Simon Dietz is an environmental economist with particular interests in climate change and sustainable development. He has published dozens of research articles on a wide range of topics, including decision-making under uncertainty, questions of equity within and between generations, the links between economic growth and the environment, and the formation of international environmental treaties. He also works with governments, businesses and NGOs on topics of shared interest, such as carbon pricing, insurance and institutional investment.
Simon is based at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He was appointed to the faculty in 2006, as a Lecturer (nowadays called an Assistant Professor) in the Department of Geography and Environment. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in 2011, and full Professor in 2015. He is also a Principal consultant at Vivid Economics, co-editor of the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2018 he became the first recipient of the new European Award for Researchers in Environmental Economics under the Age of Forty, “a recognition given every year to the environmental economist under the age of forty who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to environmental economic thought and knowledge.” During 2018/19 Simon holds a Visiting Fellowship at the Oxford Martin School and is a Research Associate of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, both at Oxford University.
In 2008, Simon and a small group of colleagues including Professor Dame Judith Rees and Lord Nicholas Stern founded the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, with the help of a donation from the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment. At the same time, they received funding from the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy. Simon directed the Grantham Research Institute from 2008 to 2017 and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy from 2008 to 2018.
Prior to joining the LSE faculty, Simon was a Policy Analyst at Her Majesty’s Treasury, where he worked on the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. His position was part-funded by ESRC. Among his primary responsibilities on the Stern Review was estimating the economic cost of climate change using an Integrated Assessment Model.
Simon graduated from the University of East Anglia in 2001 with a B.Sc. (Starred First Class Honours) in Environmental Science. He spent the academic year 1999-2000 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich. He graduated from the LSE in 2002 with an M.Sc. (Distinction) in Human Geography Research, following the Environmental Regulation specialism, and from the LSE in 2006 with a Ph.D. in Geography and Environment, specialising in environmental economics. He later published his Ph.D. thesis in Land Economics – “The equity-efficiency trade-off in environmental policy: evidence from stated preferences” – and it was subsequently chosen for reprinting in a collection of “seminal papers published in the last three decades which demonstrate the application of a number of techniques employed to value a range of environmental and natural resources”.