Hurricane Katrina on the residents of New Orleans, studying how weather fluctuations affect incomes in the U.S., and evaluating the role of scientific opinions on laypersons’ beliefs about climate change.

Assistant Professor

Expertise: Economic Policy

Megan Konar conducts policy-relevant research that focuses on the intersection of water, food, and trade. Her research is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing from hydrology, environmental science, and economics. To conduct this research, Konar applies a range of quantitative tools, such as modeling, network analysis, and econometrics. Konar's research is motivated by questions such as: How does trade link water and food systems across scales? How will climate and socio-economic shocks impact global food trade and its associated embodied water resources? What policy options will best improve water and food security?