The distributional effects of the low carbon transition (EPSRC DTP)


Contact Professor John Barrett ( to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

The UK is committed to reduce its Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 80% in 2050 based on 1990 levels. This target could also be tightened to net zero emissions by 2050 to align the UK’s commitment with international climate goals.

The evidence is clear that inaction is by far the most expensive route. However, there are immediate costs associated with renewable energy supply, the retrofitting of homes and businesses and costs associated with innovation in new efficient / low carbon technologies.

At present, many of these costs are meet by a levy on household fuel bills. Our initial analysis suggests that the distributional effects of this approach are high (see our policy brief at:

This project will seek to extend this research to consider the economic burden of different income deciles in the UK in the short term (next 5 years) and the long term (out to 2050). The project will involve both quantitative and qualitative analysis starting with an assessment of how all energy policy costs are met and the impacts on income deciles. This could include a scenario analysis of different options to meeting these costs.

Depending on the interests of the successful candidate, the project could consider the consequences of the financial impact on specific groups using more qualitative approaches or alternatively, develop more detailed assessments of the economic consequences of low carbon transitions.

There has been considerable interest in our research on the distributional impacts of climate policy within the UK Government and the successful candidate would be expected to liaise with relevant government departments to both inform the research and disseminate the results.

The candidate will join a large research team within the new national centre, CREDS (Centre for Research on Energy Demand Solution). This is an excellent opportunity to join around 80 UK researchers related to energy demand reduction.

Entry requirements

The successful candidate will have a relevant degree (minimum requirement is 2.1) and/or a postgraduate qualification in the area of climate policy, economics or environmental management. There will have a reasonable level of numerical literacy and an interest in inter-disciplinary approaches to research.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website.

If you require any further information, please contact the Graduate School Office e:, or t: +44 (0)113 343 1634.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.