Dr. Kenneth Richards is an economics and law scholar specializing in environmental economics and the selection and design of environmental policy tools including environmental taxes, carbon offsets, marketable allowances, public information campaigns, regulation, and subsidies. His work combines academic research and policy advice to policy makers and the private sector.
Dr. Richards holds appointments at the O’Neill School, the IU Maurer School of Law, and the Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. He has previously held appointments at the Oxford Martin School and the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, both at the University of Oxford. Richards also recently held a chaired visiting position in sustainability at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School and continues to teach courses in Business Sustainability for NUS. He recently served as a Fulbright Research Chair in Environmental Policy at the Smart Prosperity Institute at the University of Ottawa.
His work includes the first analysis of the cost-effectiveness of forest carbon sequestration, the first work on the time-value of carbon emissions reductions, and some of the earliest work on institutions to support terrestrial carbon sequestration (predating REDD). In 2008 he was recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for his contribution to their receipt of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Award.
Dr. Richards co-founded the Bloomington-based certified B-corporation, Gnarly Tree Sustainability Institute (GTSI). Through his association with GTSI, Richards has provided public service support to the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, USAID, U.S. Federal Government and other many other public and private organizations, with projects related to environmental policy design, carbon pricing, supply chain risk management and sustainability. These include, for example, the World Bank’s Carbon Tax Guide, design of the carbon offset system associated with South Africa’s carbon tax, design of an emissions levy for the government of Costa Rica, training and government capacity building in climate policy in developing economics, development of a sustainability governance strategy for a large Chinese waste-to-energy corporation, and analysis of options for managing sustainability and risk in the U.S. Federal Government’s supply chain.