How you experience the global energy crisis and climate change depends in large part on where you live. For a special deep dive episode of Pandemic Economics, a podcast produced by the Becker Friedman Institute (BFI), Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) discussed his long-term research in Bihar, India, and the lessons it offers to the rest of the world.

Talking about the challenges, Prof. Greenstone said, “The good state for India is probably a lot of growth and energy consumption because this is what will get them to lead lifestyles that resemble something closer to what we have today, but this may also lead to climate change. The difference in how you see the very same problem makes it such a tough challenge.”

Speaking about how his research in India aims at increasing energy access, Prof. Greenstone added, “We have constructed energy markets so that these costs on human health and that of the climate change are not reflected in the prices that people pay. It is not that people do not pay or they do not want to pay but they will be paying because there are no taxes to reflect them which leads people to continually use fossil fuels.”

While discussing how the world can increase energy access in the developing world without busting the global carbon budget, Prof. Greenstone concluded that to meet global targets, the world governments should look for alternative and non-expensive sources of energy to reduce CO2 emissions.

Hosted by eminent journalists Tess Vigeland and Eduardo Porter, the podcast also had Amir Jina,  an environmental and development economist and an assistant professor at the Harris School of Public Policy share his insights.

Listen to the Podcast here.