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Climate Change Economics and the Low Carbon Transition

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Overview | Grants and projects | Resources | People 

Overview

Climate change is happening at an unprecedented rate due to excessive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human activity. If GHG emissions are not mitigated, the planet is at risk of rising sea levels and species extinction.

Our School aims to facilitate effective climate strategies. We focus on the economics of mitigation, adaptation and remediation, exploring the linkage among economic activities and the associated GHG emissions at global, national and city levels. Closely related to our work in sustainability in the built environment, our research analyses the impact of construction as well as other economic activities. 

Our research is expected to make contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for example, taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (SDG13), and the UCL Grand Challenges mission, for example, Sustainable Cities

Research topics we cover include:

  • Carbon emission accounting
  • Climate change integrated assessment model (IAM)
  • Emission-health-economy nexus 
  • Sharing economy
  • Low carbon transition of built environment
  • Remediation technologies including carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS)

Grants and projects

The Royal Society: Uncertainty Analysis of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS)

This project aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of the uncertainty in Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS). The CCUS technology is often mentioned as a key response option to mitigate GHG emissions. However, it is still in the developmental stage with large uncertainty, leading to an ambivalent attitude of the government and stakeholding enterprises. We simulate the uncertainty of CCUS using a climate change integrated assessment model (IAM) and analyse the role of CCUS under different development scenarios.

The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change

The Lancet Countdown is an international research collaboration, dedicated to tracking the world's response to climate change, and the health benefits that emerge from this transition. Reporting annually in The Lancet, it will follow a series of indicators to demonstrate the feasibility, ongoing progress, and further needed works of the transition. Dr Zhifu Mi co-leads Working Group 4: Finance and Economics.

UCL-PKU Strategic Partner Funds: China's Carbon Emissions in the New Development Phase

This is a joint research project with Peking University, China. China’s carbon emission growth has slowed under its commitment to peaking carbon emissions before 2030. It is closely linked to the fact that China’s economic development has entered a stage named “the New Normal”, characterised by more inclusive and sustainable development patterns. We explore the driving factors of China’s carbon emissions from both production and consumption perspectives in the New Normal. 


Resources


People 

Zhifu Mi

Dr Zhifu Mi is leading the School's research on Climate Change Economics. He has published over 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals, such as Science Advances, Nature Energy (IF=54), Nature Geoscience, and Nature Communications. He is the Executive Editor of Journal of Cleaner Production (IF=6.359). He currently leads the project on Uncertainty Analysis of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) funded by The Royal Society (IEC\NSFC\181115), and co-leads of the Finance & Economics Working Group for ‘The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change’.

He was awarded the 2018 World Sustainability Award for his leading research in the methodological developments and applications of carbon footprint. He was also honoured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe class of 2019 list in recognition of his innovative research in the economics of climate change. His research was awarded the 2018 Top 50 Earth and Planetary Sciences Articles in Nature Communications, 2017 Best Early Career Articles in Environmental Research Letters, and 2016 Highly Cited Original Papers in Applied Energy
 

D’Maris Coffman

Prof D’Maris Coffman is a Professor in Economics and Finance and the Head of Department of BSCPM. Her interests span infrastructure, construction, real estate and climate change. She is the Managing Editor of Structural Change and Economic Dynamics (IF=1.557). Before coming to UCL, she spent six years as a fellow of Newnham College where she variously held a junior research fellowship (Mary Bateson Research Fellowship), a post as a college lecturer and teaching fellow, and a Leverhulme ECF. In July 2009, she started the Centre for Financial History, which she directed through December 2014. It is still going strong, but has moved from Newnham College to Darwin College in line with the affiliation of its new director. 

She did her undergraduate training at the Wharton School in managerial and financial economics and her PhD in the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. While at Penn, her doctoral research in the UK was funded in part by the Mellon Foundation under the guise of an IHR pre-doctoral fellowship and an SSRC international dissertation fellowship. 
 

Jing Meng

Dr Jing Meng is a Lecturer in Economics and Finance at BSCPM. Her research focus is climate change and air pollution policies. Specifically, it includes theories and modelling of environmental economics, energy innovation and sustainable consumption and trade policies. Jing's recent research focuses on the impact of international trade on the distribution, climate and health impacts of black carbon. Jing received her PhD degree in Environmental Geography from Peking University, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Building Environment and Energy Engineering from Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Jing is a guest editor of Journal of Environmental Management, and the editorial board member of Journal of Cleaner Production and Global Transitions. She is also a fellow of Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance at University of Cambridge.

She has published over 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals, such as Nature Climate Change, Science Advances, Nature Geoscience, Nature Plants, and Nature Communications. Her research was awarded the 2018 Top 50 Earth and Planetary Sciences Articles in Nature Communications and 2017 Best Early Career Articles in Environmental Research Letters.

Jiali Zheng

Jiali Zheng is an Honorary Research Assistant at BSCPM. She majors in management science in her PhD study on carbon emissions and sustainable transition in China, and obtained her BSc in Economics. Her research focuses on climate change economics. She has published more than ten papers on SCI/SSCI journals including One Earth (Cell Press) and Energy Economics, two policy reports, and five co-authored books. She won the 2019 Dan David Prize Scholarship in the field of combatting climate change for her current achievements and promise for the future, the Aramco scholarship, the CSC-IBM scholarship and the National Scholarship of China.

Get in touch

The School's research on Climate Change Economics is led by Dr Zhifu Mi. We recruit PhD students and accept Visiting Researchers with backgrounds in Economics, Management, Mathematics, or Environmental Science. 

Please contact Zhifu to find out more about collaboration opportunities: z.mi@ucl.ac.uk