Prof Michael Grubb

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The UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources (ISR) generates knowledge in the globally sustainable use of natural resources and trains the future leaders of this field. Our definition of resources is broad, and our research approach is equally inclusive, bringing together experts from across UCL. We are part of The Bartlett: UCL?s global faculty of the built environment.



Michael Grubb is Professor of International Energy and Climate Change Policy at UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources (University College London), editor-in-chief of the journal Climate Policy, and Senior Advisor on Sustainable Energy Policy to the UK Energy Regulator Ofgem.  His former positions include Senior Research Associate at Cambridge University (Departments of Economics and Land Economy); Chair of the international research organization Climate Strategies; Chief Economist at the Carbon Trust; Professor of Climate Change and Energy Policy at Imperial College London; and head of Energy and Environment at Chatham House, and he continues to be associated with these institutions. 

Professor Grubb has also served on the UK Climate Change Committee, established under the UK Climate Change Bill to advise the government on future carbon budgets and to report to Parliament on their implementation.  In 2013 he was the Specialist Advisor to a House of Lords European Committee enquiry. ‘No Country is an Energy Island: securing investment for the EU's Future' (2013). 

Michael Grubb is author of eight books, fifty journal research articles and numerous other publications. He has held many advisory positions with governments, companies and international studies on climate change and energy policy, and has been a Lead Author for several reports of the IPCC on mitigation, including the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.  His book Planetary Economics, which brings together the lessons from 25 years of research and implementation of energy and climate policies, was published in March 2014: it has received widespread accolade as a ‘seminal’ contribution, ‘comprehensive and profoundly important’ for its presentation of a new approach to both the theoretical underpinnings and the practical policies for tackling energy and climate change challenges. 

Read more about
Planetary Economics: energy, climate & three domains of sustainable development

Climate Policy journals: To mark the year of the Paris 2015 negotiations, a selection of papers on country studies and negotiating proposals is available here

Research Summary

My research and experience have grouped broadly around four main themes:

·         Energy systems and low carbon innovation, with emphasis upon the innovation process in the energy sector, particularly in relation to renewable sources and the design of support systems

·         Carbon pricing and emissions trading systems, including design of the EU ETS and industrial competitiveness and the international coordination and development of carbon pricing systems

·         International climate change responses more broadly including the UNFCCC negotiations, the Kyoto Protocol and its Mechanisms, and the wider challenges of international cooperation

·         Integration of renewable electricity sources into electricity systems.  Numerous publications and involvement in power systems modeling.  Remained actively abreast of developments (for example through role as coordinator of the SuperGen Networks - Incentives workstream from Cambridge).

Research outputs

A review of Chinese CO2 emission projections to 2030: the role of economic structure and policy 2015 Grubb M,Sha F,Spencer T,Hughes N,Zhang Z,Agnolucci P
Why Are We Waiting?: The Logic, Urgency, and Promise of Tackling Climate Change 2015 Grubb M
From Lima to Paris, Part 2: Injecting Ambition 2015 Grubb M,De Coninck H,Sagar AD
The Three Domains structure of energy-climate transitions 2015 Grubb M,Hourcade J-C,Neuhoff K
Planetary Economics: Energy, Climate Change and the Three Domains of Sustainable Development 2014 Grubb M
Trade, Carbon Pricing and Carbon Leakage: Mapping a Differentiated Approach 2014 Grubb M,Das K
Digging deeper into the innovation chain: cross-sectoral evidence and analysis 2014 Grubb M
From Theory to Practice: Climate policy and political feasibility 2014 Grubb M,Klinsky S
Doha's dawn? 2013 Grubb M
Carbon pricing after Copenhagen: an updated assessment 2012 Grubb M
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Research activities

No information for the moment