Welcome to GDAE’s website!
This website presents GDAE’s current research and educational efforts in 3 areas:
Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
Educational materials, including the “In Context” texts for Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Principles of Economics and one-semester Essentials of Economics, as well as free teaching modules can now be accessed at their new location at the Economics in Context Initiative at Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center.
Publications reflecting GDAE’s earlier research in areas such as globalization, trade, and feminist economics, including Policy Briefs and Discussion papers, can be found in our Resource Directory.
All GDAE books and working papers are also available.
New from GDAE
New publications by GDAE Co-Director William Moomaw and colleagues include Protecting large trees for climate mitigation, biodiversity, and forest resilience , The importance of natural forest stewardship in adaptation planning in the United States, and Creating Strategic Reserves to Protect Forest Carbon and Reduce Biodiversity Losses in the United States which show how natural forests provide ecological complexity, carbon storage, and water retention, and call for preserving preserving 30 to 50% of U.S. forested lands. Moomaw and colleagues also published an article on Does wood bioenergy help or harm the climate? arguing that wood bioenergy is not carbon-neutral, elevating atmospheric CO2 levels for up to 100 years. Moomaw and colleagues also published op-eds in The Boston Globe and The Conversation calling for policies to protect mature forests.
GDAE has cosponsored the third symposium of the Northeast Healthy Soil Network. With high-level panels including experts and practitioners from the US and Europe, the symposium brought together participants from academia, NGOs, and the private sector to create a sustained platform for farmers and other healthy soils stakeholders and advocates in the Northeast region. See full symposium report including presentations, videos, and policy brief summarizing issues in regenerative agriculture from the international to the local level.
GDAE Researchers Jonathan Harris and Neva Goodwin are contributors to the Elgar Dictionary of Ecological Economics: Terms for the New Millennium, edited by Brent Haddad and Barry Solomon. The Dictionary “provides an intellectual roadmap to this evolving subject ranging from the practical to the philosophical”. Jonathan Harris is also author of an entry on “Green Economy” in the forthcoming Elgar Encyclopedia of Ecological Economics (Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming 2023, Emilio Padilla Rosa and Jesús Ramos Martin eds.) which “provides an expansive list of topics including sustainable development, the limits to growth, agroecology, implications of thermodynamic laws for economics, integrated ecologic-economic modelling, valuation of natural resources and services, and renewable and non-renewable resources management.”
A new teaching module on Agriculture and Climate by Anne-Marie Codur, Jonathan Harris and Kayleigh Fay focuses on the crucial role of the world’s soils in the global carbon cycle. While the global agricultural system is currently a major net contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, this module offers a detailed analysis of the potential for transforming agriculture into a climate solution. The module shows that reducing industrial emissions will not be enough to achieve climate goals without substantial additional carbon sequestration in agricultural soils, forests, and wetlands.
A new climate policy brief by Jonathan Harris, Shreepath Jain, and Anne-Marie Codur addresses the recent United Nations conferences on climate and biodiversity in November and December 2022. This policy brief reviews both the accomplishments and the shortcomings of the two conferences, bringing an ecological economics perspective to bear on the challenge of “filling the climate gap” with natural solutions.
GDAE Senior Researcher Jonathan Harris participated in a podcast on Healthy Living Healthy Planet Radio on “The Politics of Climate Change and How it Affects our Economic Future” (Episode 146). Other participants were Dr. Barry Rabe of the University of Michigan and Dana Nuccitelli, research coordinator for the Citizens Climate Lobby. The podcast focused on the economic costs of climate change and on policy initiatives to respond to climate change, especially the recent Infrastructure and Jobs Act and Inflation Reduction Act. Listen to the podcast.
A new teaching module on Forests and Climate: Economics and Policy Issues by Anne-Marie Codur, Jonathan Harris, and Maliheh Birjandi-Feriz, focuses on a crucial topic in climate policy. Deforestation and degradation of forests and wetlands is a major contributor to climate change. At the same time, forests and other ecosystems have immense capacity to store carbon and to contribute to balancing global cycles of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases. The module analyzes the causes of deforestation and degradation as well as the potential for reversing these trends to achieve protection and expansion of forests and wetlands.
