Matthias Ruth will be giving a talk entitled, “The Myths of Climate Economics and Policy: From Global Imperatives to Regional Analysis and Action.” This presentation raises the following three interrelated questions: (1) What are the main characteristics of our choice set when developing responses to climate change?  (2) Are the co-benefits and co-costs of climate mitigation and adaptation considerable enough to shape investment and policy choices? (3) Which roles and responsibilities do local and regional decisions play in the broader national and international economic and climate policy context? Answers to these questions will be based on insights from economic theory and empirical analyses, and will be illustrated with recent experiences of climate change policy formation at the sub-national level.  On the basis of these answers and illustrations I identify three persistent challenges for policies to promote climate mitigation and adaptation and suggest ways for engineering, economics, policy and planning to help overcome these challenges.

Matthias Ruth is Roy F. Weston Chair in Natural Economics, School of Public Policy and A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland, where he also is the Founding Director of the Center for Integrative Environmental Research. A pioneer in the field of ecological economics and industrial ecology, Dr. Ruth combines his interdisciplinary background in economics, geography, engineering, and biology to conduct basic and applied research on non-renewable and renewable resource use, industrial and infrastructure systems analysis, and environmental economics and policy. His work is motivated by the belief that an understanding of complex environmental issues requires integration of insights from the engineering, natural, social and health sciences as well as active dialog across the science-society divide. He teaches – nationally and internationally – courses and seminars on microeconomics and policy analysis, ecological economics, industrial ecology and dynamic modeling at the undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. levels, and has also conducted short courses for decision makers in industry and policy.

This talk is sponsored by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, and the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, College of Social Sciences and Humanities