Maximizing Benefits From Climate Investments

Thursday, December 16, 2021 

This webinar is the second in The Climate Center’s Investing in Climate Action for Jobs, Health, and Equity webinar series.

Hear from policymakers, economists, and business leaders as they discuss the levels of investment needed to accelerate climate action in California. This webinar will explore the routes to achieving more ambitious climate goals and outline the economic and health benefits of investing in bold, equitable climate solutions.


Irena Asmundson is the Managing Director of the California Policy Research Initiative and a Policy Fellow at the Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research. From 2013 to mid-2021 she was the Chief Economist at the California Department of Finance, where she oversaw the demographic, economic, and revenue forecasts for the state, and advised the Governor on economic policy issues. Previously she was a Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund, providing advice on international trade and monetary system issues, as well as providing forecasts on a range of countries including the United Kingdom and Afghanistan. She has also served as a Staff Economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. A second-generation California native, she received her BS in Mathematics and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her PhD in Economics from Stanford University.

Dr. Manuel Pastor is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He currently directs the Equity Research Institute at USC. Pastor holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Pastor’s research has generally focused on issues of the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities – and the social movements seeking to change those realities. He has published numerous books on different aspects of these issues.

Pastor was the founding director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has received fellowships from the Danforth, Guggenheim, and Kellogg foundations. In 2017, he received the Champion for Equity Award from the Advancement Project for his work with community-based organizations fighting for social change.

Dr. Daniel Kammen is the Distinguished Professor of Energy at the University of California, Berkeley, with parallel appointments in the Energy and Resources Group, the Goldman School of Public Policy, and the department of Nuclear Engineering. Kammen is the founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL), Co-Director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment, and Director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center. He has founded or is on the board of over 10 companies, and has served the State of California and US federal government in expert and advisory capacities. Kammen is currently serving as the Senior Adviser for Energy, Climate and Innovation for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and is part of the Power Africa team.

Dan Adler is Senior Advisor for Climate Finance at the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank), where he is leading the development of the Climate Catalyst Fund. Prior to this role, he was Vice President for Policy at the Energy Foundation, a partnership of philanthropies advancing clean energy markets across the U.S. He was previously Managing Director of the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) and President of CalCEF Ventures, where he led the firm’s efforts to identify and catalyze transformational new investment theses across venture capital and project finance.

Jan Pepper has over 30 years of energy and utility experience, with a focus on renewable energy contracting and financing. She joined Peninsula Clean Energy as CEO in May 2016 and has grown the organization to its current state. 

Jan was elected to the city council of Los Altos in 2012 and served as Mayor from December 2014 to December 2015. She was re-elected in 2016 for a second four-year term and served as Mayor from December 2019 to December 2020.  She served on the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District from 2013 to February 2017. She earned a BS in civil engineering and an MBA, both from Stanford University. Jan is a registered professional engineer in California.

Jan formerly worked at Silicon Valley Power and has founded four energy-related start-ups.  At APX, she developed and pioneered the first use of renewable energy credits, which are now the standard currency for trading and tracking renewable power.