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St Catharine's Political Economy Seminar Series - Richard Lewney 'Policies to promote low-carbon technological development'

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Date: Wednesday 11 March 2020 Time: 18:00 -19:30 Speaker: Richard Lewney Talk Title:’The Economics of Getting to Net Zero’ Location: Ramsden Room, St Catharine’s College

Speaker: Richard Lewney is Chair of Cambridge Econometrics. Over the past four years Richard Lewney has directed two major research projects for DG Energy to improve the methods of modelling the macroeconomic impacts of low-carbon policies. These have included a better treatment of the roles played by finance and innovation, of regional and income distribution impacts, and also of the relevance of other megatrends to the low-carbon transition. Over 2017-19 Richard Lewney has directed projects for the European Climate Foundation examining: (i) the technological costs and economic impacts of alternative pathways to a net-zero GHG emissions European economy by 2050 and (ii) the economic impacts of decarbonising road freight and car transport. Richard Lewney has previously directed a modelling analysis of the economic impact of environmental degradation to inform an assessment of the role that environmental risk factors could play in sovereign credit risk assessments (and for the UNEP Finance Initiative).

Talk Overview: The past year has seen some striking examples of extreme climatic events of the kind that scientists expect to grow in frequency and severity as global temperatures increase. It has also seen a strengthening of political activism in the climate strike movement and a flurry of activity among financial institutions seeking to understand their exposure to physical and transition risks. Neoclassical economics recognises environmental degradation as a classic example of an externality and frames its response in terms of correcting that market failure, but the limitations of its marginal cost-benefit approach have been exposed in the climate change debate. This seminar explores the role that the key insights of Post-Keynesian and Schumpeterian economics (such as path dependence, radical uncertainty, heterogeneous actors, the role of money and finance, stock-flow consistency and endogenous technical change) are playing in forming an analysis of environmental policy that is better adapted to the challenge of tackling global warming. The seminar will discuss what a net zero energy system and economy might look like in 2050, the policies needed to get there, how to assess the economic impacts and what the key obstacles are that need to be overcome.

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Please contact the seminar organisers Philip Arestis ( and Michael Kitson in the event of a query.

This talk is part of the St Catharine's Political Economy Seminar Series series.

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