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Tony Patt

College positions:
Visiting Fellow
Climate Policy
ETH Zurich, Department of Environmental Systems Science
Contact details:

Professor Tony Patt

Professor Tony’s work contributes to the evolving theory of how socio-technical transitions happen, and what public policies can stimulate their happening faster, or in more socially just ways

Tony Patt leads the Climate Policy Lab at ETH Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Their work compares options for rapid societal decarbonization, pulling together considerations of technological and infrastructure pathways with issues of societal concerns and political feasibility. Key competencies of the members of the lab include energy systems modelling, techno-economic analysis, policy evaluation, and the mapping of stakeholder interests and concerns. To a large extent their work contributes to the evolving theory of how socio-technical transitions happen, and what public policies can stimulate their happening faster, or in more socially just ways. Patt’s book “Transforming Energy: Solving Climate Change with Technology Policy” (Cambridge University Press, 2015) was one of the early works devoted to identifying and understanding these dynamics. Professor Patt has participated in numerous assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, most recently as Coordinating Lead Author for the chapter on international cooperation, as well as leading assessment efforts appraising the effects of public policies on national emissions and emissions drivers, as well as the dynamics of socio-technical transitions. He has become active in advising the Swiss government on matters of climate policy, and is on the steering committee of the climate change unit within the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Patt holds degrees in architecture (BA, 1987), law (JD, 1991) and public policy (MPP 1997, PhD 2001). He is at Cambridge with his wife Dagmar and teenage children Luz and Seon. Ordinarily they live in an old farmhouse near Zurich, are active in the community with respect to refugees and social integration, do a lot of sports (skiing, hiking, biking, biathlon), and stay creative with various arts and crafts.

At Clare Hall, Tony is accompanied by Dagmar Schröter. For two decades she was a global change ecologist, most recently as a researcher and lecturer at ETH Zurich, before changing careers, and now has a thriving practice as a relationship coach and couples therapist

Select publications

  • Brazzola, N., A. Patt, and J. Wohland (2022). Definitions and implications of climate-neutral aviation. Nature Climate Change 12(8) 761- 767, DOI: 10.1038/s41558-022-01404-7
  • Schäppi, R., D. Rutz, F. Dähler, A. Muroyama, P. Hauter, J. Lilliestam, A. Patt, P. Furler, and A. Steinfeld (2022). Drop-in fuels from sunlight and air. Nature 601 (7891): 63 – 68, DOI: 0.1038/s41586-021-04174-y
  • Lilliestam, J., A. Patt, and G. Bersalli (2021). The effect of carbon pricing on technological change for full energy decarbonization: a review of empirical ex-post evidence. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change. DOI: 10.1002/wcc.681
  • Patt, A., D. Aplyn, P. Weyrich, and O. van Vliet (2019). Availability of private charging infrastructure influences readiness to buy electric cars. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 125: 1 – 7.
  • Patt, A., O. van Vliet, J. Lilliestam, and S. Pfenninger (2019). Will policies to promote energy efficiency help or hinder achieving a 1.5°C climate target? Energy Efficiency 12(2): 551 – 565. Doi:10.1007/s12053-018-9715-8
  • Patt, A. and J. Lilliestam (2018). The case against carbon prices. Joule 2(12): 2494 – 2498.
  • Patt, A. (2017). Beyond the tragedy of the commons: reframing effective climate change governance. Energy Research and Social Science 34: 1 – 3.
  • Patt, Anthony (2015). Transforming energy: solving climate change with technology policy. New York and Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. 380 pp.

Select Awards

  • European Research Council starting grant recipient, 2012, for proposed work on social challenges of trans-Mediterranean renewable energy cooperation.

Further links is the website of Professor Tony’s lab in Zurich.