School of Earth and Environment

Andy Gouldson Prof Andy Gouldson

Professor of Environmental Policy and Dean: Interdisciplinary Research

Email address:
Room: 8.103
PA details: Joanne Sutherland +44(0) 113 34 38308

Affiliation: Sustainability Research Institute


I am an inter-disciplinary social scientist with a background in economics and public policy. I have worked on a wide range of issues relating to environmental policy and management since 1990, with a particular focus on climate change since 2008. I specialize in applied, engaged, impact-oriented research. Throughout my career, I have worked closely with policy makers and regulatory and development agencies at the international, national and local levels, as well as with businesses, NGOs and community groups.

My main area of expertise relates to the conditions under which we might improve the relationship between economic development and the environment, particularly through the application of different approaches to policy and innovative forms of governance. I have particular interests in the prospects for low carbon, climate resilient development and on the conditions that would allow two key groups - cities and corporations – to play a more active role in mitigating or adapting to climate change.

Internationally, I have significant research experience in working with academic partners and with national and local government, development agencies and NGOs, particularly through city-scale projects on the economics and governance of low carbon and climate resilient cities in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Paraguay and Rwanda. I have also worked closely with the Global Commission on Economy and Climate and am a member of the steering group for the Coalition for Urban Transitions.

Within the UK, I have worked closely with central government – for example through the Social Sciences Expert Panel for DECC and DEFRA and in an advisory role for DEFRA in its strategic reviews of environmental legislation and policy. I have also worked closely with the Environment Agency and with local government especially in some of the core cities.

I have substantial experience in leading and developing inter-disciplinary research institutes/centres that combine the wider social sciences with the natural sciences and engineering. I have done this in my role as Director of the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds (2006-2009) and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (2008 -2014), and most recently as Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor (Interdisciplinary Research) at the University of Leeds (2015-date).

I have helped to secure over £20m in research funding with grants from the UK Research Councils, the UK Government (FCO, DECC, DFID, Environment Agency), the EU, the International Growth Centre, the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, the International Development Research Centre, the the Chinese National Science Foundation, the Peruvian, Indonesian and Malaysian Governments and various foundations and industrial funders.

I have published widely in high-quality international journals on environment, energy, climate, development, cities and business. My work has also featured in the media (including in the New York Times, Washington Post, Economist, Financial Times, Guardian, National Geographic). I am also Editor of Environmental Policy and Governance.


  • PhD Environmental Regulation (LSE)
  • MSc Environmental Policy (Wye College, University of London)
  • BA (Hons) Economics (Portsmouth)

Research Interests

Current and recent research projects include:

ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP)

with the London School of Economics, funded by the ESRC, 2008-18 (Co-PI).


Towards Low Carbon Development in Chinese Cities

with Tsinghua University, joint funded by the Chinese National Science Foundation (2014-2017)

Dynamics of Green Growth in European and Chinese Cities (DRAGON)

with University of East Anglia UK, Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement France, Wuppertal Institute Germany and Beijing Institute of Technology China, funded by ESRC (UK), DFG (Germany), ANR (France) and NSFC (China), 2014-2017 (CoI).

Assessing the Co-Benefits of Climate Action in the World’s Cities

funded by the Global Commission on Economy and Climate 2016-17 (PI).

Climate Resilient Cities in Latin America: Tri-City Cooperation in the Parana Basin

with multiple partners, funded by CDKN, IDRC and Futuro Latin Americano 2016-18 (Co-PI).

Accelerating Low Carbon Development in the World’s Cities

funded by Global Commission on Economy and Climate, 2015 (PI).

A Low Carbon Development Plan for Kigali, Rwanda

funded by the International Growth Centre, 2014-15 (PI)

Financialisation, Economy and Sustainable Development (FESSUD)

with multiple partners, funded by the European Union FP7, 2012-16 (Co-I)

The Economics of Low Carbon Cities: (a) Peru and Brazil and b) Malaysia and Indonesia

with multiple partners, funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Inter-American Development Bank and various national government ministries, 2013-14 (PI)

Evaluating the Impacts of City-Scale Energy Efficiency Schemes

funded by the Sainsbury’s Family Charitable Trust, 2013 (PI).