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Cameron Hepburn Dimitri Zenghelis Luca Taschini

The century of change: How to manage and profit from the low-carbon transition?

Social Sciences Master Classes October 16 - 18, 2017 Madrid

General information

Venue: Fundación Ramón Areces, C/ Vitruvio, 5. 28006. Madrid
Language: English

Organized by:

Fundación Ramón Areces

In cooperation with:

London School of Economics (LSE)

  • Description
  • Programme

The programme is aimed at professionals who possess at least an undergraduate qualification and who are working in business, academia, national and local governments in Spain, and research centres. Places are limited to 25 participants for the 3 days programme and will be taught in English, for which each candidate must have a high level. Successful candidates will be offered a place on merit by a Selection Committee consisting of representatives of LSE and Fundación Ramón Areces who will meet by 29th September


Persons wishing to register for this programme must make their registration online through this website, before 28th September. They should send the following documents by e-mail: i.medrano@lse.ac.uk

  • Curriculum Vitae with photograph (in Spanish or English)
  • Personal statement, in English, on why you want to attend the programme (maximum 400 words)


This Masterclass will outline the key challenges underpinning the likely energy, transport and production revolution which will touch everything from policies, behaviours, institutions and urban settlement patterns. 

The first day will focus on the climate imperative and look at the urgency and magnitude of the challenge. The session will introduce the notion of carbon budgets and highlight issues associated with potential asset stranding and the need to induce technological innovation as well as outline some of the technological options already available. It will assess the need for a broader assessment of wealth which better encompasses sustainability in the form not just of physical, human and financial capital, but also intellectual, social and natural capital. 

The second day will expand on some of the tools available to policymakers to manage this transition, exploit co-benefits of action while avoiding locking in to the wrong infrastructure, institutions and behaviour. It will focus on the need to align expectations to channel broad innovation into sustainable practices, utilising scale economies and positive feedbacks from technologies, to policies, institutions and behaviours. This can be thought of in terms of natural complementarities between the forms of capital outlined in the first day. It will also note the challenges associated with changing comparative advantages, shifting competitiveness and barriers within the political economy. It will look at cities and urban innovation by way of example and use this to form insights into the shift from burden-sharing to opportunity, which paved the road to the successful Paris Climate Change Accord (COP 21). 

The final day will examine international emissions trading, beginning with a look at market failures, environment externalities and market based instruments. This will be followed by a more comparative approach assessing the European Emissions Trading System and carbon pricing around the globe.

Monday, 16

The climate imperative and the challenges of change

Cameron Hepburn


Introduction. Climate change and the net zero emissions imperative




New technologies, stranded assets and the coming energy revolution 




Stress Nexus Game

Tuesday, 17

Managing the transition through steering innovation: where to from Paris?

Dimitri Zenghelis


Policies to manage transition, overcome barriers, limit costs and utilise competitive opportunities




The benefits of shaping rather than predicting the future




The road to Paris and the shift from burden-sharing to opportunity

Wednesday, 18

Pricing emissions: putting a price tag on carbon

Luca Taschini


Pricing the externality and market based instruments (carbon taxes, ETSs, REDD+, Renewable Energy Certificates); Paris Agreement and carbon pricing around the globe




Comparative approach of international emissions trading (delivering low carbon innovation, competitiveness and carbon leakage, market design and efficiency)


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