UNESCO Chair webinar: The Macroeconomics of the Green Transition in Emerging Nations

Andrés Velasco, School of Public Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science

Introduction to the webinar topic

Climate change constitutes one of the main challenges for humankind and fighting it requires deep transformations in the productive system worldwide. The relationship between climate change, economics and public policies for promoting a green economy is a complex one as it implies many conflicting goals. On the one hand, climate change is harming economic activities through natural disasters destroying production capacity in many countries. Natural resource-based sectors have been particularly affected by climate change: for instance, droughts and high-mountain floods during the last years have heavily impacted sectors such as agriculture and mining. On the other hand, public policies promoting a green economy also impact the growth capacity of the economy in the short-term since they imply changes in relative prices or production constraints that affect competitiveness. For instance, carbon price instruments raise the cost of energy and fertilizer bans reduce agricultural productivity.

The energy transition that involves a shift towards renewable energy sources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions has a significant effect on macroeconomics. First of all, it affects macroeconomics through the cost of energy. Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, are becoming increasingly competitive with traditional fossil fuels, which can lead to lower energy costs for consumers. However, the transition to renewable energy requires significant investments in new infrastructure and technologies, which can result in higher upfront costs. In the short term, this may lead to higher energy prices as businesses and consumers pay for the costs of the transition.  

In this edition of the UNESCO Chair webinars, Andrés Velasco will discuss how to address this tension with Prof. Dr. Luc Soete, Professorial Fellow at UNU-MERIT.

Biography of the speaker

Andrés Velasco is a Chilean economist and professor who served as Minister of Finance in the first government of President Michelle Bachelet from March 2006 to March 2010. He competed for the Chilean presidency in 2014, wherein he reached second place behind Michelle Bachelet in the primary of the centre-left coalition. He is currently the Dean of the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics.

Regarding his academic career, Andrés holds a PhD in economics from Columbia University. He took postdoctorate studies at Harvard University and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Earlier, he obtained his bachelor's degree in economics and philosophy at Yale University, and a master's degree in international relations at the same university. He is Sumitomo-FASID professor of Development and International Finance at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.


Practical details

We will be live streaming the webinar on our Facebook page, LinkedIn page and on our YouTube channel - on any of these channels, you will be able to comment, interact and ask the speaker questions during the event.

Join the webinar using one of the following links:
Facebook livestream
YouTube livestream
LinkedIn livestream

Venue: UNU-MERIT YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn channels

Date: 25 April 2023

Time: 15:00 - 16:00  CEST