Jeroen van den Bergh to receive an honorary doctorate from the Open University of the Netherlands

Jeroen Van den Bergh

Economist Jeroen van den Bergh, ICREA research lecturer at the UAB Institute for Environmental Science and Technology, will be appointed honorary doctor by the Open University of the Netherlands. The award ceremony will take place in September.


The Open University of the Netherlands will award an honorary doctorate to environmental economist Jeroen van den Bergh, ICREA research lecturer at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB) and lecturer in environmental economics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Van den Bergh will be appointed in recognition for his pioneering contributions to the debate on environmental politics, based on the profound knowledge obtained by combining elements of evolutionary economics and environmental behaviour and economics. He will be awarded the honorary doctorate on 26 September in the Dutch town of Heerlen.

Climate change is a pressing issue which brings with it many complications. How can humanity take on such a complex problem? How can we stimulate technological innovation, restrict emissions and guarantee public and political support for implemented policies? For decades, Van den Bergh has dealt with these topics and points out that we must see human society as a complex system in which regulations lead to many unforeseen consequences which can undermine the effectiveness of the policies. Some examples are the rebound effect of energy saving, the spreading of emissions to other countries and even a change in environmental problems. These reactions occur through international trade channels, relocation of businesses, reactions of the oil market, etc. Van den Bergh pays special attention to the role of limited rationality and social interactions of both consumers and enterprises. This guarantees more solid, precise and complete recommendations for environmental and climatic policies.

The scientific excellence of his work have led him to receive several mentions such as the Royal/Shell Award from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and an ERC Advanced Grant, the most prestigious European research grant, for his project "Behavioral-evolutionary analysis of climate policy: Bounded rationality, markets and social interactions". His latest book Human Evolution Beyond Biology and Culture: Evolutionary Social, Environmental and Policy Sciences is a complete account of his theories.

Van den Bergh's arguments for intelligent climate policies set the stage and influence debates such as the one currently taking place in the Netherlands regarding the carbon tax. He is a tireless public speaker, constantly attending conferences and also very active in social networks, with the aim of guaranteeing that the polarised debate on climate change is conducted based on a correct set of arguments.

More information: ICTA-UAB


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