New editions of the textbooks Microeconomics in Context and Macroeconomics in Context is now available, offering a full treatment of standard topics matched with analysis of the economic challenges of the 21st century within social and environmental contexts. Preview sample chapters and Request Exam Copy of Macroeconomics In Context and Microeconomics in Context from Routledge Publishing.
COP26 REPORT: THE ROLE OF FORESTS AND SOILS
A new GDAE policy brief by Anne-Marie Codur and Jonathan Harris addresses global climate issues in the wake of the Glasgow COP26 conference. The global context of COP26 was set by the sixth assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warning of severe consequences if the planet exceeds 1.5°C of warming. The policy brief addresses both progress made at Glasgow towards this goal, and the significant ways in which the outcome of the conference fell short of what is needed. Codur and Harris outline the crucial importance of a largely missing element of climate policy: the role of natural climate solutions including forests, wetlands, and soils.
New Edition of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
November 15, 2021
The fifth edition of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: A Contemporary Approach has been published! This text balances coverage of standard environmental economics topics with broader ecological economics analysis and a global perspective on current issues such as global climate change, the transition to renewable energy, “green” national income accounting, population growth, agricultural sustainability, and natural resource systems. The new edition deals with the fast-changing economics of energy and climate, the rapid expansion of renewable energy, and issues of land management, as well as updating all data and presenting recent research on environmental issues. Two sample chapters are available.
GDAE Senior Researcher Jonathan Harris was interviewed by Healthy Living Healthy Planet Radio on Saturday, October 16th for an episode on the Economics of Climate Change, together with Dr. Richard Tol of the University of Sussex. The podcast (Episode 98) is available at https://www.healthylivinghealthyplanetradio.com/listen-online Topics discussed included the health and economic impacts of climate change , economic policies for responding to climate change, expanding renewable energy, and developing climate resilience.
GDAE Senior Research Fellow Timothy A Wise has published several recent articles on the failure of the Green Revolution in Africa and successful agroecological alternatives. See Africa’s green revolution initiative has faltered: why other ways must be found; Magical Thinking on Fertilizer and Climate Change and Time to change course, not double down on failing Green Revolution and the related policy brief by IATP, GRAIN, and Greenpeace: Fifty year binge on chemical fertilizers must end.
Members of Abrono Organic Farming Project (ABOFAP) in their organic chilli farm. Near Techiman, Ghana. Credit: Global Justice Now.
August 12, 2021
GDAE Co-Director William Moomaw is quoted prominently in a July 9, 2021 CNN report on the damage to forests and communities in the U.S. Southwest from Europe’s biomass policies: How the American South is paying the price for Europe’s ‘green’ energy (cnn.com).
GDAE Researchers Present at Ecological Economics/Degrowth Conference
July 13, 2021
GDAE Researchers presented at the Online Joint Conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics, the European Society for Ecological Economics, and the international degrowth research networks, hosted by University of Manchester, UK, 5th-8th July 2021.
GDAE presentations included:
Anne-Marie Codur and Sam Polzin, Farmers as Ecosystem Regenerators: A Case Study of the Northeast Healthy Soil Network.
Jonathan Harris, Getting to Net Zero: Ecological Economics Can Help.
Brian Roach, Jonathan Harris, and Anne-Marie Codur, Teaching Ecological Economics: Energy, Climate, Growth, and Degrowth and Changing Economics of Renewable Energy.
The presentations emphasized lessons from the preparation of the fifth edition of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: A Contemporary Approach: the increasing evidence of the severity and urgency of climate change, increased ambition for carbon reduction goals, and the essential role of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and carbon storage in soils and forests in achieving these goals.
Forum on Green and Blue New Deals
April 23, 2021
GDAE Senior Researcher Jonathan Harris participated in a symposium sponsored by the University of Massachusetts at Boston on Green and Blue New Deals: Science and Economics for 2021. Noel Healy (Salem State University) and Rebecca Lewison (San Diego State University) joined Dr. Harris with presentations on policy responses to the climate emergency. Dr. Healy’s talk was entitled “Green New Deal: Go Big or Go Home”, stressing the importance of a large-scale program with a focus on climate and economic justice. Dr. Harris’s presentation on “Getting to Net Zero Carbon Emissions: Can We Do It?” surveyed the potential of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and carbon storage in forests, grasslands, wetlands, and agricultural soils. Dr. Lewison emphasized the many ways in which healthy ocean ecosystems are key to climate stabilization. View the webinar. See Dr. Harris’s Powerpoint presentation.
