Book presented by Lucas Bretschger, Professor of Economics, ETH Zurich
Discussant: Peter Cramton, Part-time Professor, Economics Department, EUI
Moderator: Xavier Labandeira, Director, FSR Climate.
The world economy is affecting ecosystems in a way that puts future living standards at risk: it is broadly accepted that the future of our planet should be one of our major concerns. But when it comes to concrete policies, most clearly those related to climate change, grave difficulties arise.
Forward-looking and green policies have always proved to be demanding and controversial. Nevertheless, concepts such as “green economy” and “sustainable development” have prominently entered the political debate, documenting the rising number of bridges between economy and ecology.
This book explains why sustainability policies are not attracting sufficient political support and it provides the elements needed to increase general understanding and to find political consensus.It draws on selected research results to explain the most important sustainability issues from the point of view of economics. It reflects the high complexity of reaching sustainable development, which will require the contribution of social sciences involving many different perspectives.
This book uses neither formal models nor mathematical equations. The approach follows that of the famous economist Alfred Marshall, who advised using formal analysis until the results were fully derived but then to “burn” the mathematics, translate the conclusions into normal language, and illustrate them by “examples that are important in real life.” In following this procedure, this book aims to make the economic approach to sustainability attractive for a broader audience and a useful input to policy making.
About the author
Lucas Bretschger is Full Professor of Economics/Resource Economics at ETH Zurich and President of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE). He is also a Research Associate of the University of Oxford and holds the title of Professor at the University of Zurich. He has served on many platforms such as the German Board of Environmental and Resource Economics, the Energy Science Centre, the Centre for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, and the Alliance for Global Sustainability. In 2004, he founded the now well-established SURED Conference on Monte Verità, which every two years brings together experts on sustainable resource use and economic dynamics.