Category Archives: News & Events

2018 Board of Directors Nominees

The USSEE Board of Directors is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2018 Board Elections. The following nominees are for 3 available positions: President-Elect (1 nominee) and 2 At-Large Member Positions (4 nominees). Nominees are presented by position in alphabetical order. Elections will open Wednesday May 23rd and run through Friday June 8th. Please note, your ISEE/USSEE membership must be up-to-date to vote!

To vote, use the following link:

Candidate for President Elect

Robert B Richardson, Michigan State University

Dr. Robert Richardson is an ecological economist and Associate Professor at Michigan State University with interests in the study of the environment and development, particularly the contribution of ecosystem services to socioeconomic well-being. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from Colorado State University. His research, teaching, and outreach program focuses primarily on sustainable development, and he uses a variety of methods from the behavioral and social sciences to study decision-making about the use of natural resources and the values of ecosystem services. He has conducted research related to agricultural-environmental linkages, household food and energy security, and tradeoffs in decision-making about environmental management in southern and eastern Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia, as well as in various regions of the USA. His work has been published in Ecological Economics, Journal of Environmental Management, and World Development.

Dr. Richardson is a former member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and former chairperson of the subcommittee on Sustainable and Healthy Communities. He is a former officer and board member of the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics, and a member of the International Society for Ecological Economics. He is an affiliate faculty member with MSU’s Environmental Science and Policy Program, Center for Advanced Study of International Development, Center for Regional Food Systems, African Studies Center, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Candidacy Statement: My academic career has been informed and inspired by the tenets of ecological economics, and I would be honored to serve on the USSEE Board as President-elect, and later as President. I have been a member of the International Society for Ecological Economics since 2000, after having attended an ISEE conference as a doctoral student, and I have been a member of the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics since its founding in 2001. The Society has been my primary scholarly community since the formative years of my academic career until the present. I previously served on the USSEE Board as Secretary-Treasurer from 2009 to 2015, and I served as Chairperson of the Conference Committee for the 2011 biennial conference, and as Chairperson of the Scientific Committee for the 2017 conference. As President, my vision for the organization would involve expanding its membership base in regions of the USA where there is high potential but few clusters of members, through outreach to universities and regional organizations. I would focus on the development of education in ecological economics and on elevating the academic profile of the field through outreach with academic institutions, government agencies, and other organizations. Interdisciplinary departments and degree programs are increasing in number across the USA, and I believe that USSEE can make valuable contributions to the curricula and scholarly foundations of those institutions. At a time when scientific knowledge about global challenges is rapidly expanding, there is an increasing need for ecological economics to have a voice in public discourse and policy dialogue, and I would like to see USSEE play a leading role in that effort.

Candidates for Members at Large

Christa Court, University of Florida

Dr. Christa Court is currently an Assistant Scientist in the Food & Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida (UF), Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). She serves as Assistant Director of the UF/IFAS Economic Impact Analysis Program, which conducts regional economic analyses for funded research projects, industry organizations, and government agencies. She also holds affiliate faculty status with the UF Water Institute, the UF/IFAS Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, and the Regional Research Institute at West Virginia University. Her research interests include regional economic modeling, the energy-water nexus, environmental accounting, and connections in human and natural systems. Dr. Court has been involved in numerous funded projects involving regional economic modeling and the integration of environmental data and models within these models over the last decade and has a growing list of related publications. She has undergraduate degrees in Economics and Spanish from Middle Tennessee State University and a Masters and Ph.D. in Economics from West Virginia University. During her time at West Virginia University, Christa held the position of Graduate Research Fellow at the Regional Research Institute after which she spent four years as a contract economist with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Candidacy Statement: I am interested in joining the Board of Directors of the USSEE because I would like to become a more active member of the USSEE.  My personal interests are in the areas of ecological economics, industrial ecology, and integrated modeling of human and physical environment systems. I believe that it is important to integrate otherwise compartmentalized models of individual systems to synthesize and expand research in economics and environmental science simultaneously and to enhance the information available to policymakers as they tackle societal issues including natural resource depletion, climate change, and sustainable development. The USSEE is making strides in all of these areas through its transdisciplinary approach to sustainability science and I would very much like to play a larger role in this group. I believe that my research experience in academia, industry, and government will help the USSEE bridge the gap that often exists between academia and the industry and public policy arenas and will aid the USSEE in putting the concepts of ecological economics into action.

