The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Climate Change goes, in this tenth edition, to William Nordhaus, for pioneering a framework to integrate climate science, technology, and economics to address the critical question: What should the world do to limit climate change?
Over a period of decades, Professor Nordhaus developed a model widely used by climate policy analysts to estimate trajectories for the efficient reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, including estimation of the social cost of carbon. In further research, he identified incentives for countries to work individually and collectively to limit climate change.
Professor Nordhaus used his models and economic insights to illuminate such considerations as the role of discounting future climate damages, the risk of catastrophic damages, and the role of technological change in the energy system. Owing to the transparency and simplicity of his approach, his models are used worldwide to analyze climate policy options.