Sustainability Science Program

Anant Sudarshan

Anant Sudarshan

Anant SudarshanDr. Anant Sudarshan
Sustainability Science Program
Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 81
Harvard University
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Office: 311 Rubenstein Building
Tel: (1) 617-496-5947
Group affiliation: Giorgio Ruffolo Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Sustainability Science
Personal website:

Anant Sudarshan is a Giorgio Ruffolo Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Sustainability Science Program. He works at the intersection of energy policy, behavioral science, environmental economics, and engineering. His research focuses on the design and evaluation of a pilot emissions trading program for Indian industry that has the support of India’s Ministry for Environment and Forests. Anant is contributing to collaborative work with the Initiative on Public-Private Partnerships to Promote Sustainable Development in India led by Professor Rohini Pande. His other research evaluates the impact of energy standards on the Indian appliance market, studies the health costs from local air pollution and seeks to quantify how different incentive structures - both financial and behavioral - can be used to change household energy behaviors. He holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi) and Stanford University respectively. He received his PhD in Management Science and Engineering, focusing on energy economics, from Stanford University (2011). His doctoral research explored the determinants of residential energy consumption and the role California efficiency policies had in reducing energy intensity in the state. He has carried out field trials to understand the effects of providing real time electricity consumption feedback to households. His faculty hosts are Rohini Pande at Harvard and Michael Greenstone at MIT.

A particulate emissions trading scheme for India: Evaluating the impact of information and markets
A leading environmental concern in India involves the impact of particulate matter emissions on human health. Nearly a third of the urban population lives in areas with ambient particulate standards exceeding health standards. Industrial emissions form an important part of this problem with many industry burning solid fuels with high polluting potentials. Regulation is difficult with limited industry compliance in light of infrequent manual monitoring. At the same time the costs of complying with air pollution standards may be significant for a growing industrial sector. This project will proceed in two phases. The first part involves testing the impact of real time emissions information provided to regulators and the public through the use of continuous emissions monitoring systems. The hypothesis is that better information could lead to more effective regulation and greater industry compliance with existing laws. Public disclosure may create an additional source of pressure on industry to operate as cleanly as possible. Phase two of the project involves the design and evaluation of a pilot emissions trading system for particulates in India and measurement of its effects on source-level emissions and abatement costs using a randomized-controlled trial. This rigorous design provides extremely reliable estimates of the effects of the pilot trading scheme and will help build public support for market-based environmental regulation. By increasing monitoring and transparency in a regulatory framework that fixes clear goals, emissions trading may also have benefits for the political economy of regulation. A robust trading scheme can attract climate change financing to developing countries by demonstrating reliable verification of total emissions.

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