During his fellowship year, Eswaran “Som” Somanathan will be studying how moral and ethical views shape international negotiations on climate agreements between countries using a game-theoretic perspective. In particular, he will be studying the issue of geo-engineering from the perspective of developing countries that are most vulnerable to climate impacts that are already unavoidable irrespective of the success or failure of emission reduction policies. Geo-engineering has been resisted by environmental activists in the global North owing to a fear that it would be used as an excuse to slow emission reduction, but the perspective of the global South has largely been ignored.
Somanathan’s other current research projects include: the political economy of reforms needed to bring about effective environmental protection policies in India, optimal carbon pricing in developing countries taking into account fuel-switching to polluting solid fuels, and electricity reliability, electric cooking and household air pollution in developing countries.
Somanathan is a professor of economics and heads the Centre for research on Climate, Food, Energy, and Environment at the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi. His research is on the economic analysis of environmental degradation and economic development.
He speaks in a panel discussion on climate neutrality and social sustainability here: https://youtu.be/sObYo2t0Tz4?t=13423