group of people and a sign that says "no nature no future"

Skip LaitnerImpact Earth: Climate Reality, Episode 2, John A. “Skip” Laitner is an international resource economist who leads a team of consultants, the Economic and Human Dimensions Research Associates based in Tucson, Arizona. He is the Past President of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS), an independent interdisciplinary professional association in higher education. He is also a Senior Economic Research Fellow for Russia’s largest university system, the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA).

Skip is the former Director of Economic and Social Analysis for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). He previously served almost 10 years as a Senior Economist for Technology Policy for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He left the federal service in June 2006 to focus his research on developing a more robust technology and behavioral characterization of energy efficiency resources for use in energy and climate policy analyses and within economic policy models. He also provides technical support for a variety of local governments in the development of energy and climate profiles, especially as they positively shape and enhance long-term sustainable development goals. Among his most recent efforts include work for the World Bank, IMPLAN Group LLC, Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy, International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC), International Energy Agency (IEA), San Diego County, California and the Metropolitan Region of Rotterdam and Den Haag (MRDH) in Netherlands.

In 1998 Skip was awarded EPA’s Gold Medal for his work with a team of economists to evaluate the impact of different strategies that might assist in the implementation of smart climate policies. In 2003 the US Combined Heat and Power Association gave him an award to acknowledge his contributions to the policy development of that industry. In 2004 his paper, “How Far Energy Efficiency?” catalyzed new research into the proper the characterization of efficiency as a long-term resource.

Author of more than 360 book chapters, journal articles, and reports, Skip has 48 years of involvement in the economic, environmental and energy policy arenas. He has provided technical seminars in diverse places as Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, and Spain. He has a master’s degree in Resource Economics from Antioch University



  • Why are we not paying attention to the true threats to our survival on the planet? There are opportunities in front of us, but we must act quickly – Skip provides important insights that we all need to embrace on this podcast.
  • How does our current economic and climate perspectives reach all the way back to the American Revolution? Our disconnect of economy/market and climate started in the very beginning of our country – we either have a hard decade or a very bad century ahead of us…it all depends on the choices we make today.
  • How can we move from just spending money to actually investing in people – new skills for new types of employment that benefit the larger economy and climate? How can we meet the real demands with a positive infrastructure that creates a lot less waste and a lot less energy? Where does collaboration – not competition – come in and thus investing in a new economy that gets the job done in a climate sustainable way? Important information shared on this podcast – join us!
  • What is the concept of “Opportunity Cost”? Skip provides important economy lessons on this show!
  • What does it look like to repurpose commercial buildings and how can we also help to reinvent people into sustainable work? Get excited about the possibilities with us on this show!
  • How can we imagine a future where we build back better? Rethinking governance is a big part of the puzzle – Skip has a book coming out in the future and shares a little about it on this show.