Curriculum vitae (February 1998)

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(Jan 2015)


STERNER, Thomas Nils Samuel

Current Positions

Professor environmental economics U of Gothenburg.

Date of Birth

March 22 1952

Place of birth

Gothenburg, Sweden

Marital Status

Married, 3 children

Adress (home)

Kungshöjdsgatan 11

SE411 20 Gothenburg

Tele (home)

+46 31-137616

Address (work)

Economics Dept; (Vasag 1) Box 640 SE405 30 Gothenburg

Tele (work)

+46 31 7861377 (fax 1326)


2015 -16 I have been elected to a guest professorship at the Collège de France. 2011-2014 was spent in part on the AR5 of the IPCC where I was CLA of chapter 15 on policy instruments. 2012-2013 I was on sabbatical leave from Gothenburg and worked as Chief Economist at the Environmental Defense Fund in New York. My main areas of work are instrument design for climate and environmental policy, catch shares in fisheries and theory of discounting.

As professor of environmental economics in Gothenburg I have during the last 2 decades built up the Unit for Environmental Economics with a staff of about a dozen PhDs and another dozen graduate students. We give a unique PhD program in environmental economics with a large participation of graduate students from developing countries (financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida), masters and undergraduate programs and a large number of other research and teaching activities.

I have published about 100 articles in refereed journals, authored or edited more than a dozen books and a large number of book chapters, official reports and journalistic articles. The main focus of my work has been on environmental policy instruments with applications to energy and climate, industry, transport economics and finally resource management in developing countries. Many of these areas benefit from interdisciplinary collaboration with natural scientists, engineers, medical or other experts which I find to be a challenging and exciting part of professional life. For more details, see list of publications below

I teach courses in natural resource economics and environmental policy at the graduate and undergraduate levels. I have been the advisor for about two dozen PhD theses and I do quite a lot of external lecturing and consulting.


  1. Collège de France, Guest Professor, 2015-16, Paris.

  2. Environmental Defense Fund, Visiting Chief Economist, New York. 2012-13. Senior Contributing Economist 2014-

  3. University of Gothenburg

  1. Professor since 95-06-01

  2. Senior Lecturer 199095

  3. Associate Professor 1989 (Docent)

  4. Assistant Professor 19861989

  5. Various junior posts (total 4 years)

  1. Statistisk Centralbyrå SSB, Oslo; Extra 20% Appointment, 2010-

  2. World Bank, Environment Department, 1998-9.

  3. Examiner/tutor at the Dept of Economics, Univ of Karlstad, 1992-96.

  4. Bank of Gothenburg (Economic Intelligence Dept.) 1977  1978

  5. Biskopsgårdens Bleck & Plåt AB.19751976. Apprentice metal worker.

Universities and Research Institutions

    • Statistisk Centralbyrå SSB,Oslo, (Guest researcher)

    • Beijer Institute, Stockholm (Beijer Fellow)

    • Resources for the Future, Washington DC, 2000- (University Fellow)

    • Resources for the Future, Washington DC, 1998-9 (Gilbert White Fellow)

    • World Bank (Consultant 1998-99 and shorter consultancies 2000-)

    • University of Grenoble, France, Visiting researcher 19881989 (6 months)

    • University of Cambridge, England, Visiting researcher spring 1988

    • Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay, Visiting researcher Dec 1987

    • Visiting researcher Trade Union Inst. for Econ Research, Sthlm, 1986

    • El Colegio de México, Visiting researcher, 1983 and 1985 (2 months)

    • Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Visiting researcher 19801981

    • University of Gothenburg, Sweden: (BA in 1976); (Phd economics 1986-01-17) Additional courses in theoretical ecology (1991) and ecology (1992).

    • University of Montpelier, France, 1970 (Certificat pratique de la langue Francaise)

    • University of Innsbruck, Austria,1969 (German philosophy and art)


  • Hamilton House Prep School (London) 195865

  • Westminster Public School (London) 196569 (4 A & 2 Slevels 1969 in Chemistry, Maths, Physics)

  • Sandöskolan, Training for development assistance 197374.

  • Gustavus Primus art school, 19711973.


English, Swedish, French, Spanish, German (+ beginner’s efforts in Italian and Swahili)

Honors, Prizes & Board Memberships

  • Environmental Fiscal Reformer of the Year Award 2014, Green Budget Europe

  • Elected Guest Professor at the Collège de France 2015-16

  • Honorary Guest professor University of Cape Town

  • Member of the Steering committee of the “Collaborative Innovation Center for Regional Environmental Quality” at Tsinghua University, Peking University, Nanjing University and Tongji University.

  • Member of the local organizing committee for the EEA ESEM conference in Gothenburg,

  • Member of the High-Level Advisory Panel for the Mid-Term Evaluation of the UK International Climate Fund - 2013.

