Fall 2023 - 61155 - PA 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy




Energy use in the real estate (RE) sector (including residential, commercial, and industrial buildings) for constructing the buildings and for operating them (heating, cooling, lighting, appliances, and refurbishments) accounts for over a third of global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. As part of global efforts to reach net zero carbon (NZC) by 2050, the RE sector has been undergoing a fundamental transformation over the last decade as regards how buildings are financed, built, operated, maintained, refurbished, and turned over. This course will consider the critical elements of that transformation, including: 1. The evolving RE ecosystem, 2. Driving forces (policy, regulation, investors), 3. NZC frameworks (e.g., Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative (NZAM) and Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), 4. Portfolio- and asset-level planning and investment tools and processes (e.g., CRREM), and 5. Future policy outlook of this sector. In covering these topics, the course will also explore intersections of NZC buildings with the ‘E’ of ESG (environmental, social, and governance). Course materials will draw from both current scholarship and practice literature, focusing on understanding how different policies, industry frameworks, and data and modeling tools intend to guide the evolution of the RE sector toward NZC 2050 and, in doing so, what new problems and challenges arise, and how those might be addressed in turn. Through course readings, invited expert lectures, and hands-on assignments, students will learn an integrated “sector-to-asset” view of the RE sector as regards NZC, all the way from high-level policies and frameworks down to concrete data and modeling tools necessary in making decisions at a single asset level.

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