Projects

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Initiatives

The Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute team’s experience in policy instrument choice and design reaches back over three decades to the development of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In 1989, as the IPCC was formed, the Response Strategies Working Group (subsequently Working Group III) asked each member nation to submit statements on several topics. GTSI Principal Associate Kenneth Richards authored the U.S. Government’s first white paper on policy instruments for climate change, laying the groundwork for the framework that GTSI now uses. That early work was excerpted into the IPCC’s first assessment report. 

Services: Policy Instrument Choice and Design

Municipal Waste Management Initiatives

Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute Principal Associate Kenneth Richards is leading a team at Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs to develop a new analysis of policy instruments for municipal solid waste management.

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World Bank’s Carbon Tax Guide

Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute partnered with Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Climate Focus (prime contractor) to develop a guidebook for policymakers interested in developing carbon taxes.

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Policy Instrument Choice Textbook

Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute team members Kenneth Richards and Stephanie Hayes Richards are presently completing a textbook that provides a new approach to understanding environmental policy instruments. The framework draws on an integrated approach to the analysis of policy instruments, blending the analytical models of environmental economics with findings from public administration, New Institutional Economics, public finance, sociology, regulatory and constitutional law, and political economics. Whereas other analyses generally compare and contrast key features or impacts of specific policy instruments, the framework provides a structure to explore the relationships among the instruments.

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Design and Analysis of Emissions Levy for Costa Rica

Together with local Costa Rican experts, partners from Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and Climate Focus (prime contractor), Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute assisted the country of Costa Rica with the design of a greenhouse gas emissions levy for mobile and stationary sources.

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Environmental Policy and Institutional Reform in Azerbaijan

Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute team members Kenneth Richards and Stephanie Hayes Richards, together with team members Matthew Auer and Jack Wittman, were asked by the U.S. Agency for International Development and World Learning to evaluate Azerbaijan’s legislation, regulations, and institutions for environmental protection.

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Analysis of Benefits from Reduced Water Pollution by Power Utilities

Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute Senior Consultant Emily Giovanni was part of a team that estimated the total social costs and economic benefits to society from the implementation of technology-based regulations to improve surface water quality nationwide. Ms. Giovanni was responsible for developing and implementing quantitative analyses of the national benefits of up to a dozen regulatory options concurrently.

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Carbon Sequestration Research and Analysis

Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute team members Kenneth Richards and Emily Giovanni have conducted multiple analyses exploring the economic, legal, and policy challenges associated with the development of carbon capture and storage or sequestration (CCS) technology.

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Comparative Analyses for Air Pollution Emission Compliance Strategies

For a local electricity utility, Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute Senior Consultant Emily Giovanni developed a spreadsheet model predicting criteria pollutant emissions from a coal unit, worked with a team of engineers to identify and apply appropriate economic and engineering inputs, and researched and evaluated relevant emission requirements pursuant to the Clean Air Act.

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Economic Impacts of Technology-Based Environmental Regulations

Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute Senior Consultant Emily Giovanni has led or assisted in several analyses of the economic impacts of technology-based environmental regulations, including analyses for the federal government. For example, she led a team that provided support to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in conducting an industry-level economic study for the purpose of developing effluent limitations guidelines and standards (ELGs).

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City of Bloomington, Indiana Sustainability Action Plan

Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute assisted the City of Bloomington, Indiana in developing its 2018 Sustainability Action Plan, which is a five-year framework for the City’s sustainability strategy that “identifies both short- and long-term goals and actions in City operations and within the broader community. The plan includes an evaluation and reporting mechanism for a comprehensive, community sustainability program the references environmental, economic, and equity elements.”

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South Africa Domestic Offsets Standard Framework

Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute, the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and a team of South African experts from Climate Legal and CarbEnviro are working with the Republic of South Africa Department of Mineral Resources and Energy and the country’s National Treasury to develop and test a framework to guide the development, assessment, and approval of potential eligible domestic carbon offset standards that can be used as a complement to the country’s Carbon Tax.

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NUS Executive MBA Sustainability Module

The National University of Singapore (NUS) asked Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute to develop and deliver a sustainability module for the Asia Pacific Executive MBA Programme. Principal Associate Kenneth Richards developed and taught a two-day module in Singapore during the 2014/2015 program.

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Government Supply Chain Risk Management

Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute leads an ongoing project to identify and mitigate risks within the U.S. Federal Government supply chain. The project has involved extensive stakeholder engagement using semi-structured snowball interview techniques and project demonstrations designed to elicit expert perspectives and insights.

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Community Voices for Health in Monroe County

Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute is partnering with Bloomington Health Foundation (fiscal sponsor), Community Justice and Mediation Center, the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and Lisa-Marie Napoli Public Engagement Consultant to advance best practices in stakeholder engagement around public health issues in Indiana. 

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City of Bloomington, Indiana Greenhouse Gas Emissions Back-cast 2008-2018

The City of Bloomington, Indiana approached GTSI to request a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory back-cast using Global Protocol methodology to estimate emissions from 2008-2018. This project was designed to evaluate progress towards the City’s GHG emissions reduction goals within the context of its commitments under the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda of 2017 and U.S. commitments under the Paris agreement.

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