  • Member of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg (Kungl. Vetenskaps- och Vitterhets-Samhället i Göteborg (KVVS) ) 2013-

  • Associate Editor of the Journal Environmental and Resource Economics, 2012-

  • Member of the Editorial board of Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy

  • Member of the External Advisory Board of SESYNC (National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center) 2012-13

  • University of Gothenburg Collaboration Prize 2011 for the Unit for Environmental Economics, Received together with Anders Ekbom and Gunnar Köhlin.

  • Member of the High Level Climate Reference group to the Environment minister in Sweden, 2011-

  • Advisory Board: Cluster of Excellence "Future Ocean" at the University of Kiel 2011-

  • Member of the External High-Level Review Panel for the report “Climate Change and the World Bank Group”

  • Board of MISTRA 2010-2013

  • Coordinating Lead Author for chapter 15 on National Policy Instruments of the IPCC AR5

  • Member of the Technical Committee for the WREC 2011, World Renewable Energy Congress

  • Member of the Informal Expert Advisory Panel on Climate Change to the Department of the Taoiseach, Government of Ireland, 2008-9.

  • Chairman of the Organizing Committee and host for the EAERE Annual conference

  • Myrdal Prize 2008

  • President of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists 2008-9, Past President 2010-2011.

  • Editorial board of Journal of Environment and Development

  • Associate Editor of Environmental Economics and Policy Studies.

  • Member of the Editorial Board of “Letters in Spatial and resource Sciences” 2007-9.

  • Beijer Fellow at the Beijer Institute of the Swedish Royal Academy, 2007-

  • Research Advisory Committee for SANDEE, the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics, 1999-2006. “SANDEE fellow” 2007-

  • “Månadens Miljöprofil” (Environmental profile of the month), Göteborgs Universitet, March 2007.

  • Editorial board of Resource and Energy Economics 2006-11

  • Membre du Comité d'Orientation Chaire Développement Durable Ecole Polytechnique-EDF 2006- renewed from 2013-

  • Research Advisory Committee for CEEPA, the Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa, 2006-.

  • Member of the Adivsory Board of the Insitute for Environmental Studies, (IVM) at the Vrije Universteit Amsterdam, 2006-2009

  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy.

  • Fellow of the Centre for Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Sciences, 2005-6.

  • Medlem i Expertgruppen för miljöstudier i Finansdepartementet (2005-6)

  • Member of the Board of Academic advisors to the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, CCAP of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  • Member of the High-Level network of leading economists (organized by DG Environment and the EEA in Copenhagen).

  • Pedagogical prize of the University of Göteborg, 2003, for the Unit for Environmental Economics.

  • University Fellow at the Resources for the Future since 2001

  • Board member of the Local Investment Programs (LIP) of the Ministry of the environment, 2002-5

  • External Examiner for environmental economics in the AERC, African Economic Research Consortium, 2000-

  • Congress organizing committee for the 2002 World Congress of Environmental & Resource Economists in Monterey, California.

  • Member of the Austrian dissertation award committee: Jury für den österreichischen Dissertationskonzeptpreis im Bereich, “Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change”.

  • Chairman of the Board of the Centre for Environmental Economics in Gothenburg 1991-8, 2000-.

  • Research Board for Göteborgs Energi, 1997- .

  • Board of Gothenburg Centre for environmental science and sustainability (GMV), 2000-2006.

  • Chairman for the Gothenburg electors’ selection committee for the Swedish Research Board on the Environment, 2000.

  • Board of the Gothenburg Academy on Managing the Environment GAME, 1999-2002.

  • 2nd and 5th Positions in competition for most cited articles in the journal Energy Economics from 1979-1999. (See Editorial in Energy Economics, 22(2000) 1-8). (See articles A5 and A21 below).

  • Gilbert White Fellow at the Resources for the Future 1998-1999.

  • Guest editor for the Environmental and Resource Economics, Spring 1998

  • Associate Fellow of the Environmental Economics Program of the International Institute for Environment & Development, London, 1998-

  • Member of expert panel of the SNF, Sweden (“SNFs Expertråd”), 1997- .

  • Chairman of the Research Board of the Environmental Economics Network for Eastern and Southern Africa region (EENESA), 1994-1999.

  • Editorial Board of International Journal of Global Environmental Issues.

