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Thomas Sterner


Environmental Economics

Address: P.O. Box 640, SE 405 30 Gothenburg
Visiting address: Vasagatan 1, House E
Room: E-609
Tel: 0046 (0) 31-786 1377
Email: thomas.sterner@economics.gu.se


Thomas Sterner is professor of environmental economics. During the last two decades he has built up the Environmental Economics Unit at the University of Gothenburg, with a staff of about a dozen PhDs and another dozen graduate students. The unit has many research projects and gives a unique PhD program mainly for graduate students from developing countries. After graduating most of the PhDs join in the Environment for Development initiative (financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida) which does policy relevant research in developing countries.

For the academic year 2015-2016, Thomas Sterner was elected as a visiting professor at the Collège de France. In 2012-2013 he was on sabbatical leave from Gothenburg university and worked as Chief Economist at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). 

Research interest

Thomas Sterner's main areas of work is on discounting and on instrument design for climate and environmental policy. Within the latter subject applications range from general climate issues to more specific issues of carbon pricing, fuel taxes, carbon capture and storage, abatement of nitrogen oxides through refunded emission payments, policies in developing countries, natural resource issues including management of fisheries, buildings, transport, chemicals, plastics, antibiotics, biodiversity. In short anything related to circular economy, sustainability or economics of the Anthropocene. At the University of Gothenburg he is active in three research centres: BECC on  the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem services, FRAM on chemicals and CECAR, the Centre for Collective Action Research, see also our YouTube channel. He is also active in the Mistra Carbon Exit research programme.

On other websites

Personal webpage

Collège de France


Selected speeches

Keynote lecture “Does the market Trump politics?” at the Environmental Economics International Conference: A Focus on Natural Resources. Orléans, France, 5-6 April 2018.

Speaker at Séminaire du Conseil Économique pour le Développement Durable: Quel cadre fiscal pour accélerer la Transition écologique et solidaire? arranged by French Government. Paris, 13 February 2018.

Plenary speaker at 13th Annual Conference on Economic Growth and Development, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, 18-20 December 2017

The Menu of Environmental Policy Instruments Inaugural lecture at Collège de France (2015-10-22)

Paris 2015 and Beyond, Cooling the Climate Debate Symposium at Collége de France (2015-10-28)

Selected research

Policy design for the Anthropocene
Sterner et al. (2019). Nature Sustainability 2(1):14.

Policy sequencing toward decarbonization
Meckling, Jonas., Thomas Sterner, and Gernot Wagner, Nature Energy 2: 918–922 (2017).

Best cost estimate of greenhouse gases
Revesz, Ricky, Michael Greenstone; Michael Hanemann; Jason Schwartz, Thomas Sterner. 2017. Science 357 (6352), 655.

Few and not so far between - A meta-analysis of climate damage estimates
Howard, P. and T. Sterner. 2017. Environmental and Resource Economics (2017) 68: 197-225.

The Social Cost of Carbon: A Global Imperative
Revesz, R. L., J. A. Schwartz, P. H. Howard, K. Arrow, M. A. Livermore, M. Oppenheimer and T. Sterner. 2017. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 11 (1): 172-173.

Push renewables to spur carbon pricing
Wagner, G., Kåberger, T., Olai, S., Oppenheimer, M., Rittenhouse., and Sterner, T. Nature 525: 27-29.

Discounting and relative consumption
Johansson-Stenman, O., and Sterner, T. 2015. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. 71: 19-33.

Determining Benefits and Costs for Future Generations
Arrow,K., M L. Cropper, C Gollier, B Groom, G M. Heal, R G. Newell, W D. Nordhaus, R S. Pindyck, W A. Pizer, P Portney, T Sterner, R Tol and M,L. Weitzman. Science July 26 2013.

See more at my Google Scholar profile.

Policy design

We are a group of researchers whose main research focus is on the actual design of policy instruments. Read more about our work here.

See also my EfD Webpage.









Click here to read the review of Environmental Regulation and Public Disclosure in the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies

My books and other resources can be found at the external website Routledge Sustainability Hub

More information

Page Manager: Marie Andersson|Last update: 5/4/2020

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Utskriftsdatum: 2020-08-09