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Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance


Dr Pablo Salas Bravo is Senior Climate Economist at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), member of the World Bank Group. Before joining the IFC, Dr Salas was the C-EENRG Deputy Director and held the position of Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellow in Radical Innovation and Disruption at CISL, University of Cambridge. He is an Economist and Electrical Engineer by training, with degrees from the University of Cambridge (PhD in Land Economy), the University of Hamburg (MSc in Economics) and the University of Chile (Electrical Engineering). Dr Salas interdisciplinary background combines extensive training in physics, mathematics, computing sciences, dynamic systems modelling, economics and public policy. Dr Salas has plenty of experience in research projects as Principal Investigator (BRIDGE-TESC and B2I), Co-Investigator (EEIST, FRANTIC) and Researcher (BRIDGE, LINKS2015) on various grants. Under the Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme, Dr Salas’ research brings together contributions from the fields of complex theory, macroeconomics, dynamic systems modelling and technology/engineering, to study the potential for radical innovation in technology and business models to disruptively catalyse the transition to a sustainable economy. Over the last decade, Dr Salas has worked closely with teams at C-EENRG, Cambridge Econometrics, Open University and University of Exeter in the development of FTT (Future Technology Transformation Models), a family of bottom-up evolutionary simulations of technology diffusion based on cross-sectional discrete choice models. FTT is part of the integrated assessment model E3ME-FTT-GENIE, a modelling suite currently being used to support policy assessment in several world regions, including Europe (European Commission, at DG ENERGY and DG CLIMA), Asia and America. In parallel to his academic career, Dr Salas has engaged in the development of international programmes on innovation and technology transfer. Some of the partners in this area include the International Outreach Programme at Cambridge Enterprise (the commercialisation arm of the research and intellectual property of the University of Cambridge), Cambridge Cleantech (a network of more than 500 cleantech companies in the UK) and several technology transfer offices in Brazil and Chile. Before doing his PhD, Dr Salas led the development of large engineering projects in Chile, including the first large scale system for automatic detection of wildfires (covering an area of 20,000 km2), and the radiocommunication system for the lines 4/4A of the Subway in Santiago.


Dr Salas’ research focuses on the policy responses to major global sustainability challenges, especially climate change and the energy transition. Over the last decade, he has been developing cutting-edge tools to assess environmental and macroeconomic impacts of climate policy. Building on these successful developments, Dr Salas is now part of a multinational interdisciplinary research group, working on several research projects. These projects include:

  • Co-Lead (together with Prof. Jorge Viñuales) Work Package 1 of the project EEIST - Economics of Energy Innovation and System Transition (2020-2022). EEIST is a £3.7M research project commissioned by BEIS and CIFF on complexity science tools for informing energy transitions policy in Brazil, China, India, the UK and EU.
  • Co-I of project FRANTIC - Financial Risk and the Impact of Climate Change. FRANTIC is a NERC funded research project studying the impact of climate-related transition risks on the global financial sector.
  • Building resilient evidence-based energy-water-food nexus policies for Brazil (project BRIDGE – Building Resilience In a Dynamic Global Economy. Complexity across scales in Brazil).
  • Development of affordable technological solutions to address energy-water-food nexus challenges (project BRIDGE-TESC - Technological empowerment for family-farming agriculture in Santa Catarina)
  • Development of a new framework of policy engagement to effectively inform and support the policy cycle in Brazil to reach objectives of sustainable development (Project B2I – Bridge to Impact).


Key publications: 

Knobloch, F., Hanssen, S.V., Lam, A., Pollitt, H., Salas, P., Chewpreecha, U. (2020). Net emission reductions from electric cars and heat pumps in 59 world regions over time. Nature Sustainability, 3, pp 437–447.

Paim, M.A., Salas, P., Lindner, S., Pollitt, H., Mercure, J.-F., Edwards, N. and Viñuales, J. (2019). Mainstreaming the Water-Energy-Food Nexus through nationally determined contributions (NDCs): the case of Brazil, Climate Policy, 20:2, pp163-178.

Mercure, J.-F., Paim, M. A., Bocquillon, P., Lindner, S., Salas, P., Martinelli, P., Berchin, I., Guerra, J.B.S.O., Derani, C., de Albuquerque Junior, C. L., Marcello, J., Knobloch, F., Pollitt, H., Edwards, N. R., Holden, P. B., Foley, A. Schaphoff, S., Faraco, R., Vinuales, J. E. (2019). ‘System complexity and policy integration challenges: the Brazilian Energy- Water-Food Nexus’. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 105, pp 230-243.

Paim, M., Dalmarco, A., Yang, C.-H., Salas, P., Lindner, S., Mercure, J-F., Guerra, B., Derani, C., da Silva, T., and Viñuales, J. E. (2019). ‘Evaluating regulatory strategies for mitigating hydrological risk in Brazil through diversification of its electricity mix’. Energy Policy, 128, pp 383-401.

Mercure, J-F., Pollitt, H., Viñuales, J. E., Edwards, N., Holden, P., Chewpreecha, U., Salas, P., Sognaes, I., Lam, A., Knoblosh, F., (2018). ‘Macroeconomic impact of stranded fossil-fuel assets’. Nature Climate Change, 8, pp 588-593.

Holden, P., Edwards, N., Ridgwell, A., Wilkinson, R., Fraedrich, K., Lunkeit, F., Pollitt, H., Mercure, J-F., Salas, P., Lam, A., Knoblosh, F., Chewpreecha, U. and Viñuales, J. E., (2018). ‘Climate-carbon cycle uncertainties and the Paris Agreement’. Nature Climate Change, 8, pp 609-613

Mercure, J-F., Pollitt, H., Edwards, N., Holden, P., Chewpreecha, U., Salas, P., Lam, A., Knoblosh, F., Vinuales, J., (2018). ‘Environmental impact assessment for climate change policy with the simulation-based integrated assessment model E3ME-FTT-GENIE’. Energy Strategy Reviews, 20, pp 195-208.

Foley, A., Holden, P., Edwards, N., Mercure, J-F., Salas, P., Pollitt, H., Chewpreecha, U. (2016). ‘Climate model emulation in an integrated assessment framework: a case study for mitigation policies in the electricity sector’. Earth System Dynamics, 7, pp 119-132.

Mercure, J-F., Pollitt, H., Chewpreecha, U., Salas, P., Foley, A., Holden, P., Edwards, N. (2014). ‘The dynamics of technology diffusion and the impacts of climate policy instruments in the decarbonisation of the global electricity sector’. Energy Policy 73, pp 686-700. 

Mercure, J-F. and Salas, P. (2013). ‘On the global economic potentials and marginal costs of non-renewable resources and the price of energy commodities’. Energy Policy, 63, pp 469-483.

Mercure, J-F. and Salas, P. (2012). ‘An assessment of global energy resource economic potentials’. Energy 46, pp 322-336.

C-EENRG Fellow
Senior Climate Economist
International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group
Dr Pablo  Salas Bravo

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