School of Earth and Environment

Andy Gouldson Prof Andy Gouldson

Visiting Professor of Sustainability Research; Director - ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics & Policy

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Andy Gouldson is an inter-disciplinary social scientist who has worked on a wide range of issues relating to environmental policy and management for over 20 years. His main area of expertise relates to the ability of different forms of policy and regulation, and of broader forms of governance, to manage risks and to promote innovations that improve the relationship between business, economic development and the environment and that accelerate the transition to a low carbon, climate resilient and more broadly sustainable economy/society.

He has addressed these issues both conceptually, for example through work on the opportunities for and the limits of ecological modernisation and green growth, and empirically, for instance through work on energy and carbon management in corporations and in cities. His work has informed key debates on the performance of new environmental policy instruments and of different approaches to regulation, on the influence of broader forms of environmental governance and on the characteristics of early and late stage transitions to a low carbon, climate resilient economy.

Andy specializes in applied, engaged, problem/impact-oriented research. Throughout his career, he has worked closely with policy makers and regulatory agencies at the international, national and local levels, as well as with various businesses, NGOs and community groups. He currently has projects underway on the economics, financing and governance of low carbon cities in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Peru.

Andy is experienced in building and running inter-disciplinary research institutes that connect the social and the natural sciences and engineering. Formerly Director of the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds, he has been Director of the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy since 2008. He is also Editor of Environmental Policy and Governance and a member of the expert advisory panel on social sciences for the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change and the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.



