About EcoEquity

EcoEquity is a small, activist think tank that has had an outsized impact on the global climate equity debate.  It has done this primarily, but not exclusively, by way of its work on fair shares international effort sharing, via first the Greenhouse Development Rights project and, more recently, its sucessor the Climate Equity Reference Project.

More generally, EcoEquity is focused on political and theoretical work on climate solutions that are fair enough to actually work.  Through our participation in domestic and international networks of activists and scholars, we argue for emergency climate strategies that protect the poor, and more generally protect the rights of all people to dignified levels of just and sustainable development. This does not mean that we turn away from realism.  It does mean that we reject forced optimism, and focus on approaches to the climate transition in which the politics of economic justice and the politics of emergency climate mobilization are one and the same.

EcoEquity works by emphasizing the importance of equity principles in all aspects of the policy response, by producing political and economic analyses that highlight equity issues, and by developing practical proposals for equitable climate policies. Our focus has been on the international negotiations but we also promote domestic approaches to climate justice that explicitly and organically expand into the project of a just global transition.

EcoEquity has done a great deal, but our greatest accomplishment has clearly been the development, along with collegues at the Stockholm Environment Institute, of the Climate Equity Reference Framework. You can find much more information about the CERP at its website at Climate Equity Reference Project.

EcoEquity is a virtual organization that lives as its project and partnerships, and as this website, which is curated by Tom Athanasiou, who is EcoEquity’s Executive Director.  It is project of the Earth Island Institute, which supports it in all matters organizational and financial.  Paul Baer — see below — has also been strongly associated with EcoEquity, as its research director and as a principle researcher.   Tom and Paul’s details are below, as is a listing of friends and colleques that acts as EcoEquity’s informal advisory board.

Tom Athanasiou is a climate-equity specialist.  He directs EcoEquity, a small activist research group, co-ordinates the international Climate Action Network’s Equity Working Group, and co-directs the Climate Equity Reference Project, a long-term modeling and analysis initiative designed to advance equity as a driver of extremely ambitious global climate mobilization.  His principle goal is to ensure that the global climate transition is fair enough, and ambitious enough, to actually succeed.

In a former life, Tom was a programmer; he worked for decades at Sun Microsystems.  He’s been active in the climate negotiations for far longer than he cares to admit.  As a writer, he is the author of Divided Planet: the Ecology of Rich and Poor, and the co-author of Dead Heat: Global Justice and Global Warming and Greenhouse Development Rights: The Right to Development in a Climate Constrained World.  He is developing a new book.


Paul Baer is an internationally recognized expert on issues of equity and climate change, with training in ecological economics, ethics, philosophy of science, risk analysis and simulation modeling.  He holds a PhD from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley, as well an MA in Environmental Planning and Management from Louisiana State University and a BA in Economics from Stanford University.

Advisory board

Azibuike Akaba, Environmental Justice Specialist, California EPA

Eugene Coyle, PhD, Ecological Economics, “public servant”

John Gershman, Associate Professor, Wagner School of Public Policy, New York University

Barbara Haya, PhD Candidate, Energy and Resources Group, UC Berkeley

Glenn Fieldman, Associate Professor, San Francisco State University

Dan Kammen, professor of Energy and Resources and professor of public policy at UC Berkeley

Juliette Majot, Consultant specializing in Non-profit Organizations

Richard Norgaard, Professor, Energy and Resources Group, UC Berkeley

Ian McGregor, Lecturer, University of Technology, Sydney

Patrick McCully, Executive Director, Black Rock Solar

Timmons Roberts, Director, Center for Environmental Studies, Professor of Sociology, Brown University

Sivan Kartha, Senior Scientist, Stockholm Environment Institute.  IPCC Lead Author (WGIII, Chapter 4, Sustainable Development and Equity).

Jim Williams, Energy consultant, Associate Professor, Monterey Institute ofInternational Studies

Contact information


c/o Earth Island Institute
2150 Allston Way, Suite 460
Berkeley, CA 94704-1302 USA