Wei Peng

Wei Peng
Pennsylvania State University | Penn State · School of International Affairs and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

PhD in Public Policy

About

49
Publications
10,792
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1,163
Citations

Publications

Publications (49)
Article
In the 21st Conference of the Parties held in Paris in December 2015, China pledged to peak its carbon emissions and increase non-fossil energy to 20% by 2030 or earlier. Expanding renewable capacity, especially wind power, is a central strategy to achieve these climate goals. Despite greater capacity for wind installation in China compared to the...
Article
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Existing estimates of optimal climate policy ignore the possibility that carbon tax revenues could be used in a progressive way; model results therefore typically imply that near-term climate action comes at some cost to the poor. Using the Nested Inequalities Climate Economy (NICE) model, we show that an equal per capita refund of carbon tax reven...
Article
In the struggle to mitigate the worst impacts of global climate change, China’s energy transformation will be a critical example for the rest of the world. As the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases and the world’s second-largest economy, China’s strategies for blending economic growth with decarbonization will be watched carefully, particu...
Book
Climate change is a key problem of the 21st century. China, as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has committed to stabilize its current emissions and dramatically increase the share of electricity production from non-fossil fuels by 2030. However, this is only a first step: in the longer term, China needs to aggressively strive to reach a go...
Chapter
Climate change is a key problem of the 21st century. China, as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has committed to stabilize its current emissions and dramatically increase the share of electricity production from non-fossil fuels by 2030. However, this is only a first step: in the longer term, China needs to aggressively strive to reach a go...
Chapter
Climate change is a key problem of the 21st century. China, as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has committed to stabilize its current emissions and dramatically increase the share of electricity production from non-fossil fuels by 2030. However, this is only a first step: in the longer term, China needs to aggressively strive to reach a go...
Article
We find that if all countries adopt the necessary uniform global carbon tax and then return the revenues to their citizens on an equal per capita basis, it will be possible to meet a 2 °C target while also increasing wellbeing, reducing inequality and alleviating poverty. These results indicate that it is possible for a society to implement strong...
Article
Using a multi-sector model of human and natural systems, we find that the nationwide cost from state-varying climate policy in the United States is only one-tenth higher than that of nationally uniform policy. The benefits of state-led action — leadership, experimentation and the practical reality that states implement policy more reliably than the...
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Traditionally, analysis of the costs of cutting greenhouse gas emissions has assumed that governments would implement idealized, optimal policies such as uniform economy-wide carbon taxes. Yet actual policies in the real world, especially in large federal governments, are often highly heterogeneous and vary in political support and administrative c...
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The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a cap-and-trade system targeting CO2 emissions from the electricity sector in the northeastern United States. As a major power producer and carbon emitter, Pennsylvania plans to join RGGI in 2022, which will affect both the carbon market (i.e., RGGI) and the regional electricity market (i.e., PJM). C...
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Political-feasibility concerns are at the center of real-world air-pollution policymaking. Yet, these concerns are often not represented in leading decision-support tools that have been used for assessing policies' environmental impacts. Focusing on a wide range of clean-air policies in India, we assess their political-feasibility scores on the bas...
Article
Approximately seven million population in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of China, a global climate sensitive region, still rely primarily on yak dung for household cooking and heating. The treatment and combustion of yak dung result in a variety of negative impacts in terms of local alpine grassland degradation, indoor air pollution, public health risk...
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To predict how society and political systems might actually respond to warming, upgrade integrated assessment models. To predict how society and political systems might actually respond to warming, upgrade integrated assessment models.
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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions has the 'co-benefit' of also reducing air pollution and associated impacts on human health. Here, we incorporate health co-benefits into estimates of the optimal climate policy for three different climate policy regimes. The first fully internalizes the climate externality at the global level via a uniform carbon p...
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Background Exposure to air pollution, a leading contributor to the global burden of disease, can cause economic losses. Driven by clean air policies, the air quality in China, one of the most polluted countries, has improved rapidly since 2013. This has enabled a unique, quasi-experiment to assess the economic impact of air pollution empirically....
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Computational models show that regionally varied prices for carbon emissions can greatly reduce the need for poor countries to receive financial assistance to tackle climate change, while still stabilizing global warming. Modest variation in carbon prices lowers international financial transfers.
