Climate Change and Economic Inequality

The Wheeler Institute recognises Diego Kaenzig’s research.

Climate change is the defining problem of our time, posing significant threats not only to our lives, livelihoods and the environment, but also to the global economy. Fighting climate change, however, has proved very difficult because of its global nature and the pervasive externalities involved. Ultimately, climate change is an inequality issue: some communities are more severely affected than others, even though they hardly contribute to global warming. This holds true across countries, with developing countries being more exposed because of their geography, but also within countries, as poorer households are less able to cope with changing climate and its repercussion effects.

This research studies the interrelations between climate change and economic inequality. It provides new empirical evidence on the distributional effects of climate change and climate change mitigation policies and studies theoretically how climate policy can be designed to offset unintended distributional effects.

The potential impact

While the science behind climate change is relatively settled, the economic consequences are less understood. Improving our understanding of the economics behind climate change, and the inequality implications in particular, will help policy makers, business leaders and investors to organise a transition to a carbon neutral economy that is not only cost-effective but also equitable.

“Demonstrating the connection between climate change and inequality is important as it helps to construct economic arguments for change.” Diego Kaenzig, PhD student, London Business School.

Other recognitions

Diego’s paper “The economic consequences of putting a price on carbon” has won the Best Student Paper award at the IAEE 2021 conference.

Additionally, Diego has been awarded the Sir James Ball PhD Award in 2020 – an award given to one student per year across all LBS PhD students for outstanding academic achievements.


Diego Kaenzig is a PhD student in Economics at London Business School. His research interests are in macroeconomics, with a focus on energy, climate change and inequality. In his work, he seeks to improve our understanding of the economic, financial, and distributional effects of climate change as well as the interactions between climate change and economic inequality.
Supervisor: Paolo Surico, Professor of Economics, London Business School

About the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development PhD Award 

The Wheeler Institute is committed to supporting the development of early career researchers.  The Wheeler Institute PhD Award is a prestigious recognition of cutting-edge research that highlights the merit of the individual PhD student’s academic focus. The award is open to all current PhD students at London Business School whose research is aligned to the Institute’s objectives. Find out more

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