More than a decade of examining parcel-level electricity and natural gas consumption in California reveals the issues faced when forging a “just transition” away from natural gas, or combustion-based energy. It shows significant energy consumption inequality across socio-demographic groups and the real challenge of moving toward full electrification. I discuss our data analysis methods and our findings, with suggestions for moving forward.
About the speaker
Stephanie Pincetl conducts research on environmental policies and governance and analyzes how institutional rules construct how natural resources and energy are used to support human activities and create Earth Systems impacts. Her focus is on social and environmental justice and the need to develop equitable strategies to reduce human impacts on the planet. She is an expert in bringing together interdisciplinary teams of researchers across the biophysical and engineering sciences with the social sciences to address problems of complex urban systems and environmental management.
Pincetl has written extensively about land use in California, environmental justice, habitat conservation efforts, urban metabolism, water and energy policy. She has received funding from the National Science Foundation to conduct collaborative research with biophysical scientists on urban ecology and water management in Los Angeles, as well as from the California Energy Commission to develop a methodology to understand energy use in communities in California coupled with social policy considerations (https://www.energyatlas.ucla.edu/). Her book, Transforming California, the Political History of Land Use in the State, is the definitive work on the land use politics and policies of California. She was a co-lead on the urban chapter of the National Second State of the North American Carbon Cycle Report, improving the understanding of how complex urban systems are dependent on carbon based fuels and their contribution to climate change.
She earned her doctorate in urban planning from UCLA. Pincetl spent 10 years working in the nonprofit environmental justice sector and has taught in the Masters of Public Affairs at the Institut de Sciences Politiques in Paris. She is the faculty director of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC), a Los Angeles regional organization dedicated to working across jurisdictions to achieve a better future. She was instrumental in making the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA its institutional home.
Pincetl has received several recognitions and awards for her work, including the Burrill Award from the American Association of Geographers and the 2020 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in geography at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom.