Benjamin Görlach is an environmental economist and Senior Fellow with Ecologic Institute. His main work areas are the evaluation of environmental policy instruments and assessment of their performance as well as the economic valuation of environmental goods and services. A native speaker of German, he is fluent in English and Dutch and has a working knowledge of French.
In recent years, a main focus of Benjamin Görlach's research has been to understand the performance of economic instruments in climate policy. In this context, he was lead author of a study on the role of environmental taxes as a sustainable response to the economic and financial crisis and has coauthored several reports and articles on the climate policy instrument mix and the design and implementation of economic instruments for climate mitigation. His past and current work includes an evaluation of Germany's 1998 environmental tax reform, studies on the removal of environmentally harmful subsidies, and analyses of different aspects of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and its implementation in Germany, such as the use of benchmarks and auctioning as a method for allocation, the issue of carbon leakage and ways of avoiding it, and the position of the ETS in the wider landscape of German climate legislation. Benjamin Görlach is the coordinator of the CECILIA2050 project, a three-year European research project involving ten partners from eight European countries, which describes how the European climate policy instrument mix should evolve until 2050 to guide the transformation to a low-carbon economy. Since 2009, Benjamin Görlach has been the facilitator (together with Michael Mehling) of the ICAP Summer Schools on Emissions Trading for participants from emerging economies and developing countries, six editions of which have so far been staged in Europe, China, and Latin America.
His other work includes the economics of adaptation to climate change, where he has recently coauthored the first economic assessment of adaptation options in Germany, and economic assessements of the benefits of environmental policies, which he recently quantified for Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territory. Benjamin Görlach also works on economic aspects of the UN agenda for sustainable development, including issues of international environmental finance and the transformation to a green economy.
Benjamin Görlach was previously with the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt) at the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) from 2007 until 2008. His work in the economics and statistics sections included evaluations of the EU ETS and its implementation in Germany as well as economic analyses to support the further development and refinement of the scheme. He was involved in deriving a benchmark-based system for free allocation of allowances and analyses of the competitiveness effects of emissions trading in Germany ("carbon leakage").
From October 2002 to July 2007, Benjamin Görlach worked as an environmental economist with Ecologic Institute. During this time, main areas of his work were the economic valuation of environmental goods and services, the quantification of costs and benefits of environmental policies, and the use of such methods in impact assessments. Areas of his work included the economic aspects of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) as well as the economics of soil degradation and flood protection. Before joining Ecologic Institute, Benjamin Görlach completed internships at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and the economic division of UBA. In addition, he did freelance work for the Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI).
From 1997 to 2002, Benjamin Görlach studied economics in Freiburg (Germany), Maastricht (the Netherlands), and Dublin (Ireland). He holds a master’s degree in international economic studies from the University of Maastricht. In 2006, he was awarded a Marshall Memorial Fellowship from the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), which allowed him to undertake a four-week study trip through the USA.