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Steve Hinnefeld
University Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Environmental policy series at IU to include ‘Green Paradox’ author

Sept. 27, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- German economist Hans-Werner Sinn, whose book The Green Paradox criticizes demand-side approaches to addressing climate change, will take part in a lecture series and mini-conference on environmental policy next week at Indiana University Bloomington.

The Department of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences is sponsoring the series and conference. Co-sponsors include the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Department of Geography and European Union Center.

Hans-Werner Sinn

Hans-Werner Sinn

Print-Quality Photo

Sinn will present lectures based on The Green Paradox on Monday and Tuesday (Oct. 3 and 4) at 4 p.m. in Wylie Hall 005. The lectures are intended for graduate students but are open to the public.

On Friday (Oct. 7), he will take part in a day-long conference on environmental policy in the Tocqueville Room at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, 513 N. Park Ave. Sessions will include:

  • Arik Levinson, professor in the Department of Economics at Georgetown University, will speak from 9:15-10:15 a.m. on "Environmental Engel Curves."
  • Sara Pryor, Provost's Professor of Atmospheric Science at IU Bloomington, will speak from 10:45-11:45 a.m. on "Furloughing Climate Science into Climate Policy: A Physical Scientist's Perspective."
  • Sinn will speak from 3-4 p.m. on "The Green Paradox."

In The Green Paradox, published in 2008 in Germany and scheduled for publication by MIT Press in the U.S., Sinn argues that nation-by-nation policies for addressing climate change are doomed to fail if global economic interactions are neglected.

What one country saves in carbon dioxide emissions, he writes, another country will consume. Green policies in Europe reduce prices and subsidize the use of fossil fuels elsewhere, and they send a message to oil-producing states to increase production because prices will be depressed in the future. Effective climate policy, Sinn says, requires a comprehensive, worldwide trading system for trading emissions.

Sinn is a professor of economics at the University of Munich and president of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research. He has served as editor of the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Economic Literature. Since 1989 he has served on Germany's Council of Economic Advisers.

Levinson has served on the White House Council of Economic Advisers and the Science Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and as co-editor of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Pryor's research interests include atmospheric chemistry, biogeochemical cycling and physical climatology/climate change and variability. She has received numerous National Science Foundation grants and published many journal articles, chapters in edited volumes and research reports. She has served as editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres.