Gernot Wagner
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Gernot Wagner
Gernot Wagner
NationalityAustrian & American
Dr. Siripanth Nippita (m. 2002)[1]
Career information
Fieldclimate economics
School or
environmental economics
Alma materHarvard University
Stanford University
Robert N. Stavins
InfluencesNat Keohane
Martin Weitzman
Richard Zeckhauser
AwardsTop 15 Financial Times-McKinsey Business Book of the Year 2015
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Gernot Wagner (1980 in Austria) is an Austrian-American economist and author.[2] He holds an AB and a PhD in political economy and government from Harvard University, as well as an MA in economics from Stanford University. He teaches at New York University[3] and is the co-author, with Martin L. Weitzman, of Climate Shock,[4] a Top 15 Financial Times-McKinsey Business Book of the Year 2015.[5] He is married to Siripanth Nippita, a gynecologist at Harvard Medical School.[1][6]

Climate and energy policy

Wagner was an economist at the Environmental Defense Fund from 2008 to 2014 and lead senior economist from 2014 to 2016.[4][7] While there he was a member of the faculty of the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, and he wrote Climate Shock (2015), a book emphasizing the importance of risk and uncertainty for prompting action on climate change.[8][9][10] Wagner was a member of the six-person lead author team, including Suzi Kerr, that wrote the World Bank's Emissions Trading in Practice : A Handbook on Design and Implementation.[11]

"Risk" and "uncertainty" in climate change are often mentioned as reasons to delay action. Wagner's Climate Shock, joint with Martin Weitzman, emphasizes that the "known unknowns" and potential "unknown unknowns" instead increase the need for action.[4] This contrasts with work done, for example, by economists Bill Nordhaus, Richard Tol, and others. Nordhaus, in turn, favorably reviewed Wagner and Weitzman's book in the New York Review of Books.[12] Wagner's latest academic work on this topic, joint with Kent Daniel of Columbia University and Bob Litterman of Kepos Capital further emphasizes the importance of pricing climate risk and uncertainty.[13]


Wagner was the founding co-director, joint with David Keith, of Harvard's Solar Geoengineering Research Program founded in 2017.[4][14][15][16] His geoengineering research focuses on economics, governance, policy, and public perception, including the chemtrails conspiracy theory.[17] Together with Dustin Tingley, Wagner finds that in a U.S. public opinion survey conducted in October 2016, 30 to 40% of the U.S. public believed in a version of the conspiracy.[18] The paper also describes what the authors call a "community of conspiracy" in online discourse, in particular on Twitter and other anonymous social media.

On November 23, 2018, Wagner published an open-access article on "Stratospheric aerosol injection tactics and costs in the first 15 years of deployment."[19][20] The article was picked up in a questionable report by CNN, claiming that: "Scientists are proposing an ingenious but as-yet-unproven way to tackle climate change: spraying sun-dimming chemicals into the Earth's atmosphere."[21]


Gernot Wagner has written three books:

  • 2003: Der Rest der Welt. Ein Reiseführer für überzeugte Daheimbleiber, Wien, Ueberreuter-Verlag 2003, ISBN 3-8000-3957-5
  • 2011: But Will The Planet Notice?. New York, Hill & Wang/Farrar Strauss & Giroux, ISBN 0-8090-5207-5
  • 2015: Climate Shock, joint with Martin Weitzman, Princeton University Press 2015, ISBN 978-0-691-15947-8 (Financial Times-McKinsey Top 15 Business Book of the Year 2015. Translated into several languages, including German, which has been awarded Austria's Wissenschaftsbuch des Jahres [German, "Natural Science Book of the Year"] 2017.)


  1. ^ a b Steinhardt, Jenifer (5 June 2002). "Love Stories: International Affairs". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ Gaulhofer, Karl (28 August 2017). "Für Pessimismus ist es zu spät" (in German) (Alpbach). Die Presse. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ "Gernot Wagner NYU Wagner profile". Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Lieberman, Bruce (2 November 2016). "Geoengineering: crazy...with a big 'but' » Yale Climate Connections". Yale Climate Connections. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Gernot Wagner | Harvard Kennedy School".
  6. ^ Postl, Elisabeth (22 August 2017). "Kulturkampf um den Kreißsaal" (in German) (Alpbach). Die Presse. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ Meyer, Robinson (29 June 2017). "The American South Will Bear the Worst of Climate Change's Costs". The Atlantic.
  8. ^ Heal, Geoffrey (2017). "The Economics of the Climate". Journal of Economic Literature. 55 (3): 1046-1063. doi:10.1257/jel.20151335. ISSN 0022-0515.
  9. ^ Chait, Jonathan. "What If Climate Scientists Are Guessing Wrong?". Daily Intelligencer. Retrieved .
  10. ^ Clark, Pilita (29 March 2015). "'Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet', by Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman". Financial Times.
  11. ^ Partnership for Market Readiness; International Carbon Action Partnership (2016). Emissions Trading in Practice. Washington, DC: World Bank.
  12. ^ Nordhaus, William D. (4 June 2015). "A New Solution: The Climate Club". The New York Review of Books.
  13. ^ "The High Cost of Climate Uncertainty". Ideas & Insights. Columbia Business School. 3 February 2015. Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^ Meyer, Robinson (25 January 2018). "What Happens If We Start Solar Geo-Engineering--and Then Suddenly Stop?". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ Scharping, Daniel (2017-12-13). "A Geoengineered Future Is Downright Scary". Discover Magazine. Retrieved .
  16. ^ Ramachandran, Akshitha (17 April 2017). "Harvard Researchers Launch Solar Geoengineering Moonshot". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ Beaumont, Hilary (22 November 2017). "Chemtrails conspiracy theorists are sending death threats to climate scientists". VICE News.
  18. ^ Tingley, Dustin; Wagner, Gernot (31 October 2017). "Solar geoengineering and the chemtrails conspiracy on social media". Palgrave Communications. 3. doi:10.1057/s41599-017-0014-3. ISSN 2055-1045.
  19. ^ Smith, Wake; Wagner, Gernot (2018). "Stratospheric aerosol injection tactics and costs in the first 15 years of deployment". Environmental Research Letters. 13 (12): 124001. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aae98d. ISSN 1748-9326.
  20. ^ Carrington, Damian (23 November 2018). "Solar geoengineering could be 'remarkably inexpensive' - report". the Guardian.
  21. ^ Robinson, Matthew (23 November 2018). "Dimming the sun: The answer to global warming?". CNN.

External links

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