Past Events

A Green Recovery from the Pandemic Meltdown

May 6, 2021

What climate policies must be part of the global Covid-19 recovery plans to ensure better pathways to a low carbon economy?

Despite slight decreases in carbon emissions at the start of Covid-19 lockdowns, the United Nations reports temperatures will still rise, threatening global goals to reduce warming below 1.5°C. There is still time to reverse course, but bold climate action is required. In particular, as a forthcoming World Bank report by a SCEPA team suggests, fiscal and monetary policies are needed to move forward to support climate protection.
SCEPA's Economics of Climate Change project, directed by Willi Semmler, panel discussion on May 6, 2021, discussed what new climate policies must be part of the global Covid-19 recovery plans to ensure better pathways to a low carbon economy
Experts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques (OFCE), the French Economic Observatory, and the London School of Economics analyzed to what extent current climate policies, such as a carbon tax, are insufficient for climate protection, whether the financial market is a roadblock or bridge to a greener economy, and which monetary and fiscal policies would further the green transition while keeping sovereign debt sustainable. Following the speakers' remarks, the audience engaged in a lively Q&A with the panelists.
Professor Willi Semmler moderated the event with welcoming remarks by Dean of The New School for Social Research William Milberg. SCEPA thanks the Thyssen Foundation for its continued support of the Economics of Climate Change project.


Nicoletta Batinicurrently serves as Lead Evaluator of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Independent Evaluation Office. She is an Italian economist, notable as a scholar of innovative monetary and fiscal policy practices. She pioneered work on the dangers of fiscal austerity and on how to curb debt successfully during financial deleveraging. Prior to the IMF, she was Advisor of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, Professor of Economics at the University of Surrey, and Director of the International Economics and Policy Office of the Treasury in Italy. She holds a Ph.D. in international finance (Scuola Superiore S. Anna) and a Ph.D. in monetary economics (University of Oxford). Her work is on the macroeconomic links between private and public debt. Batini is currently researching economic policy reforms to make the agri-food sector sustainable. Her new book “The Economics of Sustainable Food: Smart Policies for People and the Planet” is out now.

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 Professor Paul De Grauwe is the John Paulson Chair in European Political Economy at the London School of Economics. Prior to joining LSE, Paul De Grauwe was Professor of International Economics at the University of Leuven, Belgium. He was a member of the Belgian parliament from 1991 to 2003. He is honorary doctor of the University of Sankt Gallen (Switzerland), of the University of Turku (Finland), the University of Genoa, the University of Valencia and Maastricht University.

 His research interests are international monetary relations, monetary integration, theory and empirical analysis of the foreign-exchange markets, and open-economy macroeconomics. His published books include "The Economics of Monetary Union" (Oxford) which was translated in ten languages and is now in its 12th edition. His other books include "International Money. Post-war Trends and Theories" (Oxford) and "The Exchange Rate in a Behavioural Finance Framework" (Princeton) and more.

Twitter: @pdegrauwe

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 Dirk Heine is a Senior Economist at the World Bank whose specialties include Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice. At the World Bank, Dirk advises Finance Ministries in 30 countries on integrating climate considerations into fiscal policy. He co-authored the first two publications on environmental issues winning the IMF Management Award and the World Bank Vice President Award for Economics, Finance and Institutions. He has been active in the environmental community since 1998 and worked as a general tax economist in the German Finance Ministry. Prior to joining the World Bank, Dirk was a Visitor at the New School. He holds a PhD in environmental taxation (summa cum laude) from the University of Hamburg.

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 Francesco Saraceno is the Deputy Director at the OFCE in Paris. He holds Ph.Ds in Economics from Columbia University and La Sapienza University of Rome. His main research interests include the relationship between inequality and macroeconomic performance, European macroeconomic policies, and the interaction between structural reforms, fiscal and monetary policies. He published in several international journals such as Journal of Public Economic Theory, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, and many more. In 2000 he became a member of the Council of Economic Advisors for the Italian Prime Minister's Office. In 2002 he moved to Paris to work at OFCE, the Research Center in Economics of Sciences-Po Paris. He is in charge of the Economics concentration of the Master of European Affairs at Sciences-Po, where he teaches international and European macroeconomics. He also teaches at the Master of Public Affairs, and is Academic Director of the Sciences Po-Northwestern European Affairs Program. He is a member of the Scientific Board for the LUISS School of European Political Economy (SEP), where he also teaches European macroeconomics. 

Twitter: @fsaraceno 

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