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Gregor Semieniuk - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Gregor Semieniuk

Assistant Research Professor at the Political Economy Research Institute and the Department of Economics | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Gregor Semieniuk is an expert on the political economy of policy-induced structural change required to transition to a low-carbon economy.

Expertise (5)

Low Carbon Economy

Climate Change

Economic Growth

Political Economy

Renewable Energy


Gregor Semieniuk is an expert on the energy and resource requirements of global economic growth and on the political economy of rapid, policy-induced structural change that is required for the transition to a low-carbon economy.

He has published and spoke in the media extensively on these topics including for National Public Radio, Scientific American, the Washington Post and Nature Energy. He has consulted for the United Nations Environment Program, the European Commission and the UK government, and won grants to study policies inducing investments into renewable energy supply as well as the risks for financial investors from stranded assets in a fast low-carbon transition.

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Interests behind fossil-fuel extraction for fossil fuel phaseout  | Gregor Semieniuk | TEDxBoston Oil/gas investors lost $1 trillion because of stranded assets...Canada loses $100 billion Climate Conversations: The Macroeconomy


Education (3)

The New School for Social Research: Ph.D., Economics

The New School for Social Research: M.S., Economcs

Technische Universität Dresden: B.A., International Relations

Select Media Coverage (5)

Open secret at climate talks: The top temperature goal is mostly gone

Politico  online


Gregor Semieniuk weighed in on the debate between countries calling for a “phase-out” of all fossil fuels and countries that use the wording “phase-down.” He said, “It matters for sentiments and discussions, and therefore I think ‘phase out’ is pushed for by those who take this really seriously.”

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Greening up the nation will be borne by top 10% of earners in US, UMass experts say

MassLive  online


New research, co-authored by Gregor Semieniuk of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute, has found that a transition to renewable energy would not have a major financial effect on the general population.

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Climate costs most likely to hit world’s richest, as renewables erode fossil fuel billions

Renew Economy  online


Chancel partnered with the author of that paper, University of Massachusetts Amherst economics professor Gregor Semieniuk, to estimate the wealth distribution of the people who owned those assets.

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What Would It Take to Defeat Big Oil? A Progressive Economist Weighs In.

Truthout  online


To be successful, climate mitigation policies must not exacerbate global inequality, economist Gregor Semieniuk says.

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Stranded fossil fuel assets could cost investors and retirement funds $2 trillion

Renew Econom  online


Researchers, led by economist Gregor Semieniuk of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, have assessed the prospects of almost 45,000 oil and gas assets around the world, tracing the potential financial implications of stranded assets through their corporate structures to identify which investors will ultimately lose out.

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Select Publications (6)

Bold Climate Fixes Won’t Wreck Middle Class Retirement Plans

Scientific American

Lucal Chancel and Gregor Semieniuk


In an opinion piece, Gregor Semieniuk outlines his study that demonstrates that moving away from fossil fuels will impact the wealthy more than the poor or middle class. “We estimate that losses amount to less than half a percent of the net wealth of [the] wealthiest 1% or 10% of Americans,” Semieniuk and his co-author write.

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Technical comment on “Fairness considerations in global mitigation investments”


2023 In an otherwise excellent analysis of fair regional shares of global mitigation investments, Pachauri et al. (Policy Forum, 9 December 2022, p. 1057) dramatically overestimate developing countries’ ‘capability’ to invest by estimating GDP using purchasing power parity exchange rates. Since internationally sourced investment goods must be paid for at market exchange rates, capability-based interregional finance flows should be vastly larger.

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Stranded assets and implications for financial markets


2023 Greenhouse gas emissions reductions in line with international climate targets would substantially decrease the value of reserves of oil, gas and coal and related infrastructures, such as power plants for fossil fuel combustion. This article provides an overview of estimates of the value of such ‘stranded assets’ in different climate scenarios. We then illustrate how the prospect of asset stranding could increase political resistance against climate policy and show that unmitigated climate change would also lead to stranding of a different kind of asset, such as coastal real estate. Finally, we discuss potential implications of asset stranding for financial markets.

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Stranded fossil-fuel assets translate to major losses for investors in advanced economies

Nature Climate Change

2022 The distribution of ownership of transition risk associated with stranded fossil-fuel assets remains poorly understood. We calculate that global stranded assets as present value of future lost profits in the upstream oil and gas sector exceed US$1 trillion under plausible changes in expectations about the effects of climate policy. We trace the equity risk ownership from 43,439 oil and gas production assets through a global equity network of 1.8 million companies to their ultimate owners. Most of the market risk falls on private investors, overwhelmingly in OECD countries, including substantial exposure through pension funds and financial markets.

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Industrial policies and the competition for low-carbon manufacturing


2022 The low-carbon energy transition sees countries compete about where the low-carbon products are manufactured. In their recent Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews article, Sharma, Surana, and George ask whether imposing unilateral anti-dumping tariffs helps the imposing country move more of the value chain into its own country and answer in the negative. Their analysis raises larger questions about how industrial policies can help advance the global low-carbon transition.

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Fossil-fuel stranded asset risks held by individuals in OECD countries and non-OECD governments

Nature Climate Change

2022 A model based on plausible changes in expectations of future oil and gas demand identifies the ultimate financial owners of potential stranded assets to be predominantly OECD-based individual investors (through pension funds and shareholdings) and governments of non-OECD countries.

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