Forget recycling; economist Gernot Wagner says policy change is the way to a better environment
About Gernot Wagner
Gernot Wagner is an economist at the Environmental Defense Fund, where he works on market-based solutions to a wide range of environmental problems. He teaches energy economics as adjunct faculty at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Wagner is the author of But will the planet notice? How Smart Economics Can Save the World published by Hill & Wang/Farrar Strauss & Giroux. In this book, he argues that we are past the turning point where individual choices (reusable grocery bags or hybrid cars) will be enough the save the planet. We need to change the rules of the game to harness the choices of billions of people by changing the economic incentives. He shows that the solution to climate instability can only be driven by guiding society as a whole through market forces in the U.S. and around the world—by designing triple bottom line into core strategic thinking. With the appropriate regulatory guidance, Wagner argues that by putting the right incentives in place, the markets can shift triple bottom line practices into the policies and processes of organizations.
Wagner served on the editorial board of the Financial Times as a Peter Martin Fellow, where he covered economics, energy, and the environment.He worked for the Boston Consulting Group advising clients on clean technology and carbon market strategies.
Wagner holds a bachelor’s in environmental science and a master’s and Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard, as well as a master’s in economics from Stanford. He lives in New York with his wife, Siripanth Nippita, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, and their son, Annan.
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