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Gernot Wagner

Clinical Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, New York University
Chapter Member: New York City SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Gernot

Wagner's research focuses on pricing climate risk and on solar geoengineering. Prior to NYU, Wagner was the founding executive director of Harvard's Solar Geoengineering Research Program. Prior to Harvard, Wagner served for almost a decade at Environmental Defense Fund, most recently as lead senior economist and member of its leadership council. Wagner has written four books, including Climate Shock (Princeton, 2015), a Top 15 Financial Times McKinsey Business Book of the Year, and Geoengineering: the Gamble (Polity, 2021).


In the News

"Cost-Benefit Analysis in the Time of Coronavirus and Climate Change," Gernot Wagner, Bloomberg Green, April 1, 2020.
Gernot Wagner quoted on climate effects of COVID-19 lockdown measures by Katie Brigham, "How Coronavirus Quarantines Lead to a Drop in Air Pollution" CNBC, March 29, 2020.
"The Virus is Teaching Everyone What Runaway Growth Really Means," Gernot Wagner, Bloomberg Green, March 20, 2020.
Interview on administration response to climate change and COVID-19 Gernot Wagner, To the Point, KCRW, March 19, 2020.
"Compound Growth Could Kill Us – or Make Us Stronger," Gernot Wagner, Project Syndicate, March 18, 2020.


Geoengineering: The Gamble (Polity, forthcoming, 2020).

States that it is not if but when the world will look to solar geoengineering in a last-ditch effort to cool the planet.

"Applying Asset Pricing Theory to Calibrate the Price of Climate Risk," (with Kent D. Daniel and Robert B. Litterman), National Bureau of Economic Research, October 2018.

Finds a calibration that is in contrast to most modeled carbon price paths. Suggests a high optimal CO2 price today that is expected to decline over time.

"The Rebound Effect and Energy Efficiency Policy " (with Kenneth Gillingham and David Rapson). Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 10, no. 1 (Winter 2016): 68-88.

Finds that though the energy efficiency rebound effect is real, it is also largely a distraction.

"Energy Policy: Push Renewables to Spur Carbon Pricing" (with Tomas Kåberger, Susanna Olai, Michael Oppenheimer, Katherine Rittenhouse, and Thomas Sterner). Nature (2015): 27-29.

Notes that carbon pricing is but one tool to help decarbonize the global economy.

Climate Shock (with Martin L. Weitzman) (Princeton University Press, 2015).

Notes that what we know about climate change is bad, but what we do not know is potentially much worse. Notes that climate policy is risk management.

But Will the Planet Notice? How Smart Economics Can Save the World. (Hill & Want/Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2011).

Examines how policy, not individual action, will save the planet.