For better or worse, climate change is already affecting American and global business. Some industries will be transformed by climate change and the policies that respond to it. For example, the coal industry, a mainstay of advanced economies since the start of the industrial revolution, is already collapsing. The oil and gas industry will be radically transformed and reduced in scale. The automobile industry will be transformed, with the growth of electric vehicles leading to the entry of new players in both vehicle production and component production for the first time in half a century. Construction and real estate will also be transformed. Tourism and many other leisure activities will undergo profound changes, and agriculture is already experiencing major challenges.
This course will provide a framework for thinking about climate change and its consequences for business. The perspective taken will be that of senior executives or CEOs in industries affected by climate change. The course is intended for students who are interested in consulting careers, who are likely to encounter these issues as they move between companies and industries. It is also relevant for students interested in corporate strategy, which in many cases will be affected by the issues in the course. And for students going into fund management, who will need to think about the challenges that climate will pose for the firms that they invest in and to analyze which companies will be well-placed to cope with these. The course is also relevant for students interested in impact investing, green/ESG investing/SRI, and careers that have a direct relationship to environmental issues. It will also be of relevance to those seeking careers in the investment, consulting, or even general management area, where there will be issues relative to a firm’s or investor's social-responsibility, or to project choice in the face of environmental impacts, that even mid-level managers will have to worry about.
This course will be taught by Gernot Wagner, a climate economist who is visiting from NYU where he is a clinical associate professor at the Department of Environmental Studies. His research, writing, and teaching focus on climate risks and climate policy.
Wagner writes the “Risky Climate” column for Bloomberg Green and has written four books: Geoengineering: the Gamble, (2021); Stadt, Land, Klima (“City, Country, Climate”) (2021); Climate Shock (2015), and But will the planet notice? (2011). Previously he was the founding executive director of Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program, a research associate at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a lecturer on Environmental Science and Public Policy. Before Harvard, Wagner served as economist at the Environmental Defense Fund, most recently as lead senior economist and member of its Leadership Council. He has taught at Columbia, Harvard, and NYU, has been a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is on the board of CarbonPlan.org.
Born and raised in Amstetten, Austria, he holds a joint bachelor’s magna cum laude with highest honors in environmental science, public policy, and economics, and a master’s and Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard University, as well as a master’s in economics from Stanford.
Senior Lecturer in Discipline of Economics in the Faculty of Business
Gernot Wagner is a climate economist. His research, writing, and teaching focus on climate risks and climate policy. He is currently on leave from NYU where he is a clinical associate professor at the Department of Environmental Studies and associated clinical professor at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service.
Wagner writes the “Risky Climate” column for Bloomberg Green...