Wouter Botzen appointed professor at IVM

As of 1 January, Wouter Botzen has been appointed Professor of Economics of Climate Change and Natural Disasters.

04/29/2016 | 3:17 PM

The chair is part of the Department of Environmental Economics of the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), to which Botzen has been associated since 2006. His research concentrates on assessing the economic consequences of climate change, to provide insights for strategies to prevent climate change and limit its effects on society. The main focus is on the effects of extreme weather and natural disasters such as floods, storms and droughts.

The research has an interdisciplinary character. By integrating natural science insights into economic models better estimates can be made of the economic impacts of natural disasters and the influence of climate change on these impacts. 

Mitigate climate change and natural disaster damage
The research theme of Botzen is of great social importance because worldwide economic damage caused by natural disasters has increased substantially in recent decades, particularly through economic development in vulnerable areas. It is expected that natural disaster damage in the future could rise further due to climate change. The insights of Botzen’s research are important for guiding government policy on preventing climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to higher climate risks, such as strengthening dike infrastructure.

Because consequences of natural disasters are influenced by measures taken by households themselves to prepare for natural disasters, a part of the research will identify this behaviour. This can lead to insights that help people to better prepare for natural disasters. The effective organisation of arrangements for financial compensation for damages, such as insurance schemes, are also important for this

Botzen studied International Economic Studies at Maastricht University and graduated cum laude in 2010 from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of the VU with his thesis "Economics of Insurance against Climate Change". He has been an Assistant Professor and Associate Professor at the Department of Environmental Economics of the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) of the VU, where he currently serves as Deputy Head. Botzen has been a visiting researcher at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania since 2012. Currently, he is Professor of Economics of Global Environmental Change at the Utrecht University School of Economics. He obtained several grants for his research, including a NWO VENI and a VIDI, and he has been awarded for his research activities with the VU Societal Impact Award Junior (2010), Best Paper Award Risk Analysis (2012 and 2013) and Lloyd's Science of Risk Prize (2014).