Research assistants & interns

Ben McWilliams

Research Analyst

Twitter: @McWilliamsBen

Ben is working at Bruegel as a Research Analyst in the field of climate and energy policy. He studied his BSc Economics at the University of Warwick, with one year spent studying at the University of Monash, Melbourne. He then studied an MSc in Economic Policy at Utrecht University.

His MSc thesis investigated carbon taxation in British Columbia, Canada, and his research interests revolve largely around energy and environmental topics. Further research topics of particular interest include: economic history (20th century), labour markets, and industrial policy.

Ben is a dual English and Dutch citizen.

Contact information

[email protected]

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Policy Contribution

How to make the EU Energy Platform an effective emergency tool

The EU Platform could become an effective emergency tool to safeguard Europe’s security of gas supply in case of a sudden interruption of Russian gas flows, but policymakers need to address challenges to make it work.

By: Walter Boltz, Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, Thierry Deschuyteneer, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Leigh Hancher, François Lévêque, Ben McWilliams, Axel Ockenfels, Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann Topic: Green economy Date: June 16, 2022
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Blog Post

Europe’s Russian oil embargo: significant but not yet

The ban on most Russian oil significantly scales up the EU response to aggression against Ukraine, but the bloc should stand ready for retaliatory actions.

By: Ben McWilliams, Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann Topic: Green economy Date: June 1, 2022
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Blog Post

The EU needs transparent oil data and enhanced coordination

The EU lacks the coordination structure and transparent data necessary to most effectively navigate an embargo on Russian oil.

By: Agata Łoskot-Strachota, Ben McWilliams and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade, Green economy Date: May 16, 2022
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Blog Post

How a European Union tariff on Russian oil can be designed

The European Union should apply a tariff on imports of Russian oil; it can be accompanied by a quota for a gradual, conditional phase-out of all Russian oil imports.

By: David Kleimann, Ben McWilliams and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade, Green economy Date: April 29, 2022
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Blog Post

The European Union demand response to high natural gas prices

Even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, high natural gas prices triggered an estimated European Union demand cut of about 7%.

By: Ben McWilliams and Georg Zachmann Topic: Green economy Date: April 8, 2022
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Blog Post

Can Europe manage if Russian oil and coal are cut off?

A stop to Russian oil and coal supplies would push Europe into a short and painful adjustment period. But if managed well, disruptions would remain temporary.

By: Ben McWilliams, Giovanni Sgaravatti, Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann Topic: Green economy Date: March 17, 2022
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Blog Post

Preparing for the first winter without Russian gas

The European Union can manage without Russian gas next winter, but must be united in taking difficult decisions, accepting that in many cases it won’t have enough time for perfect solutions.

By: Ben McWilliams, Giovanni Sgaravatti, Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann Topic: Green economy Date: February 28, 2022
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Blog Post

Can Europe survive painlessly without Russian gas?

If Russian gas stops flowing, measures to replace supply won’t be enough. The European Union will need to curb demand, implying difficult and costly decisions.

By: Ben McWilliams, Giovanni Sgaravatti, Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann Topic: Green economy Date: January 27, 2022
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Policy Contribution

Decarbonisation of the energy system

Our analysis highlights that the current national energy and climate plans (NECPs) of EU countries are insufficient to achieve a cost-efficient pathway to EU-wide climate neutrality by 2050.

By: Georg Zachmann, Franziska Holz, Claudia Kemfert, Ben McWilliams, Frank Meissner, Alexander Roth and Robin Sogalla Topic: Green economy Date: January 13, 2022
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Blog Post

How serious is Europe’s natural gas storage shortfall?

Europe may not have enough natural gas in storage for the coming winter; close monitoring of the situation will be essential.

By: Georg Zachmann, Ben McWilliams and Giovanni Sgaravatti Topic: Green economy Date: December 21, 2021
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External Publication

European Parliament

Decarbonisation of energy

Determining a robust mix of energy carriers for a carbon-neutral EU

By: Ben McWilliams, Georg Zachmann, Franziska Holz, Alexander Roth, Robin Sogalla, Frank Meissner and Claudia Kemfert Topic: European Parliament, Green economy, Testimonies Date: November 22, 2021
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Blog Post

A new economic geography of decarbonisation?

Energy transitions manifest themselves across space and time. While necessary targets for decarbonisation are apparent, the accompanying shifts in spatial organisation of economic activity are perhaps not as well understood.

By: Ben McWilliams and Georg Zachmann Topic: Green economy Date: November 8, 2021
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