Georgia Mavrommati, University of Massachusetts Boston

Dr. Georgia Mavrommati is an Assistant Professor of Ecological Economics in the School for the Environment at University of Massachusetts Boston. She received her Master in Economic Theory and Policy from University of Crete and her PhD in ecological economics from Panteion University where she served as the Greek contact point of the European Society of Ecological Economics. After completing graduate school, Georgia was a Postdoctoral scholar in the Center for Water Sciences at Michigan State University and afterwards in the Environmental Studies Program at Dartmouth College. Her research focuses on the interface of the economy with the environment. In particular, the dependency of socioeconomic process on ecosystems and the provision to society of ecosystem services attracts her main interest. In her work, she is collaborating with scientists from a variety of disciplines (e.g. decision scientists, aquatic ecologists, forest ecologists, climate scientists) to characterize and value ecosystem services at the watershed level. This research addresses some practical challenges of conventional valuation methods through the development and application of a novel framework based on a deliberative multicriteria method into which sustainability considerations are incorporated and community engagement is ensured. Her teaching is concentrated in the fields of environmental policy and management, sustainable development and coupled social-ecological system dynamics. Her work has been published in several peer-reviewed papers and she recently founded the Ecological Economics and Systems Lab at UMass Boston.

Candidacy Statement: I am excited by the possibility of serving the US Society of Ecological Economics as a board member. Reaching out to new potential members is and will continue to be one of the main goals of the society’s board. One of my main aims as a board member of the society is to work hard towards this vital-for the future of the society-goal. I would like to direct my efforts towards scientists from relevant disciplines, undergraduate and K-12 students, where I think there is the greatest opportunity to expand the society’s outreach and relate ecological economics to various transdisciplinary subjects. I would also be an advocate for programs designed to increase the participation of members of underrepresented groups in the field of Ecological Economics.

Madhavi Venkatesan, Northeastern University

Dr. Madhavi Venkatesan is a faculty member in the Department of Economics at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Her present academic interests are specific to the integration of sustainability into the economics curriculum and she is currently pursuing scholarly interests in sustainable economic development. She serves as the Executive Director of Sustainable Practices, a 501(c)3 non-profit she founded in 2016. Sustainable Practices is focused on increasing financial and economic literacy to facilitate sustainability and thereby promote environmental and social justice as well as economic equity.

Prior to re-entering academics, Madhavi held senior level positions in investor relations for three Fortune 250 companies. In this capacity, she was a principal point of contact for investors and stakeholders and was instrumental in the development of socially responsible investing strategies and corporate social responsibility reporting. Madhavi started her financial services career after completing her post-doctoral fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis. She earned a PhD in Economics from Vanderbilt University, a Masters in Environmental Management from Harvard University, and a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. She is the author of numerous peer reviewed articles and book chapters on the subject of sustainability and economics as well as the text Economic Principles: A Primer, A Framework for Sustainable Practices and forthcoming Foundations in Microeconomics, A Framework for Sustainable Practices and Foundations in Macroeconomics, A Framework for Sustainable Practices. In 2017, Madhavi was granted the Fulbright-SyCip Distinguished Lecturing Award to the Philippines where she gave lectures in the host country in February of 2018 on the role of economics in fostering sustainable outcomes and ultimately, a culture of sustainability.

Candidacy Statement: I appreciate your consideration to serve on the board of the USSEE for the 2018-2020 term. My interest in the position is related to my strong belief that ecological economics needs to be integrated into the mainstream discussion and teaching of economics. I have spent the past few years, writing and speaking on this topic. I have written textbooks that assist in the dissemination of this integration within the high school, community college and university systems and I have responded to solicitations and invitations to speak on the subject. Further, I have leveraged my marketing and communication strategy skills, which were developed during my tenure as an equity analyst and investor relations officer, to channel my communications and thereby extend the range of the ecological economics message to a significantly wide audience as represented by age, education, nationality and income among other demographic characteristics.  Specific to organizational skills, policymaking, collegiality and experience as a volunteer, I have developed, created, established and been an active participant, respectively. I have volunteered my time to numerous organizations over the past 20 years and am presently a board member of the ISEE and serve as the Executive Director of my own non-profit, Sustainable Practices ( As a USSEE board member, I would use my skills and the experience I have gained in my own pursuits to further the goals of USSEE, including increasing the transparency and dissemination of the organization’s focus. Additionally, I would seek to strengthen and establish relationships to promote the significance of the focus of the organization. There are many parallel organizations as well as further increasing sensitivities related to the mission of the USSEE, making the present time a significant opportunity for the organization. Finally, and related, I would work with fellow members to promote both membership and governance functions, both of which I have experience with through past affiliations.

