ANU ranked a global research leader on mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Smoke billowing out of industrial chimneys
24 August 2018

This ranking recognises the breadth and depth of expertise in climate economics and policy at ANU, with numerous ANU researchers collaborating to develop highly significant work.

ANU has been ranked amongst the five most productive research institutions globally on market mechanisms for carbon emission reductions between 1992-2016.   This is a good example of leadership by ANU in climate economics and policy research.

The university was ranked second to Resources for the Future and ahead of Oxford and Harvard Universities and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, based on an assessment of relevant publications and citations in the research literature.    

Market mechanisms, such as emissions trading schemes and carbon taxes, are increasingly being used in the battle to fight climate change around the world. 

This ranking recognizes the breadth and depth of expertise in climate economics and policy at ANU, with numerous ANU researchers collaborating and a strong history of work in this field.

The high rates of citations of many ANU papers show that the research has been globally influential within the research community. 

The tradition of this research dates back to analysis by Prof Warwick McKibbin (Crawford School of Public Policy) and US colleagues from the 1990s, as well as highly cited papers by Dr Jack Pezzey (Fenner School of Environment and Society) and Prof Frank Jotzo (also Crawford School).    Both Prof Jotzo and Dr Pezzey were named among the top 10 individual publishing researchers in this area.   It also represents important contributions by a number of other ANU academics, affiliates and PhD scholars.   

These strong foundations have allowed the research to be scaled up and applied in a policy context, with the research informing policy making in Australia, China, the US and elsewhere.  

“We have seen a tremendous rise in the use of market mechanisms for environmental objectives globally,” said Prof Frank Jotzo.    

“But we have also seen that the politics of price-based incentives can be very difficult.  There is now much greater awareness of the need to tailor policy mechanisms to political circumstances and voter expectations, as we’ve seen in the debate on the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) and the Finkel Review.  As academic researchers, our approach is to show what the best possible approach would be, while being mindful of the context.”

Prof Jotzo singled out analysis on China’s national emissions trading scheme as a recent example of ANU work in this field.    

The full analysis can be accessed at