Distinguished Visitor: Thomas P. Lyon

THE BREN SCHOOL OF Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara


Thomas P. Lyon, Director,
Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise;

Dow Chair of Sustainable Science, Technology and Commerce,

the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and

the School of Natural Resources and Environment,

University of Michigan

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Bren Hall 1414

"Climate Change and Environmental Governance: A Pastiche of Policies"

Part two of the three-part 2008-2009 Zurich Financial Services

Distinguished Visitors Program on Climate Change



Climate change is the ultimate collective-action problem. In the absence of a satisfactory global regulatory structure, hundreds of local and regional climate initiatives have sprung up, some voluntary and some mandatory. Social scientists have difficulty evaluating this emergent pastiche of programs, but the process that produced them will continue to shape climate policy over time. In this talk, I attempt to shed some light on this chaotic process and assess what it implies for environmental governance.


Thomas P. Lyon is the director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. He holds the Dow Chair of Sustainable Science, Technology and Commerce, with appointments in both the Ross School of Business and the School of Natural Resources and Environment. Professor Lyon is a leader in using economic analysis to understand corporate environmental strategy and how it is shaped by emerging government regulations, non-governmental organizations, and consumer demands. His book Corporate Environmentalism and Public Policy, published by Cambridge University Press, is the first rigorous economic analysis of this increasingly important topic. Professor Lyon earned his bachelor’s degree at Princeton University and his doctorate at Stanford University. His current research focuses on corporate environmental information disclosure, greenwash, the causes and consequences of renewable energy policy, and voluntary programs for environmental improvement.

The Zurich Financial Services Distinguished Visitors Program on Climate Change allows the Bren School to attract international leaders in environmental policy, law, business, and science to enrich and expand the intellectual life of the Bren School community and share insight on issues critical to climate change. Activities of the visitors, who are in residence for periods ranging from one week to one quarter, include teaching short courses, offering public lectures, conducting seminars, and leading colloquia and symposia planned around their research, professional endeavors, or areas of expertise. The first visitor for this academic year was Stanford University professor Stephen H. Schneider, who visited in November 2008. The third visitor will be Richard Duke, Director of the Center for Market Innovation at the Natural Resources Defense Council, who will arrive April 7, 2009.


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