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Carbon & Energy Economics

We work with companies, governments, and social sector organizations to tackle the challenges of transforming economies and energy systems.

The need to limit greenhouse gas emissions has far-reaching implications for businesses and governments. We develop new thinking on carbon and energy systems and on the methods and economics of reducing emissions and adapting to the effects of climate change. We use this knowledge to answer our clients' strategic questions about making the transition to a low-carbon economy. Our work covers topics such as:

  • Green growth and carbon mitigation. Using our greenhouse gas abatement cost curve to provide an integrated view across the whole carbon system, we help governments shape pathways to a low-carbon economy. This involves developing detailed plans to quantify opportunities, identify financing mechanisms, and build institutional capabilities. We have worked with more than 30 developed and developing countries to establish a fact base for their long-term vision for green economic growth. We have also advised on energy access and how off-grid renewable energy sources can stimulate economic development.
  • Adaptation strategies. We help public and private sector clients assess the risks of climate change and develop cost-effective adaptation strategies. We work with governments, financial institutions, and other partners to model climate scenarios and weather patterns, develop innovative methods to quantify the economic value at risk, and apply rigorous cost/benefit analyses to adaptation measures. As part of the Economics of Climate Adaptation Working Group—a partnership that includes the Global Environment Facility, Swiss Re, the Rockefeller Foundation, the ClimateWorks Foundation, the European Commission, and Standard Chartered Bank—we have developed a methodology to assess the economics of climate adaptation. We have since applied it on the ground in developed and developing economies including Mali and several Caribbean islands.
  • Climate change regulation. Climate change has been described as the biggest market failure in history. Regulations designed to tackle this failure have opened up new markets and investment opportunities in some areas while increasing risk in others. Drawing on our knowledge of regulatory strategy and deep experience in climate policy at national and international level, we help construct a fact base and options for governments as they develop regulation, and for companies as they analyze its likely impact.
  • Carbon markets. Carbon markets have created a new commodity that can be traded. We help clients develop strategies to manage their exposure to these markets. We offer a scenario-based perspective on future market developments and can also provide operational support at the level of the trading desk. We identify opportunities in financial intermediation and carbon-offset development and advise public and private sector clients on the design of emissions trading systems.
  • Climate finance. The rapid expansion of international climate finance is opening up opportunities for financial institutions and other organizations. We provide insights into this new investment stream by conducting detailed opportunity scans across asset classes, taking into account technology, geography, and risk profiles. We are also involved in the design of delivery mechanisms and have advised on the structure of the international climate finance system and the strategy and organization of a public sector green investment bank in a major EU country.
  • Long-term energy strategies. We use our systems-level understanding of carbon, greenhouse gas mitigation, and energy to help companies formulate long-term energy and investment strategies. We also help government departments find untapped opportunities to improve energy efficiency in an industry or sector, identify barriers to capturing them, and develop policies and actions to reduce energy consumption without damaging productivity or growth.

Featured experts

Matt Rogers

Senior Partner, Bay Area

Tomas Nauclér

Senior Partner, Stockholm

Kimberly Henderson

Partner, Washington DC

Amy Wagner

Senior Expert, Bay Area

Adam Kendall

Partner, Lagos

Humayun Tai

Senior Partner, New York

Arnout de Pee

Partner, Amsterdam

Impact story

Pathways to a low-carbon Europe

Developing feasible routes for decarbonizing the European economy.