Climate Center

The ESG Initiative at the Wharton School
The Climate Center brings together stakeholders from academia, government, communities, and the private sector to conduct academically rigorous, practically relevant research on topics such as climate change, renewable energy, air and water pollution, waste disposal, biodiversity, and deforestation.

Featured Research

Formative Experiences and the Price of Gasoline

Gas prices continue to climb, surpassing $6/gallon in some U.S. states. For today’s teenage drivers, the reverberations of these price shocks will be felt for years to come. According to a new study by Chris Severen, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and Arthur van Benthem, Wharton professor of business economics and public policy, oil crises during your formative years shape driving behavior later in life.

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Banks and Climate Governance

Major banks in the United States and globally have begun to assert an active role in the transition to a low-carbon economy and the reduction of climate risk through private environmental and climate governance. This Essay by Associate Professor Sarah E. Light and Assistant Professor Christina P. Skinner, both of Wharton’s Legal Studies & Business Ethics Department, situates these actions within historical and economic contexts: It explains how the legal foundations of banks’ sense of social purpose intersect with their economic incentives to finance major structural transitions in society. In doing so, this Essay sheds light on the reasons why we can expect banks to be at the center of this contemporary transition.

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Faculty Leadership

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Associate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy
Faculty Co-Director, Climate Center

Sarah Light 3760 1418


Associate Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics
Faculty Co-Director, Climate Center

A Brief History 

Recognizing the emerging needs of its students and society at large, Wharton unified several of its existing centers, each with an extensive history of expertise in environmental, social, and governance topics, to form the ESG Initiative on July 1, 2022. Formerly known as The Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, The Climate Center brings more than 37 years of academic rigor and research, ranging from climate change, to energy markets, to disaster risk financing and reduction strategies.

As we build the integrated ESG Initiative website, please refer to the Climate Center’s former website here »

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The ESG Initiative at the Wharton School