Phillip Warsaw, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Phillip Warsaw is a postdoctoral fellow with the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also completed in Ph.D. in Economics. As a master’s candidate in Environmental Studies, Phillip first began his engagement in ecological economics through his thesis work, titled “Beyond Distribution: Moving Towards a Power-Structures Approach to Environmental Justice in Ecological Economics.” As a doctoral candidate, Phillip continued his work in environmental justice in developing his dissertation, “Essays on the Economics of Food Access”, which developed a microeconomic approach to investigating food insecurity in Milwaukee. As a postdoctoral fellow, he has continued to develop his research agenda of building an economic paradigm centered around environmental justice, using a variety of traditional and non-traditional economics tools, as well as interdisciplinary approaches to his work. Phillip has also been involved in building a broader ecological economics agenda on the UW’s campus, developing and participating in a number of ecological economics reading groups, as well as developing a graduate course in ecological economics in Fall 2017.

Candidacy Statement: In my time as a graduate student and now postdoctoral fellow, I have seen a growing passion among my colleagues for transdisciplinary work to build a new economic paradigm which recognizes social and ecological truths, which ecological economics is uniquely positioned to address. As such, I believe now is a crucial time to recruit a diverse set of young and passionate scholars into the field and provide them with the tools to contribute to the field, both in their research and teaching. As a nominee for the USSEE board, I welcome the opportunity to help contribute to the society on these issues.

In Fall 2017, I was offered the chance to create and lead a graduate course in ecological economics. The course attracted students from several disciplines, including sociology, environmental studies, and agricultural economics. Among the many insights I gained teaching this course, two stand out. First, I believe there is a continued need for support in developing course syllabi. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the course I developed was to my knowledge the first of its kind. As such, I found myself relying heavily on the resources available through the USSEE to develop my syllabus. That said, given the interdisciplinary nature of the field, I believe the society would benefit from continued efforts to provide support to aspiring instructors of ecological economics from varied academic backgrounds. To that end, I would be interested in working with the syllabi subcommittee to continuing to provide these vital resources.

The second insight I gained in my teaching is the importance of a justice-centered message in recruiting a diverse group of scholars to the field. As an academic of color who received his Ph.D. training in neoclassical economics, one of central factors which drew me towards ecological economics is its focus on environmental justice. That said, in speaking with students of color at the UW, all of whom were outside of economics, a common refrain I heard was that they were unaware that a subfield of economics that considered environmental justice even existed! This indicates to me that there may be significant gains in emphasizing these aspects of the field, not only in syllabi, but also in outreach efforts to continue to attract a diverse group of scholars into ecological economics. As such, I would also be committed to working with the membership subcommittee to find avenues to bring such a messaging approach to efforts to grow the USSEE.

The USSEE has provided valuable resources to me as a developing scholar in ecological economics. I am excited about the possibility of working with the USSEE to continue to maintain its current influence and expand its reach to a rising generation of academics ready to contribute to the field.


Call for Papers: International Symposium on Environmental & Energy Finance Issues

24 & 25 May 2018, Paris, France

The 6th International Symposium on Environment and Energy Finance Issues (ISEFI-2018), jointly organized by the IPAG Center for Energy Economics and Environment (IPAG Business School) and the Centre of Geopolitics of Energy and Raw Materials (Paris Dauphine University), will take place on 24 & 25 May 2018 in Paris, France. It aims to provide academics, policymakers, and practitioners with a valuable forum for discussion and critical analysis of the major issues and challenges that interrelate energy, environment, macroeconomics and financial markets.