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Climate change will continue unabated in the coming years unless we rapidly reduce consumption of fossil fuels. The COVID pandemic will provide temporary reductions in overall energy consumption, but this will not last. In the United States, for example, in the first six months of 2020 there was a 5% reduction in electricity and 8.5% reduction in t...
Article
The coal-dominated electricity system poses major challenges for India to tackle air pollution and climate change. Although the government has issued a series of clean air policies and low-carbon energy targets, a key barrier remains enforcement. Here, we quantify the importance of policy implementation in India’s electricity sector using an integr...
Article
China is the world's largest producer and consumer of coal, but the country has recently set ambitious targets for cleaner energy sources. These include goals to capture and utilize methane from coal seams as a source of unconventional natural gas. We investigate the impacts of using coal methane to displace coal power plants and residential coal c...
Article
As the world's largest coal producer and consumer, China's transition from coal to cleaner energy sources is critical for achieving global decarbonization. Increasing regulations on air pollution and carbon emissions and decreasing costs of renewables drive China's transition away from coal; however, this transition also has implications for employ...
Article
Ambient air pollution kills over four million people every year globally. Improving air quality presents a complex problem for governments as emissions are produced from a wide range of sources and tend to cross boundaries. To understand the challenge of transboundary air pollution transfer, we use a detailed emissions inventory and a source-orient...
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The health co-benefits of CO2 mitigation can provide a strong incentive for climate policy through reductions in air pollutant emissions that occur when targeting shared sources. However, reducing air pollutant emissions may also have an important co-harm, as the aerosols they form produce net cooling overall. Nevertheless, aerosol impacts have not...
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Realizing the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 2 °C by the end of this century will most likely require deployment of carbon-negative technologies. It is particularly important that China, as the world’s top carbon emitter, avoids being locked into carbon-intensive, coal-fired power-generation technologies and undertakes a smo...
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China needs to manage its coal-dominated power system to curb carbon emissions, as well as to address local environmental priorities such as air pollution and water stress. Here we examine three province-level scenarios for 2030 that represent various electricity demand and low-carbon infrastructure development pathways. For each scenario, we optim...
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Both energy production and consumption can simultaneously affect regional air quality, local water stress and the global climate. Identifying the air quality–carbon–water interactions due to both energy sources and end-uses is important for capturing potential co-benefits while avoiding unintended consequences when designing sustainable energy tran...
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Solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation can greatly reduce both air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuel electricity generation. The Chinese government plans to greatly scale up solar PV installation between now and 2030. However, different PV development pathways will influence the range of air quality and climate...
Article
Electrification with decarbonized electricity is a central strategy for carbon mitigation. End-use electrification can also reduce air pollutant emissions from the demand sectors, which brings public health co-benefits. Here we focus on electrification strategies for China, a country committed to both reducing air pollution and peaking carbon emiss...
Article
China is the world's top carbon emitter and suffers from severe air pollution. We examine near-term air quality and CO2 co-benefits of various current sector-based policies in China. Using a 2015 base case, we evaluate the potential benefits of four sectoral mitigation strategies. All scenarios include a 20% increase in conventional air pollution c...
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Solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation is expanding rapidly in China, with total capacity projected to be 400 GW by 2030. However, severe aerosol pollution over China reduces solar radiation reaching the surface. We estimate the aerosol impact on solar PV electricity generation at the provincial and regional grid levels in China. Our approa...
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China is the world's top carbon emitter and suffers from severe air pollution. It has recently made commitments to improve air quality and to peak its CO2 emissions by 2030. We examine one strategy that can potentially address both issues—utilizing long-distance electricity transmission to bring renewable power to the polluted eastern provinces. Ba...
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Facing severe air pollution and growing dependence on natural gas imports, the Chinese government plans to increase coal-based synthetic natural gas (SNG) production. Although displacement of coal with SNG benefits air quality, it increases CO2 emissions. Due to variations in air pollutant and CO2 emission factors and energy efficiencies across sec...
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As part of the 12th Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government has developed air pollution prevention and control plans for key regions with a focus on the power, transport, and industrial sectors. Here, we investigate the contribution of residential emissions to regional air pollution in highly polluted eastern China during the heating season, and fin...
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It is not known whether exposure to air pollutants causes systemic oxidative stress in children. We investigated the association between exposure to air pollution and biomarkers of oxidative stress in relation to a governmental air quality intervention implemented during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. We studied 36 schoolchildren during 5 time per...

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