Environmental Justice

Environmental problems affect everyone on the planet, but disenfranchised communities are often the most affected and least represented. We mentor and develop a diverse contingent of experts while confronting injustices at the community and global level.


In the News


California’s clean energy leap: Easy electrification for most homes

Most California homes can achieve electrification with strategic load management, eliminating the need for costly panel upgrades in a majority of cases, according to new research published in Energy Policy. The study, led by Eric Fournier, research director at UCLA’s California Center for Sustainable Communities, analyzed the capacity of existing electrical panels in homes across the state. These panels limit a home’s power draw at any given time, and their capacity is crucial for electrification — increased electric appliance use can strain older or undersized panels.

Electrician working on electric panel


William Boyd Explores Forever Chemicals and the Failures of Environmental Regulations in New Paper for Legal Planet

UCLA environmental law professor William Boyd wrote about widespread contamination by PFAS, or “forever chemicals,” and the failures of environmental regulation at Legal Planet and the Law & Political Economy Blog.…

Major industrial area with sunset in the background


Will changes at San Gabriel Mountains National Monument serve LA’s communities of color?

Stephanie Pincetl, a professor at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and founding director of the university’s California Center for Sustainable Communities, said that LA County needs to provide more public open space close to where people live. That way, city dwellers need not drive to the mountains in such high numbers in order to enjoy nature. Another way of limiting visitation, she said, might lie in initiating the kind of permitting strategy used at other popular parks, such as Yosemite, which caps guest numbers per day. Pincetl believes the importance of the lands to Indigenous people only heightens the need for better stewardship by all visitors and caretakers. “These spaces have historic cultural value and meaning for tribal people, and we’re asking them to share,” she said. “How do we graciously acknowledge their generosity in sharing this land with us by taking good care of it ourselves?”

A child plays along the Arroyo Seco near Switzer Picnic Area, San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.


UCLA Named Finalist for SEPA Power Player Award in Equity

The California Center for Sustainable Communities, along with UCLA research teams and departments, has been selected as a finalist for the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) 2024 Power Player Awards in the Equity category.

SEPA Power Player Award Finalist graphic


Stephanie Pincetl Co-Authors Research on Net Zero Urban Water

Founding Director of the California Center for Sustainable Communities and Chair of UCLA’s Environment and Sustainability Ph.D. program Dr. Stephanie Pincetl co-authored a study, “Advancing a Net Zero Urban Water Future in the United States Southwest.” Published in ACS ES&T Water, the research examines the feasibility of Net Zero Urban Water (NZUW) — cities becoming self-sufficient with local water sources. This is crucial for the water-stressed US Southwest, where the Colorado River can’t meet the demands of 40 million residents.


Student practicum team drills into urban oil fields

A student-led survey has uncovered stark disparities in public health outcomes for L.A. neighborhoods with oil and gas drilling.

Open for business in the Congo rainforest

Recently, crew of college students from UCLA and Cameroon left convenience behind and plunged into the rainforest. Their objective: reopen a field station that had been shuttered for two decades,…


Quantifying the electric service panel capacities of California’s residential buildings

Eric Daniel Fournier, Robert Cudd, Samantha Smithies, Stephanie Pincetl

Published Work | 2024 | Energy Policy

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