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Dr Zhifu Mi wins World Sustainability Award for his work on climate change economics

24 September 2018

A Bartlett Lecturer in Economics and Finance of the Built Environment has been awarded the 2018 World Sustainability Award for his work on climate change economics and sustainability.

Dr Zhifu Mi wins World Sustainability Award

Dr Zhifu Mi, Lecturer in Economics and Finance of the Built Environment at The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, has been presented with the prestigious 2018 World Sustainability Award on 20 September at the World Sustainability Forum in Beijing.

The award recognises Dr Mi's work on climate change economics and sustainability, particularly the methodologies and applications of carbon footprint.

Dr Mi’s research focuses on the economics of climate change. His work on carbon footprint aims to track carbon emissions along interregional trade routes, helping to address the challenge of carbon leakage – in which an emissions reduction in one region results in an increase in carbon emissions in another.

Zhifu’s current work centres around two climate change and sustainability topics:

  • Consumption-based carbon emission accounting. Most current emission inventories ae taken at the point of production. Zhifu’s work considers the methodologies and applications of consumption-based emission accounting, in which all emissions occurring along the chains of production and distribution are allocated to the final consumers of products.
  • Sharing economies as a pathway to sustainable societies. In collaboration with Professor D’Maris Coffman, Zhifu’s research explores a new business model for a sharing economy in which public authorities, enterprises and consumers can collaborate to achieve environmental and societal benefits.

On receiving the award, Zhifu says:

“I am very excited to receive the World Sustainability Award. My research focuses on climate change economics which is highly relevant to the UN Sustainable Development Goals including Sustainable Cities and Communities and Climate Action. Thank you to the School and Prof D’ Maris Coffman for supporting my research on sustainability in the built environment."

The World Sustainability Award was established by the MDPI Sustainability Foundation, who are committed to supporting societally relevant research that contributes to regional and global efforts toward a sustainable world.

The award is given to individuals or groups whose work has made a unique and outstanding academic or societal contribution to sustainability. The recipient can be nominated by anyone from the international research community and a winner is chosen by a selection committee. The award includes a monetary prize of $100,000 which this year is shared with co-awardee Mathis Wackernagel, co-creator of the Ecological Footprint and President of Global Footprint Network. This is the second time the awards have been held; 2017's joint winners are Prof Jeffrey D Sachs and Dr Sonia Ehrlich Sachs.

Professor D’Maris Coffman, Director of The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, says:

“We are enormously pleased and proud of Zhifu for winning this prestigious recognition for his tireless efforts to understand how economies and societies can achieve on behalf of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. His Herculean research productivity, his openness to and generosity about research collaborations, and his commitment to building a global academic network to tackle climate change are all in the very best traditions of UCL. We are delighted that the MDPI Sustainability Foundation has recognised and awarded his efforts, and feel both privileged and glad that he has found an academic home at UCL.”

Dr Zhifu Mi is a Lecturer at The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, with research interests in the area of climate change economics and energy policy. He has published over 40 papers in peer-reviewed journals, including Nature Communications and serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Cleaner Production and as guest editor of the Applied Energy journal. Since joining the School in 2017 Zhifu has won several early career prizes and best reviewer awards.