About Suzi Kerr

Suzi Kerr

Senior Vice President, Chief Economist


Areas of expertise:

Emissions pricing, Climate change policy, Land use, International climate cooperation and collaborative policy research processes


Suzi ensures the economic integrity of EDF’s positions and programs. Leading a group of economists and analysts, she collaborates with economists and other researchers and stakeholders from a variety of organizations around world to produce research and policy guidance relevant to EDF’s mission. Suzi’s own research focuses on emissions pricing and international cooperation but mostly she works to support the wide range of work within, or facilitated by, the team in the Office of the Chief Economist.

Read more about Suzi’s previous work


Suzi founded and later served as a Senior Fellow at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in Wellington, New Zealand, which has produced respected, nonpartisan research on the environment, agriculture, labor, productivity and human rights among other areas of focus. Suzi worked closely with government, donors and private sector CEOs seeking market-based solutions to environmental challenges. In addition to her work at Motu, Suzi made contributions to the evolution of modern Reducing Emissions Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) efforts and played a central role in the design of the New Zealand Emissions Trading System, which led to her appointment to the country’s interim Climate Change Committee. Suzi has also co-led three international programs on emissions trading: the design of a roadmap to ETS in Chile, the Handbook ‘Emissions Trading in Practice’ and design of an ETS for Colombia. She has participated in several international science steering groups.

Suzi has served as a Visiting Professor at the University of the Andes in Bogotá, Colombia and at Stanford University. She’s also worked as a Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy and Research and Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and as a Visiting Researcher at Resources for the Future. She taught for several years at both Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Maryland at College Park.


Harvard University, Ph.D., Economics Harvard University, M.S., Economics University of Canterbury, B.Sc. Economics, honors (first class)


Breno Pietracci, Gary Bull, Hisham Zerriffi, Suzi Kerr Editorial article: Forest Carbon Credits as a Nature-Based Solution to Climate ChangeFrontiers in Forests and Global Change (August 18).

Thomas Carver, Patrick Dawson, Sophie O’Brien, Hannah Kotula, Suzi Kerr and, Catherine Leining (2022) ‘Including Forestry in an Emissions Trading Scheme: Lessons from New Zealand’  Frontiers in Forests and Global Change: Forest Management, 23 September 2022 Volume 5 - 2022

De Fries, Ruth, Richie Ahuja, Julio Friedman, Doria R. Gordon, Steven P. Hamburg, Suzi Kerr, James Mwangi, Carlijn Nouwen and Nitin Pandit (2022)  ‘Land Management Can Contribute to Net-Zero’ Science Policy Forum Vol 376, Issue 6598, pp. 1163-1165 June

Meyfroidt et al. 2022 ‘Ten facts about land systems for sustainability’ PNAS Vol. 119 No. 7 February 7, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2109217118

Leonard, Bryan, Shawn Regan, Chris Costello, Dominic Parker, Andrew Plantinga, James Salzman, V. Kerry Smith, Temple Stoellinger.  2021. ‘Let environmentalists acquire extraction rights to conserve natural resources’ Science Policy https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abi4573  August.

Stephan Schwartzman; Ruben Lubowski; Steven Pacala; Nathaniel Keohane; Suzi Kerr; Michael Oppenheimer; Steven Hamburg. 2021 Environmental integrity of emissions reductions depends on scale and systemic changes, not sector of origin” Environmental Research Letters https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ac18e8

Ormsby, Judd, Dominic White, and Suzi Kerr. 2021 ‘Delinking the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme from the Kyoto Protocol: Comparing Theory with Practice ‘Climate Policy 11 Feb.  pp. 1-12

Leining, Catherine, Suzi Kerr, Bronwyn Bruce-Brand. 2020 ‘The New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme: Critical Review and Future Outlook for Three Design Innovations’ Climate Policy, Volume 20, Issue 2

Kerr, Suzi. 2020 ‘Overcoming the tragedy of distance – cooperating with our friends’ friends’ in Living with the Climate Crisis ed. Tom Doig. Bridget Williams Books, Wellington, New Zealand.

New Zealand Interim Climate Change Committee. 2019. ‘Action on agricultural emissions: Evidence, analysis and recommendations’ New Zealand Government, Wellington. 30 April. Suzi Kerr was a member of the Committee.

Kerr, Suzi, Ruben Lubowski and Robert Heilmayr. 2018 ‘Climate Teams: A New Model for Investor-Host Climate Cooperation’ pp.73-76 in Stavins, Robert N., and Robert C. Stowe, eds. International Cooperation in East Asia to Address Climate Change. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Project on Climate Agreements.

Dorner, Zack and Suzi Kerr. 2017 ‘Implications of global emission policy scenarios for domestic agriculture: A New Zealand case studyClimate Policy Volume 17 - Issue 8

World Bank Partnership for Market Readiness; International Carbon Action Partnership. 2016. Emissions Trading in Practice: A Handbook on Design and Implementation. World Bank, Washington, DC. Co-led by Suzi Kerr and Ruben Lubowski.

Jaffe, Adam B., and Suzi Kerr. 2015. “The Science, Economics and Politics of Global Climate Change,” review of The Climate Casino by W. Nordhaus, Journal of Economic Literature. Vol. 53, Issue 1, March

Anastasiadis, Simon, Suzi Kerr Marie-Laure Nauleau, Tim Cox, and Kit Rutherford. 2014. ‘Does complex hydrology require complex water quality policy?’ Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics Volume 58, Issue 1, pages 130–145, January

Van Benthem, Arthur and Suzi Kerr. 2013. ‘Scale and Transfers in International Emissions Offset ProgramsJournal of Public Economics Volume 107, November, pp. 31-46

Cox, Timothy J., Suzi C. Kerr, J. C. Rutherford, Duncan C. Smeaton, Chris. C. Palliser. 2013 “An integrated model for simulating nitrogen trading in an agricultural catchment with complex hydrogeologyJournal of Environmental Management (2013), pp. 268-277

Kerr, Suzi C. 2013. “The Economics of International Policy Agreements to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation”, Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 7:1, pp. 47–66.

Kerr, Suzi and Adam Millard-Ball 2012. “Cooperation to reduce developing country emissions.” Climate Change Economics Vol. 3, No. 4

Pfaff, Alexander, Suzi Kerr, Leslie Lipper, Romina Cavatassi, Benjamin Davis, Joanna Hendy, G. Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, (2007) ‘Will buying tropical forest carbon benefit the poor? Evidence from Costa RicaLand Use Policy 24 600–610

Newell, Richard G., James N. Sanchirico, and Suzi Kerr (2005) “Fishing Quota MarketsJournal of Environmental Economics and Management Vol. 49 pp. 437-462

Kerr, Suzi and Richard G. Newell, (2003) “Policy-Induced Technology Adoption: Evidence from the U.S Lead Phasedown” Journal of Industrial Economics. Vol. LI, No. 3

Cramton, Peter and Suzi Kerr (2002)”Tradeable carbon permit auctions: How and why to auction not grandfatherEnergy Policy 30 pp: 333-345


Read more of Suzi Kerr’s work on Google Scholar.