Press release

IISD appoints leading environmental economist to head climate change and energy program

March 27, 2011

WINNIPEG—March 28, 2011—The International Institute for Sustainable Development has appointed IISD associate and noted environmental economist David Sawyer to lead its Ottawa-based climate change and energy program in advancing a Canadian, North American and international response to the challenges ahead.

"David Sawyer represents the best of a new generation of economists developing innovative and fresh approaches to the complex issues posed by climate change and the development of renewable energies," said IISD chief executive and president Franz Tattenbach.

"IISD is fortunate to have been able to draw a strong leader from its talented and dedicated team of climate change and energy experts willing to step up and take responsibility for the important work started by our former director John Drexhage*," Tattenbach said.

Sawyer said he is looking forward to taking a leading role at IISD. "IISD is a world class think tank and I am pleased to have the opportunity to direct the work of the climate change and energy program as we help shape North American climate and energy policy and continue to influence global efforts for change," he said.

Sawyer has been an associate of IISD's for the past four years and has contributed to the work of IISD's Global Subsidies Initiative—most recently as the lead author of a comprehensive study of the value of oil production subsidies in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador.

Sawyer has 20 years of national and international experience working as an environmental economist. He has built a solid reputation as a leader in the economics of climate policy and energy futures in Canada. His advice is routinely sought by a wide cross-section of climate policy leaders.

He holds a master of development economic degree from Dalhousie University, and has completed short and long-term assignments in the Caribbean, China, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam.He has also held positions with Environment Canada and Canada's Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development.

Sawyer will be transitioning out of his work with EnviroEconomics Inc, a micro-consultancy specializing in environmental economics, prior to taking up his new position at the beginning of May.

In the meantime, IISD's climate change and energy program manager Jo-Ellen Parry will continue in her role as interim director and lead the program's work on adaptation and risk reduction.

*(John Drexhage stepped down to head U.K.-based International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) new climate change program, earlier this month.)


About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.