David Pearce

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European Lifetime Achievement Award in Environmental Economics, 2005
 

"Integration of economy and environment is a consistent thread in David Pearce's work - the idea that environment can and should be given 'parity of esteem' in managing the macro and the micro economy is at the heart of his contribution. He not only shows how it can be done, but gets involved in making it happen; his engagement with the UK government, the OECD, the World Bank, UN, European Commission and many others have all been directed at giving substance in the policy arena to our ideas. His books have numerous printings, and are translated into many languages; both scholars and those in the policy process in China, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Slovakia and Vietnam can read his work in their own language. His 'Blueprint for a Green Economy' (with Anil Markandya and Ed Barbier) shows that clarity, brevity and simplicity can be a powerful combination in shaping the terms and substance of the policy debate. The graduates of the Masters degree in environmental economics at UCL has of course comprised the '5th column' that has spread the Gospel of environmental economics throughout the world."

- Frank Convery, Ireland

"Integration of economy and environment is also at the heart of David Pearce’s work. As one of the true founders of the discipline in Europe he has strived hard to advance not only the academic discipline but also the real implementation of environmentally sensible policies. As the author or editor of over 50 books (including the famous "blueprint series") and over 300 papers, he has been enormously prolific and through his writings and as advisor to goverments and international organisations he has also been very influential and effective. With the IIED, CSERGE and the Masters program in environmental economics at the UCL he has created and worked with a series of very influential organisations not only on the Brittish but the European and International arena. "

- Thomas Sterner, Sweden

"David Pearce has done more than anyone to popularize our subject and to bring it to the attention of policy makers: in the UK, as advisor to Chris Patten, Margaret Thatcher’s Environment Minister; in Europe; and the World Bank; and elsewhere. Today, government officials and even the public understand and (sometimes!) accept the advantages of emission taxes and tradeable permits but it was not always so. The difference owes much to David Pearce’s tireless efforts at using reason to defeat emotion and ideology. My guess is that his Blueprint for a Green Economy, published in 1989 (with coauthors Ed Barbier and Anil Markandya), isprobably the biggest selling environmental economics book ever. And David continues to beat the drum: his latest paper on the social cost of carbon is a stunning assessment of current climate policy of the UK. His role in shaping the field has not been confined to the published page. A founding member of EAERE, he also established the first environmental economics master’s program in Europe (at University College London) and created (with Kerry Turner) the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE), an environmental economics research organization. To conclude with a personal reflection, David has been a mentor and friend to me, He taught me the importance not only of having something to say, but of saying it in a way that people could understand and perhaps even remember."

- Scott Barrett, USA

"David Pearce's work on the normative aspects of cost benefit analysis---particularly his concentration on the long-term implications of ignored externalities and the costs of inaction---is seminal. The challenge for those of us working in this area is to persuade policy makers of the vital need to convert theory into action before historically-deferred costs overwhelm us all."

- Pat Finnegan, Ireland

"I feel a little bit like the 6th husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor: 'I know what is expected of me, but I do not know how to make it 'interesting'. But rather then make this little note interesting, let me simply state the facts. I have been fortunate to know David and Karl-Göran all the way back to my student days. There can be no better mentors. I have benefitted, in too many ways to mention here, from their good advice and kindness. Congratulations to both of you. With warm good wishes."

- Bengt Kriström, Sweden

"Dear David
I am sure many will cite your enormous contribution to the field environmental economics in terms of your brilliantly clear publications. While endorsing this I would like to emphasise the personal support you have given to so many people early on in their studies and careers. This had had a wonderful impact on the lives of those concerned (and has lead a lot of people to see this as their chosen career- so having a multiplying impact on the field).

Like so many other people in the profession, my first positive contact with the discipline of environmental economics was initially through your writing followed shortly afterwards by your personal support and encouragement. You have a genuine interest in helping young people start out in the field. In my case I was a student at Exeter who found your book on CBA the most accessible of all available texts. I wrote to you, hardly expecting a reply. Instead I was given the warmest encouragement (plus a shedload of reading!). That spirit and support has endured throughout the now considerable years I have known you. I feel very fortunate to have had such a great introduction to the field.
From all those with a similar debt - thank you!
Best wishes."

- Ian Bateman, UK

"For my part it is always a pleasure to see David. David, together with Anil Markandya and Kerry Turner, were influential in setting up the UK's first dedicated Masters programme for environmental and resource economics. It is a measure of the respect associated with that course, that quite a number of us are still working in the field, in research, in public organizations, in business or in consultancy. Thirteen years on, and with many other students having graduated, it is always gratifying to know that David remembers and maintains contact with so many of us."

- Craig Bullock, Ireland

"Maler and Pearce have my respect, the first for hos insightful contributions to theoretical issues, the second for his endless endeavors to assing values to the environment."

