Pavan Sukhdev

Environmental economist
A banker by training, Pavan Sukhdev runs the numbers on greening up — showing that green economies are an effective engine for creating jobs and creating wealth.

Why you should listen

In 2008, Pavan Sukhdev took a sabbatical from Deutsche Bank, where he'd worked for fifteen years, to write up two massive and convincing reports on the green economy. For UNEP, his "Green Economy Report" synthesized years of research to show, with real numbers, that environmentally sound development is not a bar to growth but rather a new engine for growing wealth and creating employment in the face of persistent poverty. The groundbreaking TEEB (formally “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity”) report counts the global economic benefits of biodiversity. It encourages countries to develop and publish "Natural capital accounts" tracking the value of plants, animal, water and other "natural wealth" alongside traditional financial measures -- in the hope of changing how decisions are made to take into account damage or preservation of biodiversity.

Sukhdev is the current McCluskey Fellow at Yale University where he leads the TEEB@YALE graduate seminar. Sukhdev chairs the Global Agenda Council on Biodiversity and Ecosystems for the World Economic Forum, and was the Special Advisor and Head of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative.

He says: "You cannot manage what you do not measure."

What others say

“Deutsche Bank economist Pavan Sukhdev is ... doing for nature what Sir Nicholas Stern did for climate change - valuing it.” — The Ecologist

Pavan Sukhdev’s TED talks

Quotes from Pavan Sukhdev

A billion people depend on fish for their main source for animal protein. At the rate at which we are losing fish, it is a human problem of enormous dimensions, a health problem of a kind we haven’t seen before.
Pavan Sukhdev
TEDGlobal 2011 • 441K views Dec 2011
Informative, Persuasive
At the species level, it’s been estimated that insect-based pollination, bees pollinating fruit and so on, is worth something like $190 billion. That’s something like 8 percent of the total agricultural output globally. … But when did a bee actually ever give you an invoice?
Pavan Sukhdev
TEDGlobal 2011 • 441K views Dec 2011
Informative, Persuasive
We are not only risking the extinction of the entire coral species, the warm water corals, we’re not only risking a fourth of all fish species which are in the oceans, but we are risking the very lives and livelihoods of more than 500 million people who live in the developing world in poor countries.
Pavan Sukhdev
TEDGlobal 2011 • 441K views Dec 2011
Informative, Persuasive