Kenneth Richards

Professor at the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University

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 in environmental economics, policy and law 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. From 2012-2014, Richards held the Musim Mas Chair (visiting) in sustainability at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School.

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, development of the first carbon offset protocol, 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 management and sustainability. These include, for example, the World Bank’s Carbon Tax Guide, design of an emissions levy for the government of Costa Rica, development of the offset program associated with the South Africa carbon tax, development sustainability governance strategies 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.