Author page for Michael Lazarus




Tellus Publications (Selected)


California Leadership Strategies to Reduce Global Warming Emissions

Michael Lazarus, Alison Bailie

The state of California has been a historical leader on energy and environmental policy, and it is well-positioned to take a leadership role on climate. From August to November 2004, Tellus Institute worked closely with staff members of the California Energy Commission (CEC), the Air Resources Board (ARB), the California Environmental Protection Agency, and other state agencies to review existing forecasts, identify strategies, and compile estimates of potential emissions reductions that are likely to be compatible with strong, long-term economic growth. This report presents the methods, assumptions, and findings of this assessment and served as a basis for Governor Schwarzenegger's climate target announcement on June 1, 2005.

Turning the Corner on Global Warming Emissions: An Analysis of Ten Strategies for California, Oregon, and Washington

Michael Lazarus, Alison Bailie, William Dougherty, Charles Heaps

This report makes a compelling case that the West Coast states can significantly reduce their global warming emissions over the next fifteen years. By 2020, the ten strategies in this report would reduce global warming pollution by 200 million metric tons—26 percent below the emissions that would otherwise occur, and 1 percent below today’s levels. While these reductions are not nearly enough to stabilize the climate, the ten strategies would represent a significant down payment on deeper emissions reductions.

Baseline Recommendations for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Projects in the Electric Power Sector

Michael Lazarus, Sivan Kartha

This report constructs a decision framework that can be applied to all electricity projects. No single methodology can suit all the potential diversity of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism projects in the electricity sector, which span a wide range of scales, fuels, and technologies and will take place in a varied set of electric sector contexts, both on and off the grid. This paper proposes a three-category framework for the different projects, with baseline and additionality methods specific to each, in order to balance the objectives of low transaction costs and environmental accuracy.

Clean Electricity Options for the Pacific Northwest

Michael Lazarus, David von Hippel, Steve Bernow

This report assesses the efficiency and renewable resources that could be tapped to meet Pacific Northwest electricity needs over the next two decades. The last regional assessment of this type was compiled for the Northwest Power Planning Council's 4th Power Plan in 1994-96. Since then, the landscape of technologies, markets, and policy options has shifted, while growing concerns about electricity price volatility, energy security, and global climate change have increased the value of investments in efficiency and renewable resources.

Powering America: Myths vs. Facts in the US Energy and Global Warming Debates

Steve Bernow, Michael Lazarus, Sivan Kartha

This report provides fact-based arguments disproving the current myths of today's "energy crisis." It covers such topics as foreign oil dependency, domestic production of oil, renewable energy, California's energy crisis, and global warming.

Clean Energy: Jobs for America's Future

Alison Bailie, Steve Bernow, William Dougherty, Michael Lazarus, Sivan Kartha

In order to create a responsible, forward-looking energy policy, the United States will need to examine a number of important issues. Will the policy help meet America’s energy needs? Will it enhance national security? Will it contribute to a strong economy? Will it help meet America’s needs for a safe and healthy environment? In order to begin to answer these questions, World Wildlife Fund commissioned the Tellus Institute to consider the potential impacts of implementing a broad suite of clean energy policies over the next twenty years. This study analyzes the employment, macroeconomic, energy, and environmental impacts of implementing such policies.

Coal: America's Past, America's Future

Steve Bernow, Michael Lazarus, Sivan Kartha

As this report shows, a coal-focused national energy strategy would be fundamentally misguided. Wearing foggy and myopic lenses, one might perceive the California power crunch, high natural gas prices, and talk of "clean coal" as ample economic and technical justification for more coal. But closer and clearer examination reveals that there is a long way to go before coal will be truly, if ever, clean and an even longer way before such coal would be competitive. Policy efforts to promote coal would threaten to seriously exacerbate pollution, climate change, and health risks and would would render the chances of international accord in tackling global climate change even more remote.

Cleaner Generation, Free Riders, and Environmental Integrity: Clean Development Mechanism and the Power Sector

Steve Bernow, Sivan Kartha, Michael Lazarus, Thomas Page

This study provides a first-cut estimate of the potential carbon emissions impacts of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), focusing on new power plants in the power sector of non-Annex 1 countries. We conclude that while the CDM could induce some legitimate lower-emission electricity generation in host countries, it could also give rise to a considerable amount of spurious emissions allowances by crediting non-additional ("free-rider") activities—activities that would have taken place even in the absence of the CDM. We find that under some plausible CDM regimes, the CDM could serve primarily as an instrument for generating spurious credits, and only secondarily as an instrument for economic efficiency or sustainable development.

Potential and Cost of Clean Development Mechanism Options in the Energy Sector

Michael Lazarus

This report presents an assessment of the potential and cost of the Clean Development Mechanism as an instrument to partially meet the Greenhouse Gases emission limitation commitments of the Netherlands for the first budget period, 2008-2012. The mitigation potential in non-Annex I countries is significant when compared with Annex I reduction requirements. The inventory of mitigation options suggests that an annual mitigation potential in the first budget period at costs up to 1990 USD 10/ton CO2 is approximately 1.7 Gt CO2 equivalents.

Scenarios of Energy and Agriculture in Africa

Michael Lazarus

This chapter looks at just how fast energy needs might grow under conditions of both limited and rapid growth in Africa’s agricultural production. It examines the energy-agriculture nexus in several case study countries: Cameroon, Mali, Sudan, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Scenarios are then developed for the last three countries to depict possible levels of agricultural activity and their energy use implications through the year 2010.

Chapter 4 in Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Future Energy Requirements for Africa's Agriculture (Rome: FAO, 1995).