GDAE Researchers have new published work on important frontier areas in economics and ecology. Senior Research Fellow Timothy A. Wise has a new article on the promise of ecological agriculture in Africa, as well as the social and ecological damage from intensive agribusiness. See original article and other work by Wise on the promise of ecological agriculture in Africa, as well as the social and ecological damage from intensive agribusiness. (See other recent work by Wise.)
GDAE Co-Director William Moomaw is featured in a New Yorker article by Bill McKibben who cites Moomaw’s research on “proforestation”— growing existing forests intact to their ecological potential—as an alternative to unsustainable policies of burning biomass. See the original article by Moomaw et al. and a summary in EnviroBites.
Senior Research Fellow Julie A. Nelson discusses issues of economics, gender, and community knowledge in two recent articles on “Economics, Considered” and “Economics and Community Knowledge-Making”. Dr. Nelson is one of the founders of feminist economics and presents feminist perspectives on the economics of care, ecological economics, behavioral economics, and the theory of the firm.
Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Forum on Forest Carbon Storage
September 15, 2020
GDAE Co-Director Dr. William Moomaw joined two distinguished colleagues, Richard A. Birdsey of the Woodwell Climate Research Center and John Sterman of the MIT Sloan School of Management at a forum sponsored by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office to discuss The Critical Role of Forests in Protecting Climate and Public Health. In addition to examining the crucial role of forests in carbon storage, the panelists discuss the potential of energy efficiency and renewables, concluding that an aggressive policy combining efficiency and renewables with forest protection and expansion can be effective in reducing the impacts of climate change. View the webinar.
Climate Change, Social Equity, and the Green New Deal
August 14, 2020
GDAE Senior Researcher Jonathan Harris is quoted extensively in a new article on social equity and the Green New Deal. He argues that the political presentation of the Green New Deal has improved, stressing its practical advantages especially for low-income earners. A Green New Deal has the potential to create millions of jobs, while employing policy measures that are low cost and can have immediate impact. The COVID crisis increases the urgency of a broad Federal response both to unemployment and to the health crisis. The article builds on an earlier presentation about Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy. See also Harris’s policy brief on Ecological Economics of the Green New Deal and other research by GDAE on Green Economics.
Two New Policy Briefs on Soils and Climate
July 13, 2020
Policies to promote healthy soils are central both for climate policy and agricultural sustainability. Following two conferences on the topic, GDAE researchers present two policy briefs, one by Sam Polzin on Soil Carbon, Water Management, and Natural Infrastructure and one by Benjamin Johnson on Land Value and Soil Quality. They advocate:
- Regionally coordinated state-level agricultural policy incentives to enhance both soil health and water management in the Northeastern United States by harnessing the potential for agriculture to build natural infrastructure.
- Reforming current systems of land valuation and taxation to reflect soil quality and long-term productive potential, creating landowner incentives for proper stewardship.
See Healthy Soils conference reports and other related climate policy briefs.
Moomaw Appeals to the EU Parliament for Climate-Focused Forest Management
May 22, 2020
GDAE Co-director William Moomaw has drafted a letter to the European Parliament emphasizing forest management as an effective tool to reduce atmospheric carbon. Forests remove more carbon from the atmosphere than any other planetary system, but this storage potential is threatened by human activities. Long-term carbon storage in forests is critically important in order to achieve both EU and global climate targets.
The letter has been signed by 370 scientists from 34 countries who have a range of expertise spanning multiple dimensions of climate, forests, energy, carbon cycle accounting and biodiversity. Signers include some of the senior scientists who warned about the consequences of climate change during the 1970s and 80s, leading scientists of today, and younger scientists who are studying to be able to offer their talents to nature’s climate solutions.
GDAE Co-Director Sponsors Letter Urging Congress to Protect Forests
May 13, 2020
GDAE Co-Director Dr. William Moomaw has sponsored a letter urging Congress to protect forests in the United States and shift away from wood consumption in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. The letter has been signed by more than 200 climate and forest scientists.
The letter is further discussed here.
Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy
May 12, 2020
GDAE research is extensively cited in a new article on the Green New Deal and the transition to a low-carbon economy. The article argues that a Green New Deal can produce both environmental and economic benefits and quotes extensively from GDAE researcher Jonathan Harris. See also Harris’s related Climate Policy Brief.
