Michael Jacobs

Visiting Professor

Michael Jacobs was appointed Visiting Professor in January 2011. He is also Senior Adviser on international climate change policy at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) in Paris, and a Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy at University College London.

Michael is an adviser on climate change and energy policy, and a writer, academic and commentator on social democratic thought and British politics. He is currently working with IDDRI to support the French Government in the preparation of the UN climate change conference COP21 in Paris in December 2015.


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.

A political economist, Michael is the author of a number of academic papers, pamphlets and reports on environmental economics and philosophy, politics and public policy. His books include The Green Economy: Environment, Sustainable Development and the Politics of the Future (Pluto Press 1991), The Politics of the Real World (Earthscan 1996), Greening the Millennium (Blackwell 1997) and Paying for Progress: A New Politics of Tax for Public Spending (Fabian Society 2000)

Research programmes

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 politics of climate change.  

Contact details


Photograph of Michael Jacobs