Researchers, Writers Bask In Glory of Nobel Peace Prize
At least three members of the UC Santa Barbara community are known to have contributed research and writing for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shares the 2007 Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
Charles Kolstad, professor of economics and a professor of environmental economics at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, was a lead author of the chapter “Policies, Instruments and Co-operative Arrangements” in the report titled “Climate Change 2007: Mitigation.” It was one of three volumes that made up the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment of its long-term work on climate change.
Also contributing to the chapter was Nicholas Burger, a Bren School graduate who is now pursuing his Ph.D. in economics at UCSB. He is enrolled in the Economics of Environmental Science program, a multidisciplinary partnership between the Bren School and the Department of Economics.
In addition, Stephen J. DeCanio, professor of economics, was a co-lead author of the chapter “Financing Partnerships for Technology Transfer” of a Special IPCC Working Group III report (“Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer”) published in 2000.
“On behalf of our campus community, I am delighted to congratulate all of our UCSB colleagues who have made important contributions to the work of the IPCC through research, writing, and personal participation,” said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “We are proud of the collaborative work being conducted by our distinguished colleagues on climate change issues. We also appreciate the role of our faculty, staff, and students in making UC Santa Barbara a leader and exemplary ‘living laboratory’ for environmental sustainability.”
The Norwegian Nobel Committee announcement said that IPCC reports issued over the past 20 years had “created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming,” and linked those reports to violent conflict and wars that could result should extreme climate change occur.
“IPCC is the leading bright light in the climate debate,” said Kolstad from UC Berkeley, where he was on sabbatical. “There are maybe 3,000 people involved in this important, shared effort.”
“By awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 to the IPCC and Al Gore,” the committee announcement continued, “the Norwegian Nobel Committee is seeking to contribute to a sharper focus on the processes and decisions that appear to be necessary to protect the world’s future climate, and thereby to reduce the threat to the security of mankind.”
Kolstad’s research interests are broadly in environmental and natural resource economics. He is interested in how information and learning influence the timing, strength, and effectiveness of environmental regulation.
DeCanio’s research focuses on the economics of climate change, protection of the stratospheric ozone layer, factors affecting the diffusion of energy-efficient technologies, and the impacts of greenhouse gas reduction policies. His most recent book is “Economic Models of Climate Change: A Critique.”