Time zones: 1pm-2pm EET / 7-8am EST

In the context of energy and food crises, rising global emissions, and falling biodiversity, the need for effective policies to accelerate transitions to sustainable development is greater than ever.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has described the economic change that is needed as ‘rapid and far-reaching system transitions’ in each of the emitting sectors of the global economy. But much of the analysis that informs governments’ policy making assumes that the economy is in equilibrium – a situation in which nobody has any immediate reason to change their actions. In the words of Nicholas Stern, "the economic response [to climate change] must be very large, involve dynamic increasing returns, changed economic and urban organization and design, and the avoidance of potential lock-ins." Yet, economic forecasts continue to be the backbone of most development policy choices where conventional models continue to prevail. Might it be possible for a different understanding of the economy that catalyzes innovation, job creation and development at the same time as cutting both costs and emissions?

This discussion will highlight the policy challenges facing emerging economies in transitions and the opportunities for new economics paradigms, models and tools to accelerate just transitions in the energy and land-use sectors. Participants will draw amongst others on experiences from the New Climate Economy (NCE), and the Economics of Energy Innovation and System Transition (EEIST) projects.


  • Lord Nicholas Stern, IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government at the London School of Economics
  • Vanessa Perez-Ciera, Global Economics Director-WRI
  • Ritu Mathur, Director and Senior Fellow at the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
  • Jean-Francois Mercure, Senior Economist The World Bank
  • Simon Sharpe, Senior Fellow, New Economics of Deep Decarbonisation, WRI
  • Carolina Genin, Climate Director, WRI Brasil