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The distributional effects of the low carbon transition

  • Full or part time
    Prof J Barrett
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, January 31, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

The UK is committed to reduce its Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 80% in 2050 based on 1990 levels. This target could also be tightened to net zero emissions by 2050 to align the UK’s commitment with international climate goals. The evidence is clear that inaction is by far the most expensive route. However, there are immediate costs associated with renewable energy supply, the retrofitting of homes and businesses and costs associated with innovation in new efficient / low carbon technologies.

At present, many of these costs are meet by a levy on household fuel bills. Our initial analysis suggests that the distributional effects of this approach are high (see our policy brief at:

This project will seek to extend this research to consider the economic burden of different income deciles in the UK in the short term (next 5 years) and the long term (out to 2050). The project will involve both quantitative and qualitative analysis starting with an assessment of how all energy policy costs are met and the impacts on income deciles. This could include a scenario analysis of different options to meeting these costs. Depending on the interests of the successful candidate, the project could consider the consequences of the financial impact on specific groups using more qualitative approaches or alternatively, develop more detailed assessments of the economic consequences of low carbon transitions.

There has been considerable interest in our research on the distributional impacts of climate policy within the UK Government and the successful candidate would be expected to liaise with relevant government departments to both inform the research and disseminate the results. The candidate will join a large research team within the new national centre, CREDS (Centre for Research on Energy Demand Solution). This is an excellent opportunity to join around 80 UK researchers related to energy demand reduction.

Funding Notes

3.5 years, subject to satisfactory performance, to include tuition fees (£4,400 for 2018/19), tax-free stipend (£14,777 for 2018/19), and research training and support grant. Eligibility is UK and may include those EU candidates who normally meet the UK 3 years residency requirement.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Leeds in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 79.20

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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