Prof. Michael Jacobs

Visiting Professor

Michael Jacobs has been a visiting researcher at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment since July 2010, and was appointed Visiting Professor in January 2011.

He is a consultant on climate change and energy policy, and a writer, academic and commentator on social democratic thought and British politics.

Background

Michael was Special Adviser to UK Prime Minister (and previously Chancellor of the Exchequer) Gordon Brown from 2004-10, with responsibility for energy, climate change and environment policy. As a member of the Council of Economic Advisers at the Treasury he helped originate ‘The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change’ and oversaw environmental tax and spending policy, alongside policy on health, public service reform and the third sector. At 10 Downing St he helped direct the changes to UK domestic energy and climate policy after 2007, and was closely involved in the international climate negotiations leading up to and at Copenhagen.

Michael has also been General Secretary of the think tank and political association the Fabian Society, an ESRC Research Fellow at Lancaster University and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and Managing Director of a public and voluntary sector consultancy business.

He is the author of a number of books, reports and academic papers on environmental economics and philosophy, politics and public policy.

Research interests

  • International climate change negotiations and international relations;
  • Public and private climate finance;
  • UK and EU energy policy;
  • Environmental taxation and emissions trading policy;
  • The role of social enterprises in energy production and consumption;
  • The politics of climate change.

2012

Working paper  1 October, 2012

Green growth: economic theory and political discourse

Green growth: economic theory and political discourse read more »

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2012

Policy paper  1 November, 2012

Less pain, more gain: the potential of carbon pricing to reduce Europe’s fiscal deficits

An overriding challenge for many European governments and policy-makers is to reduce major fiscal deficits with the least collateral damage to their economy. This paper aims to clarify the … read more »

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In the news  16 December, 2014

Lima deal represents a fundamental change in global climate regime

The agreement removes the longstanding division of the world into developed and developing countries and paves way for a model of unity. read more »

In the news  2 December, 2014

Emissions targets are biggest challenge for Lima climate talks

Avoiding dangerous climate change depends on the strength of emissions reduction targets countries collectively adopt. And this remains a major concern read more »

Michael Jacobs
In the news  26 September, 2014

Five ways Ban Ki-moon's summit has changed international climate politics forever

Guardian, 26th September 2014: The UN climate summit in New York decided nothing – but it has helped put climate change back on the agenda

2013

Announcement  24 October, 2013

Grantham Research Institute to speak at London Climate Forum

Experts from the Grantham Research Institute at the LSE will be speaking at the London Climate Forum, one of the largest student-led conferences on climate change and sustainability. read more »

Commentary  22 May, 2013

Climate change is already occurring

Financial Times – registration is required.

Commentary  12 March, 2013

Osborne's anti-green agenda is strangling growth, New Statesman,

The government’s refusal to commit to a decarbonisation target is preventing the creation of tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs. The New Statesman

Commentary  21 January, 2013

Green social democracy

We are living through not one but two crises of capitalism. The first one – the economic crisis which has followed the financial crash of 2008 – everyone knows about. … read more »

2012

Commentary  10 December, 2012

The Doha climate talks were a start, but 2015 will be the moment of truth

With time running out to tackle global warming, sustained global pressure must be put on governments to reach a deal in 2015 The Guardian

Commentary  2 December, 2012

A low-carbon future is the one we must all fight for

Michael Jacobs: UN negotiations in Doha are just a sideshow. The real climate change battle is being staged elsewhere the Guardian

In the news  24 January, 2012

Fossil fuels: On the way back?

Radio 4 (Today programme),

Commentary  12 January, 2012

Deadline 2015 (PDF)

A summit meeting of heads of government is needed to strengthen global ambition on climate change — we should start preparing now, says Michael Jacobs.

2011

Commentary  14 December, 2011

What Durban revealed about climate's shifting allegiances

Canada’s reversal on Kyoto won’t undermine the sense that the Durban climate conference achieved more than many expected. Inside Story

Commentary  14 December, 2011

Durban has given a major boost to climate policy

United Nations climate change conferences don’t of themselves cut greenhouse gas emissions. Negotiations about targets and texts cannot do that; only government policies that give incentives and require business investment … read more »

Commentary  11 December, 2011

Hope at last at the Durban conference on climate change

Michael Jacobs: The latest climate change conference will help to strengthen the fight against global warming the Guardian

Commentary  1 December, 2011

UN climate talks see 'delayer countries' throw away the 2C goal

Michael Jacobs: The goal of holding global warming to 2C will be missed if the world’s largest economies insist on delaying negotiations the Guardian

Commentary  29 November, 2011

Can Durban deliver?

These two weeks might turn out to be more interesting than expected, writes Michael Jacobs. The stakes are certainly high enough. Inside Story

Commentary  24 June, 2011

An idea whose time has come

Mainstream economics is beginning to recognise the opportunities alongside the climate threat, writes Michael Jacobs. Inside Times

Announcement  16 May, 2011

New background paper from Overseas Development Institute (ODI) on leveraging private investment and the role of public sector climate finance

This Background Note focuses on how public finance and risk mitigation instruments can remove the barriers to private sector investment and thereby leverage significant amounts of private capital for climate change mitigation. Michael Jacobs|, Visiting Professor at the Grantham Research Institute, is co-author. read more »

Commentary  28 April, 2011

The China factor

China’s Five Year Plan could turn out to be a turning point for global climate policy, writes Michael Jacobs. Inside Story

Commentary  2 March, 2011

Taking stock on climate

As policy in Australia begins to move, Michael Jacobs surveys the international climate landscape: the latest science, the emissions targets and what’s happening on the ground. Inside Story

2010

Commentary  16 December, 2010

Cancun: the glass half full

Cancun will restore confidence among governments and business that action is going to occur, writes Michael Jacobs, and that makes progress more likely Inside Story

Commentary  14 December, 2010

Why Cancun gives us hope

Michael Jacobs: This deal, easy to write off, is a crucial advance for the global co-operation needed to halt runaway climate change the Guardian

Commentary  29 November, 2010

Cancun climate talks: In search of the holy grail of climate change policy

Michael Jacobs: Although Copenhagen fell short of delivering a legally binding global treaty, Cancun is another step towards that ultimate goal the Guardian

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2011

Policy Seminars 1 Nov 2011

Decarbonising Britain

Part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science The UK has an aggressive plan to decarbonise its economy by 34% in 2020, 50% in 2027 and 80% in 2050. This … read more »

Public Lectures 17 Mar 2011

Nicholas Stern - The Low-Carbon Industrial Revolution

Part of LSE Works, a new series of public lectures, sponsored by SAGE publications, that will showcase some of the latest research by LSE’s Research Centres. Nicholas Stern provided an … read more »

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