ISET

On the 25th of May, ISET was pleased to host the environmental economist and founder of the consultancy company GIST Advisory, Pavan Sukhdev, for a presentation. Starting his career as a physicist, Mr. Sukhdev got interested in the challenges of environment protection. This led him to investigate economics, particularly aiming at understanding the significance of businesses as a driver of the changes that we see around us as well as third party impacts, which are known as externalities in economics. Mr. Sukhdev highlighted corporate externalities as being the “biggest free lunch in human history”. Created by private companies, externalities cause huge damages. Companies earn profits at the expense of public losses, reaching from 10 to 15 trillion dollars or 15-20% of global GDP. A study by the NGO “Trucost” found that in 2010 five sectors, namely electricity, oil and gas, industrial metals and mining, food and construction are responsible for about 60% of environmental cost. Yet, as pointed out by Mr. Sukhdev, the private sector operates in the scope of legal framework and can therefore be influenced and regulated by the society.

ISET would like to congratulate two of its resident faculty members, Karine Torosyan and Norberto Pignatti, and ISET-PI Senior Researcher Maka Chitanava, on the publication of their joint paper. Entitled “Toothless reforms? The remarkable stability of female labor force participation in a top-reforming country”, the article has recently been published on the IZA Discussion Papers Series, from the Institute of Labor Economics, Bonn (the IZA Discussion Paper Series is ranked 11th worldwide for economics by IDEAS/RePEc); and the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group Working Paper Series, one of the two Working Paper Series of the prestigious Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics (BFI), University of Chicago.

The next energy revolution is on our doorstep, and it is going to be driven by renewable power generation technologies, which potentially allow for a much more decentralized power system and a less heavy network. Still, power transmission network projects worth USD 40 trillion are being financed through different state and private investments all around the world. Mr. Michael Delphia, Senior Energy expert at USAID’s Governing for Growth Project discussed the concept of market-centered energy planning (M-CEP) with the ISET community at an open lecture. Throughout his career, Mr. Delphia has spent around 20 years in the US energy industry and has supported power and gas reforms in over 70 countries around the world.

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