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To Make Greener Buildings, Try Innovating around the Edges

The building industry is slow to change. But three Yale alumni are finding ways to make changes on the margins and in the process offer solutions that aren’t easy to ignore.

A aerial photo of a 20th-century building retrofitted with solar panels.
  • Researchers Propose New Method to Hedge against the Risk of Climate Disaster

    Markets could be a huge part of mitigating climate risk. A proposal from Yale finance faculty seeks to make that a reality.

    Firefighters battling the Getty fire in the Brentwood Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles on October 28, 2019. Photo: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images.
  • For a Path to a Decarbonized Economy, Look to the States

    Robert Klee, a lecturer at Yale and the former commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, says that state-level approaches to the climate crisis provide a roadmap for a 10-year, trillion-dollar effort to put the U.S. on a path to decarbonization.

    A solar panel linked to a Tesla Powerwall in Monkton, Vermont. Photo: Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist/Bloomberg via Getty Images.
  • Energy Companies Have the Power to Act with Purpose

    Rich Lesser, CEO of the Boston Consulting Group, and Yale SOM’s Jeffrey Sonnenfeld write that when government fails to address the threat of climate change, businesses must lead.

    Factory smokestacks at sunset
  • Why We Need Finance to Fight Climate Change

    There won’t be a transition to clean energy without a way to finance what could be the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken. Yale Insights talked with Jeffrey Schub ’13 of the Coalition for Green Capital about what a National Climate Bank could achieve.

    A solar generation project outside Linyi, China. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images.
  • What Does it Take to Bring Offshore Wind to Massachusetts? 

    Offshore wind could bring cheap power to Massachusetts and help turn the state into a green tech hub. But before the turbines start turning, a variety of stakeholders, including the state’s iconic fishing industry, need to be brought on board.

    A wind farm off Rhode Island's Block Island. Photo: Deepwater Wind.
  • Big Issues: What is Water Worth?

    Julie Zimmerman, a professor of green engineering at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Science, joined the Global Leadership: Big Issues class to explore some of the complex issues surrounding water scarcity and its connection to energy and climate.

    People from the Borana tribe by a reservoir in Yabelo, Ethiopia. Photo: Eric Lafforgue/Art In All Of Us/Corbis via Getty Images.
  • Big Issues: It’s Past Time to Decarbonize the Economy

    Professor Douglas Kysar of Yale Law School visited Yale SOM's Global Leadership: Big Issues course to discuss what it will mean to begin grappling with climate change in earnest.

    A wildfire in Malibu, California, in November 2018. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images.
  • Can Green Banks Scale Clean Energy?

    Richard Kauffman ’83 explains how the New York Green Bank has made possible $1.5 billion in clean energy projects that wouldn’t otherwise have happened.

    Solar panels in New York City
  • Is There Reason for Optimism on Climate Change?

    Yale’s Dan Esty points to hopeful signs of progress on a bottom-up response to climate change in the wake of the Paris Agreement.

    Demonstrators in Washington, D.C., during the People's Climate Movement March on April 29, 2017. Photo: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images.
  • Can We Adapt to Climate Change?

    Climate change has the potential to reshape the priorities facing businesses, governments, and societies. Experts look at the key challenges around the world.