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New UK research centre launched to tackle climate change economics and policy

Image of a green planet EarthA new UK centre to lead research on climate change economics and policy is being launched today by the University of Leeds and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy will be chaired by Lord Stern of Brentford, who was Head of the UK Government Economic Service between 2003 and 2007 and author of the highly influential report on 'The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review' in 2006.

Lord Stern said: "We are at a crucial stage in the battle to avoid the worst potential impacts of climate change, which could have devastating social and economic consequences for people around the world. I am determined that this Centre should generate rigorous and innovative research to inform public and private action. We really need to put our best researchers to work on the difficult problems that we face in substantially reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and preparing effectively to deal with those effects of climate change that we cannot now prevent."

Professor Andy Gouldson, who is director of the Centre at the University of Leeds, said: "We know the climate is changing and that governments are adopting ambitious new policies in response. Some countries, communities, businesses and individuals will be more able to respond than others, both by reducing their own carbon footprint and by adapting to life in a changed climate. The Centre's ambitious programme of research will build our understanding of how we can best reduce our impact on the climate as well as the climate's impact on us, so that everyone, and particularly the most vulnerable, can adapt to this changing world."

Professor Judith Rees, who is director of the Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said: "The members of the Centre want to advance climate-change policy and increase the capacity of public and private decision-makers to respond to one of the most critical challenges facing the world today. The research carried out at the Centre should support a 'new global deal' on climate change, through a formal state agreement and a wider set of actions worldwide, by improving both the evidence base and the tools and implementation strategies available to decision-makers."

The Centre will have five research programmes:

  • Developing climate science and economics;
  • Climate-change governance for a new global deal;
  • Adaptation to climate change and human development;
  • Governments, markets and climate-change mitigation; and
  • The Munich Re Programme: Evaluating the economics of climate risks and opportunities in the insurance sector.

The Centre is funded by a £5 million grant from the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It also receives £3 million in support from Munich Re, one of the world's leading reinsurance companies.

Professor Ian Diamond, chief executive of the ESRC, said: "The role of research in the array of issues surrounding climate change and its global impact is vital to how we plan for and combat the effects of such changes to the planet. The ESRC is delighted to be funding such an important Centre, which will provide rigorous, innovative research to inform and influence policy-making."

Ernst Rauch, Head of Munich Re's Corporate Climate Centre which co-ordinates the research co-operation between Munich Re and the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, said: "Climate change is a central strategic topic for Munich Re. We have to master the risk side and therefore it is only logical that we should join forces with the pioneer in researching the economic impacts of the progressive warming of the atmosphere. At the same time, we see opportunities for us in addressing the substantial demand for insurance-based solutions stemming from the very different strategies necessary to mitigate and adapt to climate change and the ensuing challenges."

Further information about the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy can be found at http://www.cccep.ac.uk.


For more information contact:

Bob Ward 07811 320346
LSE Press Office on 020 7955 7060

27 January 2009