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Michael Jacobs

Visiting Senior Fellow

Portrait of Michael Jacobs

Michael Jacobs is Professor of Political Economy at the University of Sheffield. An environmental and macro-economist, his research and writing focus principally on post-financial crisis economic theory and policy, and on climate change and environmental politics.

As a Visiting Senior Fellow at ODI, Michael’s specialism is the reform of international development and climate finance. He works with governments and civil society organisations in both the global North and South to advance reforms aimed at increasing the quantity and quality of finance for sustainable development.

Michael’s career has spanned academic, politics and policy. From 1994-7 he was a Research Fellow at Lancaster University and the London School of Economics, and from 1997-2003 General Secretary of the think tank and political association the Fabian Society.  From 2004 to 2010 he was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers at the UK Treasury and then Special Adviser to the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, responsible for energy, environmental and climate policy. Among other activities in these roles he initiated the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, helped design the UK’s 2008 Climate Change Act and oversaw the subsequent Low Carbon Transition Plan, Renewable Energy Strategy and Low Carbon Industrial Strategy.

From 2010 to 2015 Michael worked with the French and UK governments, the UN Secretary General and various civil society organisations to help achieve what became the Paris Climate Agreement. He was co-founder and Senior Adviser to the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.

From 2016-18 Michael was Director of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice, a two-year enquiry into the UK economy. He was principal author of its final report Prosperity and Justice: A Plan for the New Economy (Polity / IPPR, 2018).

In 2019 Michael co-founded a small non-profit organization, the Economic Change Unit, which works with others to help strengthen progressive economic arguments and campaign for a fair, sustainable and resilient economy.

Michael’s books include The Green Economy: Environment, Sustainable Development and the Politics of the Future (Pluto Press, 1991), Greening the Millennium? The New Politics of the Environment (ed, Blackwell, 1997), Paying for Progress: A New Politics of Tax for Public Spending (Fabian Society, 2000) and Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth (ed with Mariana Mazzucato, Wiley Blackwell, 2016).

Elsewhere on the web