The conference organizers would like to invite the submission of both theoretical and empirical papers (in PDF files) relating to all aspects of environment, and energy markets as well as their interactions with financial markets. We welcome submissions in the following, but not limited to, topics:

  • Climate negotiations and scenarios for a +2° world
  • Corporate finance analysis for energy companies
  • Econometrics of energy markets
  • Energy and climate models
  • Energy and environment
  • Energy derivatives: pricing and hedging
  • Energy and financial market interactions
  • Energy issues in developing and emerging markets
  • Energy policies for low carbon transportation
  • Energy prices: modeling and forecasting
  • Energy risks: assessment and modeling
  • Electricity networks, smart-grids, electricity demand
  • Financial and economic analysis of energy markets
  • Financial regulation of energy and environmental markets
  • Finance and investment in renewable energy
  • Intergenerational choices under global environmental change
  • Hydroelectricity and water management
  • Natural resources, risk, welfare and social preferences
  • Oil and shale gas
  • Poverty and environmental impacts of electricity price reforms
  • Renewable and low carbon technologies policy
  • Speculation and energy prices
  • State regulation and energy governance
  • Transportation charges in oil and natural gas industries


  • Professor Robert PindyckMIT Sloan School of Management, United States
  • Professor Rick van der PloegUniversity of Oxford & Research Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, United Kingdom


Interested authors can submit their research papers (in PDF files), no later than March 4, 2018 via the Symposium website: SUBMIT


  • March 4, 2018: Submission deadline (full papers, PDF files)
  • March 25, 2018: Notification of acceptance/rejection
  • April 22, 2018: Registration deadline
  • May 24-25, 2018: Symposium event

Please visit the conference website for more details:

For inquiries, ​please contact us at or Khaled Guesmi (

Call for Abstracts: International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology

The International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology 2018 sponsored by the American Academy of Sciences will be held on June 25-29, 2018 in Houston, Texas, USA. The conference will provide a multidisciplinary platform for environmental scientists, engineers, management professionals and government regulators to discuss the latest developments in environmental research and applications. Please visit the conference Website at for more information or send email inquiries to

It would be greatly appreciated, if you can forward this information to your colleagues, friends, students, or anyone who may be interested in the conference.

We look forward to receiving your abstract (Please send to

Conference Secretariat
International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology 2018

(June 25-29, 2018)

American Academy of Sciences

9720 Town Park Dr.

Houston, Texas  77036, USA

Conference Brochure:

Abstract Format:

Abstract Submission:


Conference Web Site:


Click here: IC EST2018

Interdisciplinary PhD Workshop in Sust. Development, Extended Deadline for Application: February 4th

The deadline for applications for Columbia University’s Sustainable Development Doctoral Society eighth Interdisciplinary PhD Workshop in Sustainable Development (IPWSD) (April 6 – 7, 2018) has been extended until Sunday, February 4th 11:59pm EST. 

Please submit your application by filling our online form. All applicants will be notified of the final decision by mid-February 2018. If you have any questions, please visit our website or contact us at

The workshop is targeted to PhD candidates working on the interaction between human development and the environment who seek feedback on their research. We encourage contributions on a wide range of subjects including environmental economics, science and policy, climate impacts, resources management, energy systems, urban planning and public health, among others. IPWSD provides a platform of discussion for an interdisciplinary audience of young researchers. In the past, participants have included students from top university departments in economics, earth and environmental sciences, ecology, political science, engineering, epidemiology, and geography.

Participants should expect to present for 15–20 minutes with plenty of room for discussion. Students in the dissertation stage of their PhD will be given priority for presentation slots, though advanced masters students and post-docs are also encouraged to apply. Some slots will also be available for participants who do not wish to present but who can make significant contributions. Please note that while attendees are expected to cover their travel and lodging expenses, there is no participation fee and light breakfast and lunches will be provided.

The workshop will feature a keynote address by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University

We look forward to seeing you in New York!

IPWSD Organizing Committee

NAREA Call for Abstracts


Submission deadline: February 9th, 2018 at 5PM EST

NAREA is holding their annual meetings in Philadelphia June 9 -12, 2018. NAREA is an academic conference that addresses a wide array of applied economic and policy issues, including topics in food industry and food consumer policy, environmental and resource economics, agriculture and trade, development economics as well as methodological contributions.  The program features several prominent invited speakers, as well as events specifically targeting graduate students and early career academics.