The Northeast Healthy Soil Network Hosts Symposium
February 21, 2020
This day-long symposium brought together policymakers, farmers, academics, and students with the goal of advancing healthy soils policies and practices throughout the northeast.
For more about the event and event materials, visit the 2020 Conferences Page.
Moomaw speaks at Unite Behind the Science event hosted by Greta Thunberg and Luisa Neubauer during COP25
December 10, 2019
GDAE Co-director Dr. William Moomaw, co-author of the recent World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency, joins fellow scientist Youba Sokona, youth activists Greta Thunberg and Luisa Neubauer, and scientists Ko Barrett, Sivan Kartha, and Rachel Cleetus, on the stage at the United Nations COP25 climate conference in Madrid. Read more about the event.
World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency
November 5, 2019
William Moomaw co-authored a paper published in the journal BioScience. In the paper, Moomaw and his co-authors declared a climate emergency that without deep and lasting shifts in human activities will result in “untold human suffering”. The authors present a suite of graphical vital signs of climate change over the last 40 years for human activities that can affect GHG emissions and change the climate, as well as actual climatic impacts. The paper is endorsed by 11,258 scientists from 153 countries.
The paper has been covered by The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Boston Globe, and USA Today.
Rome Summit Takes Bold Step Toward Agroecology
October 24, 2019
Common Dreams published an article by Timothy A. Wise on agroecology and its role as one of the cutting-edge innovations we need to help small-scale farmers adapt to climate change.
Why Keeping Mature Forests Intact Is Key to the Climate Fight
October 15, 2019
GDAE Co-Director Dr. William Moomaw was interviewed by Yale Environment 360 about the importance of existing forests and why the push to cut them for fuel to generate electricity is misguided.
GDAE Researchers Present at Ecological Economics Conference
Three GDAE researchers presented papers at the Ecological Society of America/United States Society for Ecological Economics conference on August 11-16, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky, on the theme “Bridging Communities & Ecosystems: Inclusion as an Ecological Imperative”. The GDAE papers were:
Filling the Carbon Sequestration Gap: Expanding the Role of Forests and Wetlands
Soil Health, Agriculture and Climate in New England: Scientific Findings, Farming Practices and Policies
Jonathan Harris awarded Herman Daly Award
At the USSEE conference, Jonathan Harris was awarded the Herman Daly Award “designed to recognize individuals who have connected ecological economic thinking to practical applications and implementation of solutions that are sustainable in scale, equitable in distribution and efficient in allocation.” Read more about the award.
In the News
GDAE Co-Director William Moomaw and Juliette Rooney-Varga call for protection of mature U.S. forests US Forest Service should let forests grow – The Boston Globe on December 13, 2022
GDAE Co-Director William Moomaw and Beverley Law question the implementation of President Biden’s executive order on conserving mature and old-growth forests on Federal lands, citing contradictory agency policies. The Biden administration has called for protecting mature US forests to slow climate change, but it’s still allowing them to be logged. March 9, 2022
GDAE was cited by CardRates in “Climate Change and Social Equity: How the Green New Deal Could Both Protect the Environment and Benefit Low-Income Earners” on August 11, 2020.
GDAE Visiting Scholar David Sussman presents some of the limitations of banning plastic bags in his July 17, 2020 article in The Conversation .
GDAE was cited by CardRates in “Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy: Why a Green New Deal Initiative Could Produce Economic and Environmental Benefits” on May 12, 2020.
William Moomaw was cited by The Washington Post in “More than 11,000 scientists from around the world declare a ‘climate emergency’” on November 5, 2019.
William Moomaw was cited by The New Yorker in “Don’t Burn Trees to Fight Climate Change — Let Them Grow” on August 15, 2019
William Moomaw was cited by National Geographic in “Trees release flammable methane—here’s what that means for climate” on March 25, 2019.
William Moomaw was cited by WGBH in “Are We Cutting Down The Wrong Trees In Massachusetts?” on June 25, 2019
The Global Development And Environment Institute (GDAE) is a research institute at Tufts University dedicated to promoting a better understanding of how societies can pursue their economic and community goals in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner. GDAE pursues its mission through original research, policy work, publication projects, curriculum development, conferences and other activities.