UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy

Yacob Mulugetta

Professor Yacob Mulugetta

Professor of Energy and Development Policy
Director of MPA Programme


+44 (0)20 3108 9476

Yacob Mulugetta is Professor of Energy and Development Policy, and Director of the MPA programme at the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy (STEaPP) at University College London. Previously, he was an academic staff at the Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey, UK. Between 2010 and 2013, Yacob was based at the UN Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he helped set up the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC). At ACPC, he initiated a variety of policy-relevant initiatives on the opportunities for and constraints of pursuing low carbon pathways for development in Africa, and facilitated a number of high-level roundtables on energy development and climate, including the Ministerial Roundtable at the Africa Energy Week, held in November 2012 at the African Union Commission. Yacob was Coordinating Lead Author of the chapter on Energy Systems of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (Working Group III on Mitigation) and a member of the Core Writing Team of the IPCC Synthesis Report.

Yacob has 20 years of research and teaching experience specializing on the links between basic infrastructure provision and human welfare, with a particular focus on access to clean energy services to address poverty and inequality concerns. His current research is focused on three interconnected areas: energy systems and development; energy systems and climate change; and political economy of climate negotiations. He approaches the energy systems and development work from the perspective of how energy systems have evolved, and likely to evolve in the future in line with medium and long-term development plans. This connects with the need for alternative technology pathways, institutional development, financial and policy analysis to serve the delivery of energy services to meet development goals. His energy systems and climate research focuses on behaviour change and lifestyle choice on the one hand, and technical interventions for avoiding future emissions on the other. The emissions avoidance aspect mainly relates to energy systems in developing countries. His work on climate negotiations relates to climate governance and how economic and political self-interest of countries finds expression in group alliances.

He has published widely on these issues. His recent publications include an edited special issue in Energy Policy on ‘Carbon reduction at community scale’ and another on ‘universal access to energy’, and a paper in Global Change, Peace and Security on ‘Negotiating solidarity? The G77 through the prism of climate change negotiations’.

Yacob has participated in several projects over the years. Most recently, he was principal investigator in a research exploring the contribution of community-based energy initiatives in the transition to low carbon futures. He was also Co-Investigator of the Research Group on Lifestyle, Values and Energy consumption (RESOLVE) in which he was responsible for the policy strand of the research, focusing on the challenge that multiplicity of lifestyle patterns present to the process of policy formulation. He is a PI in a new EPSRC/DfID/DECC funded research on agro-industries as clean energy platforms in Africa, which commenced in November 2013 and will run for 5 years.