Featured Speakers Include: 

Pol Antras

Harvard University

Global Value Chains: Spiders and Snakes 

Kevin Volpp

University of Pennsylvania

Behavioral Economics and Efforts to Reduce Obesity 

Marc Bellemare

University of Minnesota

Agricultural Value Chains in Developing Countries: Quo Vadis? 

Joseph Price

Brigham Young University

Using Behavioral Economics and Field Experiments to Improve Healthy Eating in Schools


Please consider submitting an abstract! 

Conference registration is now open.  

 Please visit our website for more information:

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS EAERE-FEEM-VIU European Summer School in Resource and Environmental Economics

Climate Change Assessment: Economic Models and Evaluation Criteria
30 June – 6 July 2018 – Venice, Italy

Deadline for applications: February 15th, 2018

The European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE), Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and Venice International University (VIU) are pleased to announce their annual European Summer School in Resource and Environmental Economics for postgraduate students.

The 2018 Summer School will take place from the 30th June to the 6th of July at the VIU campus on the Island of San Servolo, in Venice, located just in front of St. Mark’s Square. The topic covered by the 2018 Summer School is the Climate Change Assessment: Economic Models and Evaluation Criteria.

The objective of the 2018 School is to provide students with a broad understanding of the theory and practice of welfare assessment of economic climate change models, and more generally in the evaluation of long-term environmental economic problems. We focus on two different perspectives: (i) how to construct analytical and numerical climate change models; and (ii) how to design appealing welfare criteria for climate change assessment.

Different economic models and evaluation criteria can lead to vastly different policy recommendations, partially undermining their influence. Some models and criteria can imply pathologic or socially unacceptable implications; for example, when evaluating risk, uncertainty, inequalities, and endogenous population. These issues are addressed in a synthesis of the modelling and evaluative perspectives, following the recent advances in climate change economics.

The 2018 School aims at Ph.D. students and Postdocs working on related topics; Ph.D. students are expected to be in the process of writing a thesis chapter on positive or normative aspects of welfare assessment of climate change (or related long-run integrated policy assessment problems). Attendants will present their research and will receive valuable feedback from the other participants as well as from the School lecturers. An assigned tutor will provide individual feedback during consultation time.


Matthew ADLER
Richard A. Horvitz Professor of Law and Professor of Economics, Philosophy and Public Policy, Duke University

Geir ASHEIM (School Co-Coordinator)
Professor of Economics, University of Oslo

Robert E. Kuenne Professor in Economics and Humanities Studies, Princeton University

Professor of Environmental Economics, Tilburg University

Paolo PIACQUADIO (School Co-Coordinator)
Associate Professor of Economics, University of Oslo

Christian TRAEGER
Professor of Economics, University of Oslo


The Summer School is aimed at Ph.D. students who are writing a thesis on the dynamic macro-economics of environmental and resource problems or climate change and Postdocs who want to engage into a highly interactive exchange with experts in the field. Students will be asked to present an advanced version of their research work and will receive valuable feedback from fellow students and from the School professors.

Application is restricted to 2018 EAERE members, both European and non European citizens.

The application form, information on participation fee and scholarships, and the Summer School regulations are available in the Summer School website.

Summer School Secretariat
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

2018 Congress of the International Society for Ecological Economics

10-12 September 2018, Puebla, Mexico

Ecological Economics and Socio-ecological Movements:
Science, policy, and challenges to global processes in a troubled world

Over the past quarter-century since the ISEE was founded the international community has developed a substantial corpus of law and agreements that recognize our collective responsibility to attend to these serious problems while recognizing the extraordinary diversity of societies in our midst. Our colleagues are engaged in significant efforts to identify and understand the underlying obstacles to implementing effective policies that address the limitations of existing institutions while also searching for new approaches to overcome these problems.

In this vein, we have identified a number of important international issues that Ecological Economists are examining as part of our collective effort. Five problems of particular importance identified by our colleagues are:

  • International capital movements to control natural endowments (land, water, and energy grabbing; biopiracy; ecologically unequal trade) and control social groups
  • International migration in response extreme differences among regions and peoples.
  • Continuing excessive emissions of greenhouse gases at world level in spite of international efforts to reverse the historical trend, combined with remarkable changes in the energy matrix of some countries.
  • Concentration of wealth, income and appropriation of environmental endowments that give rise to conflicts over distribution and provoke “resistance” movements.
  • Threats to biodiversity and the ability of the planet to sustain its natural processes.

