State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

2015 Competitive Climate Environmental Policy Competition

By Daniel Morgan

Columbia Economics Review has announced the winners of the 2015 Competitive Climate Environmental Policy Competition. This year’s competition attracted participants from over 25 colleges and universities across the United States, including Brown, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Harvard, Northwestern, Penn, Princeton, Stanford, UC Berkeley and Yale. Teams of one to four members competed for a grand prize of $500, a runner-up prize of $250 and a third-place prize of $125.

2nd Place. From left to right: David Neher and Khristopher Nicholas (Columbia University)


This year’s prompt invited students to select one of the eight action areas outlined at the United Nations Climate Summit, and to develop a viable policy proposal that the United States federal government could adopt to help reduce the rate of climate change and environmental damage. Teams submitted 10- to 15-minute PowerPoint video presentations, which were initially reviewed by a group of Columbia Economics Review board members. Five finalists were selected from the initial pool, and ultimately a panel of five judges determined three winners. Submissions were judged according to their analysis of the environmental and economic costs associated with climate change, as well as their discussion of the environmental impact, economic costs and effects, and political feasibility of their proposals.

This year’s winners are:

1st Place: Zoraya Hightower, Jacob Bukoski and Kate Heller (Yale University) and Robert Goldfin (George Washington University)

2nd Place: Khristopher Nicholas and David Neher (Columbia University)

3rd Place: Charlie Jiang, Minjia Zhong, Robert Young and Shane Johnson (Stanford University)

Honorable Mention: Will Cassidy and Max Miller (University of Pennsylvania) and Brandon Blaesser, Joel Sam Li and Patrick Reed (Yale University)

1st Place. From left to right: Kate Heller, Zoraya Hightower and Jacob Bukoski (Yale University)


The video presentations of the five finalists are available through Columbia Economics Review’s online resource, Economicus. The winning presentations will also be recognized by The Earth Institute, Columbia University and be featured in the Spring 2015 edition of Columbia Economics Review and on Columbia’s Economics Department website.

3rd Place. From left to right: Charlie Jiang, Minjia Zhong, Robert Young and Shane Johnson (Stanford University)

Special thanks go to the competition co-chairs, Daniel Morgan and Ray de Oliveira, as well as the judges, Jason Bordoff, Michael Gerrard, Patrick Kinney, Elliott Sclar and Sara Tjossem. We would also like to thank the Columbia University Economics Department, the Program for Economics Research and The Earth Institute for their generous support.

Daniel Morgan is a junior at  Columbia College majoring in Economics, with a special concentration in Business Management


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9 years ago

a beautiful project. I wish everyone success