- Joseph Lekakis, Greece

"When I first joined the newly created OECD Environment Directorate in 1971, I was told that OECD, as an economic organization, would have to make a contribution to the economic aspects of environmental protection. But at that time, environmental economics as such hardly existed and the issue was either ignored or considered as minor by the economic community. Thus, my first task was to contact the very small number of economists who had given some thought to the issue, and to gather them together for a four week "think tank". David Pearce was a member of this select group, and this was my chance to start working with him from the very beginning of the rich and remarkably fast developing new discipline now recognized as "Environmental and Resources Economics"(1) . This was the start of a long standing, and fertile cooperation. David has made many major contributions to OECD, in particular on benefits estimates, distributive implications and sustainable development. David's "opus" and influence are immense, and his capacity to link sound conceptual analysis with the "political economy" aspects of environmental policy have helped shape environmental policies in OECD countries. It has been, and still is, my great privilege to work with him."

(1) The output of this Think Tank was the publication for the 1972 Stockholm Conference of the OECD book "Problems in Environmental Economics" which was the first publication covering the key aspects on environmental economics.

- Jean-Philippe Barde, France

"It is impossible for me to put into a "short paragraph" both the appreciation and the debt that I owe these two great European environmental economists, Karl-Goran Maler and David Pearce. Unfortunately, an unavoidable scheduling conflict means that I will miss the Bremen conference, and so I cannot be there to honor these two leading lights and their distinguished careers. I wish it were not so.

Words fail me when I try to summarize what David Pearce means to me personally and intellectually: mentor, friend, colleague, co-author are all apt but somehow cannnot possibly summarize it. In my opinion, there has never been - and possibly never will be - another economist who has single-handedly shaped and influenced global environmental policy the way David Pearce has and continues to do so. It was an honor to have had the opporunity to work with David - from "Bluprint" to biodiversity, from Rio to Zimbabwe. We worked hard; we played hard; and most importantly, we discovered what economics should really be about. Thank you, David, for teaching me that last lesson; it is with me with every book, article or paper that I write today."

- Ed Barbier, USA

"It is difficult to me to think about a lifetime achievement award in the field of Natural Resource and Environmental Economics without having in the first position of the list to these two excellent economists, Karl-Goran Mäler and David Pearce. Thank them people like me working a little isolated in the beginning of his career here in the South have found the intellectual stimulus to devote their research effort to the development of this field. Thank you for all and congratulations."

- Santiago J. Rubio, Spain

 

"David was the driving force in introducing environmental and natural resource economics in Europe, and in applying the theory in the work of international organizations like the OECD, EU, UNEP and the World Bank. His influence can be llustrated by the fact that his textbook "Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment" (1990) (together with Kerry Turner) have been extensively used in universities all over Europe and in the US, and it has been cited nearly 450 times! (according to Google Scholar). David has been instrumental to my motivation for venturing into environmental economics, and his encouragment when I worked with him on national case studies on environmenmtal valuation for the OECD in the late 1980s was crucial for my interest in applying environmental economics to real life problems of decision makers in both developed and developing countries.

- Ståle Navrud, Norway

"David Pearce has made outstanding contributions to major topics in environmental economics; his 'blueprint for a green economy' still is a 'must' reading for any university."

- Raimund Bleischwitz, Germany

"K-G Maler and David Pearce have both in their different ways been very influential and contributed greatly to the evolution and wider international acceptance of the sub-discipline of environmental and resource economics since the 1960s. Karl-Goran's work on the theoretical frontiers (including for example the production function approach) of the sub-discipline is widely acknowledged to have set the standards for others to follow. More recently his work on natural resource accounting and non-convex systems has set in motion a whole new wave of research encompassing both developed and developing country economies. He has truly earned his place in the environmental economists' 'hall of fame'.

David Pearce's contribution to the profession is no less noteworthy. David's prolific applied economics work has spanned a large range of policy-relevant issues and problems. His publications, above all others, are always immensely lucid and readable analyses of complex topics. The sub-discipline owes him an immense debt for there is no doubt that his work has served to showcase environmental economics to a range of audiences, not least students and the policy makers and related communities. His interdisciplinary insights have also served to engage economists with the natural scientists and many fruitful collaborations have subsequently emerged. Both of these colleagues have greatly helped and influenced me and I owe them a personal debt of gratitude. But their real merit lies in the fact that I am only one of very many people who have benefited from their wisdom. They are truly two of the main pillars of modern environmental economic thought and the associated academic community."

- Kerry Turner, UK

"David Pierce and his Masters Course at University College London on Environmental and Natural Resource Economics have been magnets for many interested in environmental policy and how the tools of environmental economics can contribute. Year after year students from across the world and from a wide range of disciplines learnt about environmental economics. Year after year David facilitated the learning of this diverse yet focused group, while at the same time addressing the much wider audience of interested parties through the ever lengthening set of publications and public addresses. He has been a cornerstone of the development and uptake of environmental economics - on a global scale. A major achievement. An equally major achievement has been the time he has always made available for his ex students. The former merits a strong applause and the latter, a heartfelt Thank You. "

- Patrick ten Brink, Belgium

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