John Byrne is Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP) and Distinguished Professor of Energy and Climate Policy at the University of Delaware. He has contributed to the United Nations-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 1992. The Panel was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He is chairman of the board of the Foundation for Renewable Energy and Environment (FREE), an international organization established to promote a better future based on energy, water and materials conservation, renewable energy use, environmental resilience, and sustainable livelihoods. He serves on the Committee of Chairpersons of the World Council for Renewable Energy, is a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, and is a visiting faculty member at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (China Energy Group, International Energy Analysis Department). He serves on the Seoul International Energy Advisory Council, providing analysis in support of the ‘Solar City Seoul’ initiative that will build 1 GWp of solar power on public buildings, parking facilities, and residential and commercial buildings by 2022.
In 1998, Dr. Byrne co-founded and served as the first research chair for the International Solar Cities Initiative – a pioneering program to assist cities around the world in building sustainable futures. He received a Fulbright Senior Lecturer/ Researcher Award to teach environmental policy at the Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Seoul National University and to conduct research on a National Greenhouse Gas Abatement Strategy for the Korea Energy Economics Institute. He has held advisory appointments with China’s State Environmental Protection Agency, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI in India) and the Korea Energy Economics Institute, among others. His work in the U.S. has included service as an advisor to the National Council for Science and the Environment (U.S.) and the U.S. Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice.
He conceived the Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) model and co-chaired the nation’s first SEU (created by the Delaware General Assembly) during 2007-2012. He is the architect of its innovative sustainable energy finance program which executed its first tax-exempt bond sale in 2011 with a rating of AA+. The SEU has received U.S. White House recognition as part of the country’s Better Buildings Challenge, is recommended by the Asia Development Bank to its members for affordable green energy development, and was recognized for its innovation in green energy investment by the International Energy Agency in the 2016 edition of its Energy Technology Perspectives series.
Dr. Byrne led efforts to create the first undergraduate and graduate degrees in the United States in the combined field of energy and environmental policy and a committee of internationally respected scholars rated his university center among the three best in the field.
His work has been funded by the World Bank, UNDP, UNEP, the W. Alton Jones Foundation, the Asia Foundation, the Blue Moon Fund, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others. Dr. Byrne is co-editor in chief of the invitation-only journal, WIREs Energy and Environment, a reference work published by Wiley & Sons. Since 1983, he has been the editor of the book series Energy and Environmental Policy, published by Routledge. His recent books for the series include: Green Energy Economies, an assessment of the prospects for and barriers to a paradigm shift in the energy economy; Energy and Environment: The Policy Challenge, which addresses the global warming debate; Environmental Justice, which examines international linkages between social and environmental inequality; and Transforming Power, which explores the prospects for significant change in the world energy system. In Rethinking Environmentalism: Linking Justice, Sustainability, and Diversity (MIT Press), he collaborated with Sharachchandra Lele, Joan Martinez-Alier, Robert Bullard, Eduardo Brondizio, Georgina Mace and other leading environmental scholars in assessing key challenges to the field’s future. He has published 19 books and over 180 research articles.
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