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Economic Perspective

The Economics of the Global Climate Challenge

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At the Annual CEnREP Lecture on February 20, 2024, University of Chicago Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor Michael Greenstone explained the intricate relationship between global energy challenges and climate economics. The event, sponsored by CEnREP, the Office of University Interdisciplinary Programs and the Climate Solutions Collaborative, offered the university community the opportunity to hear from an expert on the economics of the global climate challenge.

Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor Michael Greenstone

With around 100 attendees, including students and CALS deans, Greenstone highlighted how the pursuit of economic growth often conflicts with environmental concerns, particularly in developing countries reliant on fossil fuels. In addition, many countries are combatting the health-related consequences of the smog created by fossil fuels.

Greenstone emphasized the need for international cooperation to address these complex issues but acknowledged the divergent priorities among nations as a significant obstacle. The lecture sparked lively discussion, underlining the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in finding sustainable solutions to the world’s pressing environmental and economic challenges.

Director of the Becker Friedman Institute and the interdisciplinary Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, Greenstone previously served as the Chief Economist for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, where he co-led the development of the U.S. Government’s social cost of carbon. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the Econometric Society, a Carnegie Fellow and a former editor of The Journal of Political Economy. His research focuses on uncovering the benefits and costs of environmental quality and society’s energy choices.

The Center for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy (CEnREP) advances environmental solutions by providing leadership in research, outreach and training of the next generation of environmental economists. To learn more, visit the CEnREP Website.