While not exhaustive, a considerable number of members of the ISEE are engaged in research on these matters. The lack of flexibility of existing institutions in most countries and the capture of many international organizations by entrenched interests (selling uncritical notions of ecological modernization, “sustainable development”, the “circular economy”) are generating complex obstacles for people searching for solutions to clearly identified problems; social and political conflict is intensifying around the world. At the same time, we are discovering that people around the world are adopting alternative ways to organize themselves, forging new models of “good living”, oftentimes choosing to live at the margins of their societies rather than open themselves to outside environmental and economic exploitation, and to internal and external colonialism. Ecological economists are discovering that these people have much to teach us about possible alternative paths to addressing the challenges. In the terminology of Karl Polanyi, they refuse to be incorporated into the “generalized market system”. Mexico is one of the countries of the world where such social experiments are influential and widespread.

The 2018 ISEE conference invites colleagues examining the problems facing the international community to explore solutions with others engaged in strengthening the myriad of socio-ecological grassroots organizations. By focusing on such interactions among these different communities, we hope to contribute to our goals advancing our understanding of today’s pressing problems while exploring solutions offered by people outside of the traditional circles of influence. In academic terms, we search at the same time for a cross-fertilization between ecological economics and political ecology, ethnoecology, agroecology, energy systems.

Within this frame of reference, we invite participants to consider organizing their contributions to the discussion within the following general themes:

  1. Ecological Economies: How does transdisciplinarity respond to diverse socio-ecological contexts?
  2. Applications of concepts built from the bottom-up: ecological debt and others
  3. Ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, biophysical measurements, metabolisms
  4. Valuation languages and tools of measurement: legal and social processes; incentive instruments; multi-criteria evaluation.
  5. Energy transitions
  6. Social and environmental conflicts; environmental justice
  7. The economy of care and eco-feminist economics
  8. Imaging future societies: What does “Good living” mean?
  9. Ecological macro-economics: prosperity without growth; degrowth; and other ideas
  10. Feeding 9 billion humans: Food security or food sovereignty?; rural-urban transitions.
  11. Measuring and acting in view of globally diverse inequities: gender, indigenous rights, environmental space appropriation, etc.
  12. Ecological Economics as a paradigm to support grassroots alternatives: agroecology, solidarity economies and markets, alternative currencies, workers’ control.

We are planning to organize an intensive retreat for training in and discussion of basic principles in Ecological Economics and related themes in a nearby rural community during the weekend before the conference

6th International Symposium on Environment and Energy Finance Issues (ISEFI-2018)

The 6th International Symposium on Environment and Energy Finance Issues (ISEFI-2018), jointly organized by the IPAG Center for Energy Economics and Environment (IPAG Business School) and the Centre of Geopolitics of Energy and Raw Materials (Paris Dauphine University) with the support of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE), will take place on 24-26 May 2018 in Paris, France. It aims to provide academics, policymakers, and practitioners with a valuable forum for discussion and critical analysis of the major issues and challenges that interrelate energy, environment, macroeconomics and financial markets.


The conference organizers would like to invite the submission of both theoretical and empirical papers (in PDF files) relating to all aspects of environment, and energy markets as well as their interactions with financial markets such as climate negotiations and scenarios for a +2° world, corporate finance analysis for energy companies, econometrics of energy markets, energy and climate models, energy and environment, energy policies for low carbon transportation, energy risks: assessment and modeling, financial regulation of energy and environmental markets, intergenerational choices under global environmental change, and natural resources, risk, welfare and social preferences. See the conference website for more details:


  • Professor Robert Pindyck, MIT Sloan School of Management, United States
  • Professor Rick van der Ploeg, University of Oxford & Research Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, United KingdomORGANIZERS
    • Anna Creti (co-chair), University of Paris Dauphine
    • Khaled Guesmi (co-chair), IPAG Business School
    • Lutz Kilian (co-chair), University of Michigan
    • Duc Khuong Nguyen, IPAG Business School
    • Ingmar Schumacher, IPAG Business School
  • Eric Strobl, University of Bern
  • Cees Withagen, IPAG Business School & VU University


Interested authors can submit their research papers (in PDF files), no later than March 4, 2018 via the Symposium website:


A selection of high-quality papers submitted to the ISEFI-2018 Symposium will be published in Special Issues of Associated Journals (to be announced as soon as possible).