  • Long T; Young CW; Webber P; Gouldson A; Harwatt H (2015) The impact of domestic energy efficiency retrofit schemes on householder attitudes and behaviours, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, .
  • Gouldson AP; Kerr N; Topi C; Dawkins E; Kuylenstierna J; Sullivan R; Webber P (2014) The Economics and Financing of Low Carbon Cities, In: Dixon T; Eames M; Hunt M; Lannon S (Ed) Urban Retrofitting for Sustainability: Mapping the Transition for 2050, Routledge.
  • Wesselink A; Gouldson A (2014) Pathways to impact in local government: the mini-Stern review as evidence in policy making in the Leeds City Region, Policy Sciences, pp.1-22. doi: 10.1007/s11077-014-9196-3
  • Jagger N; Foxon T; Gouldson A (2014) Licensing and Certification to Increase Skills Provision and Utilization Amongst Low Carbon SMEs, Greener Skills and Jobs, OECD, pp.120-130. doi: 10.1787/9789264208704-en
  • Gouldson A; Carpenter A; Afionis S (2014) An international comparison of the outcomes of environmental regulation, Environmental Research Letters, 9, pp.1-10. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/9/7/074019
  • Owen A; Mitchell G; Gouldson A (2014) Unseen influence-The role of low carbon retrofit advisers and installers in the adoption and use of domestic energy technology, Energy Policy, 73, pp.169-179. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.06.013
  • Gouldson AP; Sullivan R (2013) Long-Term Corporate Climate Change Targets: What could they deliver?, Environmental Science and Policy, 27, pp.1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2012.11.013
  • Jagger N; Foxon T; Gouldson A (2013) Skills constraints and the low carbon transition, Climate Policy, 13, pp.43-57. doi: 10.1080/14693062.2012.709079
  • Sullivan R; Gouldson A (2013) Ten years of corporate action on climate change: What do we have to show for it?, Energy Policy, 60, pp.733-740. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.05.025
  • Gouldson AP; Sullivan R (2012) Ecological Modernisation and the Spaces for Feasible Action on Climate Change, In: Pelling M; Manuel-Navarrete D; Redclift M (Ed) Climate Change and the Crisis of Capitalism, Routledge, pp.114-126.
  • Gouldson AP; Kerr N; Topi C; Dawkins E; Kuylenstierna J; Pearce R (2012) The Economics of Low Carbon Cities: Approaches to a City-Scale Mini-Stern Review, In: Simpson R; Zimmerman M (Ed) The Economy of Green Cities: A World Compendium on the Green Urban Economy, Springer.
  • Gouldson AP; Kerr N; Topi C; Dawkins E; Kuylenstierna J; Pearce R (2012) The Economics of Low Carbon Cities: A mini-Stern review for the Leeds City Region, .
  • Sullivan R; Gouldson A (2012) Does voluntary carbon reporting meet investors' needs?, Journal of Cleaner Production, 36, pp.60-67. doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.02.020
  • Sullivan R; Gouldson A; Webber P (2012) Funding Low Carbon Cities: Local perspectives on opportunities and risks, Climate Policy, . doi: 10.1080/14693062.2012.745113
  • Bailey I; Gouldson A; Newell P (2012) Ecological Modernisation and the Governance of Carbon: A Critical Analysis, pp.85-106. doi: 10.1002/9781118315835.ch5
  • Bailey I; Gouldson A; Newell P (2011) Ecological Modernisation and the Governance of Carbon: A Critical Analysis, Antipode, 43, pp.682-703. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8330.2011.00880.x
  • Lange B; Gouldson A (2010) Trust-based environmental regulation., Sci Total Environ, 408, pp.5235-5243. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.07.052
  • Paavola J; Gouldson A; Kluvankova-Oravska T (2009) The Interplay of Actors, Scales, Frameworks and Regimes in the Governance of Biodiversity, Environmental Policy and Governance, 19, pp.148-158. doi: 10.1002/eet.505
  • Gouldson A; Morton A; Pollard SJT (2009) Better environmental regulation - contributions from risk-based decision-making, SCI TOTAL ENVIRON, 407, pp.5283-5288. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.06.013
  • Gouldson A; Lopez-Gunn E; Van Alstine J; Rees Y; Davies M; Krishnarayan V (2008) New Alternative and Complementary Environmental Policy Instruments and the Implementation of the Water Framework Directive, European Environment, 18, pp.359-370.
  • Gouldson A (2008) Understanding business decision making on the environment, ENERG POLICY, 36, pp.4618-4620. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2008.09.047
  • Gouldson A; Hills P; Welford R (2008) Ecological modernisation and policy learning in Hong Kong, GEOFORUM, 39, pp.319-330. doi: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2007.07.002
  • Gouldson AP; Sullivan R (2007) Corporate Environmentalism: Tracing the Links between Policies and Performance Using Corporate Reports and Public Registers, Business Strategy and the Environment, 16, pp.1-11. doi: 10.1002/bse.543
  • Gouldson AP; Sullivan R (2007) Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers: Examining the Value of Government-led Reporting on Corporate Environmental Performance, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 14, pp.263-273. doi: 10.1002/csr.148
  • Gouldson A; Lidskog R; Wester-Herber M (2007) The battle for hearts and minds? Evolutions in corporate approaches to environmental risk communication, ENVIRON PLANN C, 25, pp.56-72. doi: 10.1068/c0617j
  • Gouldson A; Bebbington J (2007) Corporations and the governance of environmental risk, ENVIRON PLANN C, 25, pp.4-20. doi: 10.1068/c0614j
  • Gouldson A (2006) Do firms adopt lower standards in poorer areas? Corporate social responsibility and environmental justice in the EU and the US, AREA, 38, pp.402-412.
  • Gouldson AP (2005) Voluntary Environmental Regulation and the Imperatives, Incentives and Capacities for Technological Change: The case of the EU Eco-Audit Regulation (EMAS) in the UK, In: Norbert-Bohm V; de Bruijn T (Ed) Industrial Transformation: Environmental Policy Innovation in the United States and Europe, MIT Press, Boston.
  • Gouldson A (2004) Cooperation and the capacity for control: regulatory styles and the evolving influence of environmental regulations in the UK, ENVIRON PLANN C, 22, pp.583-603. doi: 10.1068/c0312j
  • Gouldson A (2004) Risk, regulation and the right to know: Exploring the impacts of access to information on the governance of environmental risk, SUSTAIN DEV, 12, pp.136-149. doi: 10.1002/sd.237
  • Berkhout F; Gouldson AP (2003) Shaping, Modulating, Adapting: Perspectives on technology, environment and policy, In: Berkhout; F; Leach; M; Scoones; I (Ed) Negotiating Environmental Change: Advances in environmental social science, Edward Elgar.
  • Gouldson AP (2003) EU Policy and the Development of Renewable Energy Technologies, In: Douthwaite R (Ed) Ireland's Transition to Renewable Energy, Feasta / Green Books.
  • Bailey P; Gouldson AP; Haq G (2002) Mind the Gap! Comparing ex-ante and ex-post assessments of the costs of complying with environmental regulation, European Environment, 12, pp.245-256. doi: 10.1002/eet.303
  • Murphy J; Gouldson AP (2000) Environmental Policy and Industrial Innovation: Integrating environment and economy through ecological modernisation, Geoforum, 31, pp.33-44. doi: 10.1016/S0016-7185(99)00042-1
  • Gouldson AP; Roberts P (2000) Integrating Environment and Economy: Strategies for Regional and Local Government, Routledge.
  • Gouldson AP; Murphy J (1998) Regulatory Realities: The Implementation and Impact of Industrial Environmental Regulation, Earthscan, pp.0-224.
  • Gouldson AP; Murphy J (1997) Ecological modernisation: economic restructuring and the environment, The Political Quarterly, 68, pp.74-86.
  • Gouldson AP; Murphy J (1996) Ecological Modernisation and the European Union, Geoforum, 27, pp.11-21. doi: 10.1016/0016-7185(96)00002-4
  • Welford R; Gouldson AP (1993) Environmental Management and Business Strategy, Pitman Publishing.