  • Editorial Board of The Energy Journal

  • Editorial Board of European Environment, 1990-2003

  • Editorial Board of Environmental and Resource Economics

  • Editorial Board of Energie Internationale,1988-1992

  • Scientific board of the 1998 EAERE conferences in Venice

  • Scientific board of the 1996 EAERE conference in Tilburg

  • Scientific board of the 1994 EAERE conference in Dublin

  • Academic board for social sciences of Sida/SAREC, 1996-1998

  • Board of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE) 1997-1999

  • Board of the Dept. of Economics 19851986

  • Board of the center for interdisciplinary studies, Göteborg University, 19841992

  • Coordinator for Latin American Studies, Göteborg University, 19851988

  • Referee of numerous articles for Science, AER, QJE, J of Political Economy, JEEM, EDE, Ambio, Econometrica, the Energy Journal, Energy Economics, the European Journal of Operational Research, the Journal of Energy Systems, Journal of Comparative Economics, the Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, European Environment, The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, Ecological Economics, Environmental and Resource Economics, the Journal of Forest Economics, Resource and Energy Economics, Climate Policy, Climatic Change, Energy Policy, Oxford Economic Papers and AIMS proceedings.

Book endorsements:

  • 'Handbook on Energy and Climate Change' by Roger Fouquet, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, 2013.

  • Allocation in the European Emissions Trading Scheme edited by Alfred Denny Ellerman, Carlo Carraro and Barbara Buchner.Cambridge University Press, 2007.

  • 'IWR 2012 Inclusive Wealth Report: Measuring progress beyond GDP' edited by Partha Dasgupta and Anantha Duraiappah. Review for University of Cambridge, UK, and the Open Access initiative, Open Book Publishers.

Professional Evaluations for academic positions etc.

  1. Evaluation of Dr. Simon Dietz as full Professor at the London School of Economics, Jan 2015

  2. Evaluation of Dr. Kathuria as full Professor in the SJM School of Management at IIT Bombay, July 2014

  3. Evaluation of Dr Stefan Ambec for full Professor in theoretical  economics at the Department of the Economics Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland. May 2014

  4. Evaluation of Associate Professor Stefanie Engel for promotion to full professor at ETH Zurich, January 2013.

  5. Reference, evaluation for Dr Marc Leandri for position at the Economics Department at Sciences Po in Paris.

  6. Evaluation of candidates for chair in public finance with an emphasis in environmental economics at the University of Innsbruck and the Faculty of Economics and Statistics, October 2011.

  7. Evaluation of Dr. Max Auffhammer for a tenured post as Associate Professor at The University of Michigan March 2011.

  8. Evaluation of Dr. Simon Dietz for Major Review by The Promotions Committee of the London School of Economics and Political Science Jan 2011.

  9. Evaluation of Dr. Max Auffhammer for a tenured post as Associate Professor at Duke Nov 2010.

  10. Review of Professor MR Mabugu Executive Director in the Economic Performance and Development (EPD) programme. Human Sciences Research Council S Africa. August 2010.

  11. Review of Professor MR Mabugu for South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF)

  12. Review of cum laude PhD/Doctorate degree to Dr W.J.W. Botzen at the VU University of Amsterdam, Holland, October 2009.

  13. Review of Sylvia Brandt for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Oct 09.

  14. Evaluation of Dr. Jim Sanchirico to Full Professor at UC Davis Sept 08

  15. Evaluation of Dr. Max Auffhammer for Tenure at UC Berkeley August 08

  16. Chairman of the Evaluation Committee for a MISTRA application “SWECIA” for a research program proposal on climate adaptation, May 10-11 2007.

  17. Review of Urvashi Narain for promotion to Fellow at Resources for the Future, Washington. Feb 2007.

  18. Review of Vinnish Kathuria for Faculty Position at the HSS Department of the Indian Institute for Technology in Kanpur, feb 2007.

  19. Evaluation of Dr. Somanathan to Full Professor at the Indian Institute of Growth in Delhi, Feb 2006.

  20. Evaluation of Sjak Smulders for promotion to Full Professor at the University of Tilburg, October 2005

  21. Review of candidates for a Chair in Economics specially, resources, energy and environment, at the Luleå Technical University, September 2005. Candidates Patrik Söderholm and Clas Eriksson.

  22. Dr Carolyn Fischer for Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future, Washington Fall 2004.

  23. Dr Glenn-Marie Lange for Research Scientist at Columbia University, New York, Summer 2004.

  24. Dr Susan Mary Chilton, Referee for promotion to personal Readership at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, April 2004.

  25. “Publication reference” for the promotion to a research chair of Prof Dr Geert van Calster, LL.M., PhD. at the Institute for Environmental and Energy Law, Collegium Falconis, K.U. Leuven, 2003.

  26. Tore Söderkvist for Associate Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics, April 2003.

  27. David Layton, for tenure at Daniel J Evans School of Public Affairs, Washington U. Aug 2002

  28. David Layton, for tenure at Dep. of Environmental Science and Policy, UCLA, spring 2001.

  29. Benjamin Chou for faculty position in Environmental Economics at UCLA, Santa Barbara, January 2000.

  30. Evaluation of Alan Blackman for promotion to Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future, Spring 2000.