  • March 4, 2018: Submission deadline (full papers, PDF files)
  • March 25, 2018: Notification of acceptance/rejection
  • April 22, 2018: Registration deadline
  • May 24-26, 2018: Symposium event

Blog Post: Can We Stop the Advance of Climate Change While Growing the Global Economy?

Originally posted at

Brett Dolter and Peter Victor discuss growing the global economy and combatting climate change.

Climate change is a “super wicked problem” (Levin et al., 2012). Stopping the rise of global temperatures requires complete decarbonization of our energy system. This shift will upend existing power structures, and disrupt habits and behavioural norms. To add to the challenge, climate change action requires co-operation amongst countries with competing interests, and demands social support for actions that impose costs on citizens today, but will provide benefits primarily to generations not yet born.

In Paris, we saw an emerging commitment to global co-operation as nations around the world pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (UNFCCC, 2015). Nearly two years later, however, researchers have confirmed that “No major advanced industrialized country is on track to meet its (Paris) pledges to control the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change” (Victor et al. 2017).

One characteristic of the “super wicked problem” that is climate change is that “those seeking to end the problem are also causing it” (Levin et al., 2012: 127). We know that every economic transaction requires materials and energy. In a world where our energy system is powered predominantly by fossil fuels, that means every economic transaction creates GHG emissions directly, or indirectly in its supply chain (Dolter & Victor, 2016). Even purchases from the service sector – for example, visiting a masseuse or a barber – generate embodied or shadow GHG emissions (Dolter & Victor, 2016).

In this context, several researchers in the new Handbook on Growth and Sustainability (Victor & Dolter, 2017) have asked, can we address climate change while growing our economy?

The tension between economic growth and reducing GHG emissions can be expressed using the Kaya Identity, which decomposes changes to GHG emissions in terms of its component parts: changes to population, changes to economic activity per capita (GDP/capita), changes to the energy intensity of economic activity (Energy/GDP), and changes to the GHG intensity of energy (GHG/Energy),

Kaya Identity

Globally, GDP/capita and population have been increasing, while the energy intensity of the economy (Energy/GDP) and the GHG intensity of energy (GHG/energy) have been declining. A complete decarbonization of global energy systems would zero out the first term on the right-hand-side of the Kaya Identity (GHG/Energy = 0), reducing GHG emissions to zero, and helping to stabilize concentrations of GHGs in the atmosphere.[1] But, decarbonization of our energy system will not happen overnight. In the meantime, if global GHG emissions are to be reduced, GHG/Energy and Energy/GDP must decline faster than GDP/capita and population grow.

In western liberal democracies, we generally do not look to population control as a solution to climate change, and, in any case, the rate of population growth in rich nations has been declining for decades.[2] This means the race is between GDP growth (GDP/capita), and efforts to decarbonize the energy system (GHG/Energy) and achieve more energy efficiency economic production (Energy/GDP).

Paul Ekins (2017) argues that we can help steer our economy towards low-carbon technologies by implementing a steadily increasing carbon price. In his Handbook chapter, he points to economic modelling studies that show that GDP can continue to grow, while GHG emissions fall and atmospheric GHG concentrations stabilize. Achieving GHG emissions reductions will mean shifting economic activity away from consumption and towards investment. It may be politically difficult to convince voters to support deferred consumption, but, “because economic growth is so attractive to so many people” Ekins argues that promising green growth will make climate action more appetizing to the electorate (Ekins, 2017: P.134).

