Published on 16 August 2023
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Bennett Institute economist awarded Honorary Professorship

Dr Matthew Agarwala, to be awarded an Honorary Professor post to support Scotland’s Rural College’s work on delivering a sustainable and prosperous economy.

Environmental economist, Dr Matthew Agarwala, will be awarded an Honorary Professorship at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) at its graduation ceremony in late August.

Matthew leads the Bennett Institute’s Wealth Economy research exploring wealth-based approaches to measuring and delivering sustainability, wellbeing, and productivity. He is also a member of The Productivity Institute, and a Senior Policy Fellow at the Tobin Center for Economic Policy, Yale University.

Matthew’s work spans many sectors and disciplines on topics around natural capital, green finance, productivity, wellbeing, and sustainability. He regularly consults for governments, banks, and scientific organisations, and features in the media to address nature-related financial risks.

His work on sustainability (Wealth Economy, 2019), natural capital (Agarwala & Coyle 2021), and nature-related financial risks (Agarwala et al 2022) has formed the basis of major policy initiatives, including the UK’s Levelling Up White Paper, the United States National Strategy for developing natural capital accounts, and President Biden’s 2023 Economic Report of the President.

His latest research with economists at the Universities of East Anglia, Oxford, Cambridge, and SOAS, uses artificial intelligence to construct the world’s first ‘climate smart’ sovereign credit rating and warn of climate-driven downgrades as early as 2030. ‘Rising Temperatures, Falling Ratings’ was published in Management Science and cited in over 200 media outlets worldwide.

Matthew has also shown strong support for SRUC’s ambition to become an enterprise university at the heart of the natural economy, and his work for a cleaner, greener, and more prosperous future aligns with the institution’s values.

He said: “‘It is an honour and a privilege to join SRUC as an Honorary Professor. From economics to philosophy, engineering, the arts and the natural sciences, Scotland has always expanded the frontier of human knowledge. With this honorary professorship, I’ll get to see first-hand how SRUC’s students, faculty and alumni continue this tradition, and support them in delivering a sustainable and prosperous economy.”

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy.

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