  31. Evaluation of candidates for a chair in Environmental Economics in Umeå (dnr 3121-1598-96), spring 1998. Candidates: Thomas Aronsson, Runar Brännlund, Chuan-Zhong Li and Mats Bergman

  32. Evaluation of Dr. Jaap Arntzen for promotion to Associate Professor at the Department of Environmental Science, University of Botswana, spring of 1999.

  33. Evaluation of Randall Bluffstone for promotion to Research Associate at Harvard Institute of International Development, autumn 1998.

Consultancy and Project Funding
The Environmental Economics Unit I have started in Gothenburg has been the largest recipient of external funding in the University of Gothenburg according to surveys by GU. Our largest institutional collaboration between the Unit for Environmental Economics and Sida. Our goal is to create a national/regional environmental economic capacity in developing countries. The aim for the environmental economists trained at EEU, is to work on solving and finding effective solutions to the environmental problems that exist in their respective country. In order for this capacity to be successful, the knowledge has to be spread out to as many influential institutions as possible in order to influence the decision makers. We focus on academic institutions that have the ability to teach future researchers, civil servants and teachers as well as political advisors. With finance from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, EEU has chosen to have people from developing countries as their main target group. We have a PhD program for students from developing countries; we give courses in environmental economics and we have a visiting researcher's program.

In addition to this I am, and have been, involved with a large number of other projects. Among the most important just now are FORMAS and MISTRA – Clipore programs on climate change. In addition to this I have earlier had several consultancy tasks for various organizations and companies including Göteborg Energi, Volvo, Swedepower, Nynäs, the OECD, the World Bank and several Swedish ministries including the Ministries for finances, environment and agriculture. 1994-5 I led a large forecasting and modelling consultancy for Swedepower in which we built forecasting models for electricity demand in Mexico for the Comisión Federal de Electricidad. Since 1991, we have a large-scale and long-run collaboration with SIDA involving a large group of researchers at our department in various consulting activities for SIDA. The Environmental Economics Unit has also been successful in attracting considerable research funds from various research boards such as AFR, BFR, DFE, FORMAS, FRN, KFB, SAREC, SNV, the municipality of Göteborg, the EU, MISTRA and others.

Teaching and Supervision

Current Teaching

Graduate course in Natural Resource Economics, spring 2014. See

Graduate course in Environmental Economic Policy Instruments, spring 2014. See
Masters course in Environmental Economic Policy Instruments, Each spring at the University of Chalmers.
Finally, I have also taught short courses on environmental policy organized by the World Bank and other organizations (2-5 days) in Washington, Bangkok, Zaragoza, Oaxaca, Turialba and La Habana, see C78, C89, C97, C147 and C151
During the years I have held various posts at the Department of Economics I have taught a variety of first year courses. I have also taught, either in Gothenburg or in other universities, various advanced courses in micro, development economics, transport economics, energy economics and currently I participate in teaching environmental economics both at the undergraduate and graduate level. In addition to the courses on natural resource economics and policy instruments, for which I have the main responsibility, I also participate in various other courses inside and outside the department. My main teaching task is the supervision of a large number of PhD students.

PhD Supervision
Currently there are more than a dozen PhD students in environmental economics that are supervised by me and other supervisors at the EEU. The following is a list of over 30 PhD students I have supervised in the past, either as their main supervisor or as a co-supervisor. Below that is a group supervised within my research group but not by me. In total they are more than 50 theses since 1988. 16 of them were Swedes.

  1. Kristina Mohlin

"Essays on Environmental Taxation and Climate Policy”, 13 september 2013. Faculty Opponent Cathrine Hagem, Statistisk sentralbyrå, Norge, Committee: Mads Greaker, Eva Samakovlis, Lena Gipperth.

  1. Jorge Bonilla Londono

Essays on the Environmental Economics of Air Quality Control” June 11 2013. Faculty Opponent: Allen Blackman, Committee: Åsa Löfgren, Johan Woxenius, Patrik Söderholm

  1. Clara Villegas Palacio

“Formal and informal regulations: Enforcement and Compliance”, Sept 23 2011

  1. Miguel Quiroga

“Microeconomic Policy for Development: Essays on Trade and Environment,

Poverty and Education”, Dec 04 2009. Faculty opponent is Professor Michael Rauscher from Rostock, Germany, The committee consisted of Joakim Westerlund, GU, Björn Gustafsson, Dept of Social work, Gothenburg, Magnus Blomström, Stockholm

  1. Markus Wråke

“European Energy Policy in Transition: Critical Aspects of Emissions Trading”, Gothenburg Sept 22, 2009. External discussant, Professor Patrik Söderholm. Luleå Committee: Olof Johansson-Stenman, Economics GU, Björn Sanden, Associate Professor Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers; Eva Samakovlis forskningschef för Konjunkturinstitutets miljöekonomiska enhet. This is the first PhD in Environmental Management and Economics.

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