DeCicco, M. John


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Climate and Energy | Energy Sustainability and Policy | Renewable Energy | Transportation Energy |

Research Professor Emeritus


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John M. DeCicco is a research professor emeritus retired from the University of Michigan Energy Institute. His work addresses global energy and environmental challenges through an interdisciplinary approach anchored in physical science while drawing insights from economics, other social sciences and public policy.

As a nationally recognized leader on energy issues, Prof. DeCicco’s research has focused on transportation sector energy use and CO2 emissions, including vehicle efficiency, petroleum use, biofuels, electrification and consumer issues as well as the role of atmospheric CO2 removal in offsetting the CO2 released from the combustion of liquid fuels. His past studies were influential in the development of automotive fuel economy and GHG emissions standards and his recent work addresses methodological challenges related to biofuels and atmospheric CO2 levels.

He remains active in research and also teaches the “Mobility and the Environment” module for the Foundations of Mobility online credential offered by the University of Michigan. His Cars and Climate website includes brief summaries of his work and perspectives on the issue.

Over the years he has analyzed many other energy and environmental topics, including energy use in buildings, energy-related consumer behavior and the impacts of electricity generation. He directed the University of Michigan Energy Survey from Fall 2013 through Winter 2019; co-chaired the university’s conference on Transportation, Economics, Energy and the Environment (TE3) from 2014 through 2019; and serves as a lecturer and speaker for both academic and general audiences.

Before returning to academia in 2009, he spent over twenty years working on energy and environmental policy at nonprofit organizations, including positions as a senior fellow at the Environmental Defense Fund, transportation director for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and staff scientist at the National Audubon Society. He has testified numerous times before Congress and has more than 200 published papers, articles, reports and formal public policy submissions to his credit. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Princeton University.