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Zack Subin

Zack Subin

Senior Associate
  • US Program

Zack is a Senior Associate in RMI’s US Program where he is working to provide actionable information to state and local policymakers and advocates working to accelerate climate action. He is working with RMI’s America’s Pledge team to ensure the United States achieves the country’s original commitments for the Paris climate Agreement, and is on a path to exceed these original commitments by reducing emissions consistent with a 1.5°C global temperature limit.


Zack joined RMI after four years at Energy + Environmental Economics (E3), where he helped lead the “PATHWAYS” modeling team in developing economy-wide scenarios to achieve deep decarbonization goals. His clients included state agencies and electric utilities. Zack’s work helped highlight the importance of building electrification to California policymakers.

Prior to E3, Zack was a student and postdoctoral researcher investigating terrestrial ecosystem feedbacks to climate change in earth system models at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton.

Zack also brings firsthand experience as a local climate advocate to his RMI work: he volunteers with Bay Area organizations building public understanding of and support for combined action to address housing and climate challenges.


PhD, Energy & Resources Group, UC Berkeley
MPP, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
AB, Physics and Math, Harvard University


Oakland, CO

Authored Works

Build Mixed-Income Housing in Wealthy Urban Neighborhoods

The United States is emerging from the acute health and economic crises wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic to a longstanding housing shortage that is only worsening. The compounding harms of this nationwide crisis range from cost burden and inadequate housing to displacement and homelessness. Estimates of the…

wheat field with girl and wind turbines

What Is Needed to Meet US Climate Commitments

The United States has committed to reduce carbon pollution to at least 50-52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 as part of rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement. This newly ambitious nationally determined contribution (NDC) recognizes the urgency for immediate action to reduce cumulative pollution and stabilize the climate. The NDC…

busy highway traffic

If You Build It, the Cars (and the Pollution) Will Come

Colorado plans to expand highways by almost 200 new lane-miles over the next decade. RMI analysis suggests this could increase driving and pollution at the scale of adding 70,000 more cars to Colorado roads every year, running counter to Colorado’s robust climate and transportation policy goals.   Road Expansion Fails…


Building Urbanism into Climate Policy

Over the last several years, I have been helping state agencies and utilities develop deep decarbonization scenarios that follow a “pathways” approach to slashing emissions by 80 percent or more in several decades. At the same time, I have taken a leadership role in the growing pro-housing “Yes in…