In the News

Neil Popovic and Ethan Elkind Call Climate Change a Human Rights Issue

New University, April 5, 2011 by Maxine Wally   “We need resources for assessments and planning; we need help charting a future,” Elkind said. “We need to protect existing, local resources, local water supply, promote retrofitting and realize we are all connected in this.” It is a problem felt by many, bringing about the humanitarian aspect of this issue. “The way it affects people really resonates with others because they can identify with it and can imagine how it feels,” Popovic said.


Ethan Elkind Criticizes Federal Housing Agency Opposition to PACE Program

Greentech Enterprise, July 9, 2010 by Mark Boslet   “I think it is going to keep things on hold,” agrees Ethan Elkind, a climate change research fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and UCLA schools of law. “It makes everything a lot more expensive,” including Fannie Mae loans and the bonds that municipalities sell to raise PACE money.


Ethan Elkind Wants Feds to Keep Clean Energy (PACE) Program

San Jose Mercury News, June 17, 2010 by Ethan N. Elkind   Fannie and Freddie should continue to underwrite mortgages on properties with PACE assessments. They could insist on required safeguards, such as nonacceleration of the PACE assessment at the time of foreclosure and mandatory incorporation of the Energy Department’s PACE guidelines. But they should not jeopardize the future of this promising program over concerns that can be readily addressed. To do otherwise would be to mortgage our economic and environmental future.      


Backyard Renewables

California Energy Circuit, Vol. 8 No. 2. Connected to the News Grid of Energy Business, Policy & Politics. January 15, 2010.

People like to live and work where the sun shines. Why not maximize the power that can be generated closer to demand?  The Golden State does a good job promoting the smallest and the largest sources of renewable power. The California Solar Initiative devotes billions of dollars to small-scale rooftop solar, while state utilities probably lead the world in signing deals for massive central-station solar and wind farms.  But let’s not forget all those large spaces close to load that could support sizable solar and (sometimes) wind installations.  This op-ed discusses large solar installations and the findings of UC Berkeley and UCLA's June 5, 2009 workshop.

The Clean Energy Potential in our Backyard

San Francisco Chronicle, December 9, 2009 by Nancy Skinner and Ethan Elkind

There are prime locations in our cities and developed areas that have significant potential for renewable power generation. These include rooftops of large buildings and the land along our highways, as well as the canals, pipelines and other infrastructure that make up the California aqueduct.

57 Million Chances to Get Housing Right

World Changing, September 8, 2009 by Lisa Stiffler

Here's why and how to build "new urbanist" housing. Two new papers dig into the whys and hows of building higher-density communities, reaching useful and interesting conclusions. Now to the 'hows.' So how do communities get more compact? Let's turn to the second paper, "Removing the Roadblocks: How to Make Sustainable Development Happen Now" out last month from the UC Berkeley School of Law and UCLA School of Law.The report is a blueprint for changing policy and tax structure to encourage more dense development. Its focus is California, but the recommendations could be applied anywhere.

Walk this Way

San Francisco Chronicle, August 30, 2009 by Jared Huffman and Ethan Elkind

The real estate collapse has masked the existence of a severe housing shortage in California. While developers have oversupplied single-family detached homes with backyards, buyers looking for a home within walking distance of jobs, services, good schools, parks and public transit have few options in this state. Communities that have these "sustainable development" characteristics, such as neighborhoods in San Francisco, Pasadena and San Diego, are often among the most expensive in the state. They are also few and far between compared with the vast stretches of suburban homes covering the state. So why is suburban sprawl the norm instead of housing close to shops, cafes and transit? The primary roadblock to this development is local land-use policies.