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Nathan Hultman and Gregory Nemet awarded inaugural World Citizen Prizes in Environmental Performance

APPAM is proud to announce the recipients of the inaugural World Citizen Prizes in Environmental Performance, Dr. Nathan Hultman and Dr. Gregory Nemet.

Granted by David and Joy Peyton, the award recognizes research that assesses pathways to achieve measurable but as-yet unrealized gains in overall environmental performance, in particular to reduce consumption and waste. Professor Nemet receives the award for his book “How Solar Energy Became Cheap: A Model for Low-Carbon Innovation” (2019), while Professor Hultman receives the award for his work as lead author on the report Fulfilling America’s Pledge: How States, Cities and Businesses are Leading the United States to a Low-Carbon Future (2018).

“Joy and I made this grant to encourage the policy profession to take on challenges that go beyond the United States to the whole world,” said David Peyton. “Nate Hultman is being recognized for taking on a greatly needed role of policy leadership, and Greg Nemet for his work in advancing solar energy and in the best application of tax policy to promote environmental progress.”

Hultman-Photo-HeadshotProfessor Hultman, as research director for the America’s Pledge Initiative on Climate Change, and lead author for the 2018 report and forthcoming 2019 report, has helped shape a collaborative research program that combines robust analysis of climate policy options with stakeholder engagement and communications. With contributions from a research team of 55 co-authors across seven institutions, Fulfilling America’s Pledge includes both new analytical and modeling approaches as well as a broad engagement strategy, drawing from work with diverse stakeholders across sectors and governance levels to identify and assess the impact of options with near-term potential for policy action.



Professor Nemet’s work for his book came as part of his Andrew Carnegie Fellowship in 2017, which he used to study solar energy’s widespread adoption. For it he drew on new data analyses and conducted interviews with 75 people across 18 countries, and discovered that central to solar energy’s success have been the flows of knowledge from one country to another. This is often embodied in equipment and as tacit knowledge in the heads of internationally mobile individuals.


In order to be eligible for the prize the scholars had to meet two requirements. First, the work should recognize research that assesses pathways to achieve measurable but as-yet unrealized gains in overall environmental performance, in particular to reduce consumption, waste, and global warming. Secondly, the work may be published research, a Master thesis, or a Ph.D. dissertation as long as it was created within the last two calendar years of the award calendar year.

Nate Hultman is Founding Director of the Center for Global Sustainability (CGS) and Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. From 2014-2016, Hultman worked at the White House on the Obama Administration’s climate and energy policy team, and included work on the U.S. climate target and the Paris Agreement. He holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Energy & Resources from the University of California, Berkeley and B.A. in Physics from Carleton College. He is also a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Gregory Nemet is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the La Follette School of Public Affairs. He teaches courses in energy systems analysis, policy analysis, and international environmental policy. Nemet's research focuses on understanding the process of technological change and the ways in which public policy can affect it.  He received his doctorate in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley. His A.B. is in geography and economics from Dartmouth College.

The review committee for 2019 consisted of Elizabeth Baldwin, Assistant Professor at The University of Arizona’s School of Government and Policy; Daniel Matisoff, Associate Professor at Georgia Tech’s Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, and David Peyton.

The award, consisting of a plaque, a $2,500 prize, and travel funds to attend the Fall Research Conference, will be presented to both recipients at a special event during the conference. 


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