Anders Hayden (2017) is less convinced of the potential to square the growth and sustainability circle. Hayden (2017) outlines several issues with the kinds of economic modelling studies cited by Ekins (2017): they assume perfect market conditions, ignore technological lock-in, ignore rebound effects from achieving energy efficiency, and often rely on untested carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies that allow us to overshoot our GHG emissions targets, only to reach them later by removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Rather than continuing to promote economic growth (even if green), Hayden argues we should be promoting an “ethic of sufficiency” so that “the ecological imperative of addressing climate change and other environmental challenges is no longer held back by the perceived imperative of endless economic growth” (2017: pp. 139, 154)

The Handbook on Growth and Sustainability provides additional perspectives on whether we can stop the advance of climate change while growing the global economy. Daly (2017) argues for a steady-state, non-growing economy. Sekulova et al. (2017) suggest that rich nations should now focus on degrowth. van den Bergh (2017) proposes an agrowth view that we should be agnostic about economic growth, and instead measure social progress with a broader swath of indicators. The Handbook then goes beyond this debate to explore what our economy and society could look like if we opted to dethrone economic growth from its place as the primary goal of social policy.

The release of the Handbook is timely. Raftery et al. (2017) recently concluded that we have only a 5% chance of limiting global warming to 2°C by 2100. Using the Kaya Identity framework and statistical analysis of past and likely future trends, they conclude that the carbon intensity of economic activity (will likely decline by 1.9%/yr, but these improvements will largely be cancelled out by likely economic growth of 1.8%/yr (Raftery et al., 2017: 3).

This finding suggests that, in the most likely scenarios, we will not halt climate change while growing the economy. While challenging the primacy of economic growth may create new wicked problems, failing to solve the super wicked problem that is climate change will be catastrophic. It is our hope that the 23 chapters in the Handbook on Growth and Sustainability help to clarify whether we can stop the advance of climate change while growing the global economy, and, if not, how we might achieve well-being without growth.

[1] To completely stabilize atmospheric concentrations of GHGs, emissions in non-energy sectors like agriculture must also be reduced to zero or near-zero (allowing for some carbon sequestration in forests and oceans).

[2] Population growth is also not believed to be a major impediment to reducing GHG emissions globally (Raftery et al., 2017). This assumes, however, that areas with high population growth such as Sub-Saharan Africa, continue to stay poor. It also assumes that those living in poverty don’t exacerbate climate change by, for example, harvesting fuelwood from forests and contributing to deforestation. One reason for questioning economic growth in rich nations is to free up ecological space and resources to allow for poverty alleviation in poor nations.


Daly, Herman (2017) “A New Economics for Our Full World.” In (Eds.) Victor, Peter and Brett Dolter The Handbook on Growth and Sustainability. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, MA.

Dolter, Brett and Peter A. Victor (2016) “Casting a long shadow: Demand-based accounting of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions responsibility.” Ecological Economics. 127, pp. 156-164. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.04.013.

Ekins, Paul (2017) “Ecological Modernisation and Green Growth: Prospects and Potential.” In (Eds.) Victor, Peter and Brett Dolter The Handbook on Growth and Sustainability. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, MA.

Hayden, Anders (2017) “Climate Change, Growth, and Sustainability.” In (Eds.) Victor, Peter and Brett Dolter The Handbook on Growth and Sustainability. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, MA.

Levin, Kelly, Benjamin Cashore, Steven Bernstein, and Graeme Auld (2012) “Overcoming the tragedy of super wicked problems: constraining our future selves to ameliorate global climate change.” Policy Sciences. 45, pp. 123-152. DOI: 10.1007/s11077-012-9151-0.

UNFCCC (2015) Paris Agreement. Available on-line at: Last accessed August 4, 2017.

Raftery, Adrian E., Alec Zimmer, Dargan M.W. Frierson, Richard Startz, and Peiran Liu (2017) “Less than 2°C warming by 2100 unlikely.” Nature Climate Change. DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE3352.

van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M. (2017) “Green Agrowth: Removing the GDP-Growth Constraint on Human Progress.” In (Eds.) Victor, Peter and Brett Dolter The Handbook on Growth and Sustainability. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, MA.

Victor, David G., Keigo Akimoto, Yoichi Kaya, Mitsutsune Yamaguchi, Danny Cullenward & Cameron Hepburn (2017) “Prove Paris was more than paper promises.” Nature, August 1, 2017. Available on-line at:

Victor, Peter and Brett Dolter (Eds.) (2017) The Handbook on Growth and Sustainability. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, MA.

Peter A. Victor, Professor, York University and Brett Dolter, Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University of Ottawa, Canada