January 14, 2021: IRES Student Seminar with Sandeep Pai and Ian Theaker (First Seminar in Term 2)

IRES Seminar Series

Time: 12:30pm to 1:30pm (every Thursday)

Via Zoom

View video.


Examining India’s Socio-economic Dependency on Coal

To meet the Paris climate goals of keeping global warming well below 2-degree C (“WB2C”), fossil fuels particularly coal need to rapidly decline in the global energy mix in the next few decades. A few Global North countries such as Canada & Germany have already made plans to phase out coal. However, attaining WB2C goals would entail phasing out coal not just in rich countries but also in emerging economies such as India, which is the second largest producer and consumer of coal. While prior work has focused on a coal transition in India from a techno-economic point of view, little attention has been given to the socio-economic dimensions of a coal transition. To address this gap, Sandeep collected a large dataset and assessed the socio-economic risks and resilience associated with a coal transition in India at a district (a local administrative unit within a state) level. In this talk, Sandeep will provide key insights into the potential risks associated with a coal transition, including loss of jobs in coal dependent districts, loss of local government revenues, and loss of social spending by coal companies. Sandeep will also outline resilience factors overcome these risks.

Sandeep Pai

IRES PhD Program


Sandeep Pai is a Public Scholar and Doctoral Candidate at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, where he is researching fossil fuel phase-out and just transitions. Previously, Sandeep worked as a journalist with national newspapers in India such as the Hindustan Times, covering India and South Asia’s energy sector. He has also co-authored a book on global energy transition, “Total Transition: The Human Side of the Renewable Energy Revolution,” which was released in 2018.

Energy & Climate Performance Benchmarking of Residential Condos – Essential Data for Market Transformation

Every new Canadian car displays an EnerGuide label, estimating its annual fuel consumption, costs and GHG emissions; consumers use EnerGuide labels to compare the energy performance of new appliances. But few Canadian condominium homebuyers have timely access to data to assess or compare the energy and climate performance of their purchase options – some of the largest fiscal and climate decisions in many lives. The literature and empirical research for this thesis resulted in pragmatic recommendations for design of building performance benchmarking and public disclosure regulations that effectively transform real estate markets by recognizing improved climate performance.

Ian Theaker

IRES MSc Program Alumnus (Dec 2020)


Ian Theaker is a Canadian pioneer in green building design, assessment, advocacy and policy. As the Canada Green Building Council’s first Program Manager, he lead creation of the LEED Canada rating programs. His energy analysis, design and engineering works include the OHSU River Campus (LEED-NC Platinum), and Portland Oregon’s Lloyd Crossing Sustainable Urban Design, an AIA COTE Top 10 winner. Signature policy projects include Waterfront Toronto’s climate-positive Green Development Requirements, Infrastructure Ontario’s Sustainability Best Practices Manual, and a ground-breaking integrated delivery process pilot for deep retrofits of 5 multi-family social housing site with Toronto’s Atmospheric Fund.