David Reiner

Professor of Technology Policy

BSc (McGill University), MA (Princeton University), PhD (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

My research focuses on the social licence to operate in a carbon-constrained world including public and stakeholder acceptability of low-carbon (and negative emissions) technologies.  I investigate the challenges of reaching net zero including for ‘hard-to-abate’ sectors such as residential heating, heavy industry (steel, chemicals, cement, etc) and international aviation as well as greenhouse gas removals (blue carbon, direct air capture, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, soils and forests).

I’m a member of the Economics and Policy subject group at Cambridge Judge Business School, which analyses how economics can improve growth and business performance.

Professional experience

Professor Reiner is a political scientist and is currently Professor of Technology Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School. David has advised government, industry and non-governmental organisations on energy and environmental policy, with a particular emphasis on the politics of climate change and the social acceptability of low-carbon or net-negative mitigation options for achieving net zero targets including carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS), hydrogen, and other energy and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) options. He is frequently interviewed in national and international media including the BBC World Service, The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Bloomberg, Reuters, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.

David is Assistant Director of the Energy Policy Research Group, and is also a Research Associate of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research and the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, both at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He sits on the steering committee of the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas Programme’s Social Research Network and the Advisory Board of the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge. David serves on the UK CCUS Council chaired by the UK energy minister.  He is also a non-executive director of Gore Street Capital. David has provided both written and oral testimony before the House of Commons Committee on Science and Technology and the Committee on Energy and Climate Change and contributed to the World Economic Forum in Davos and Moscow. He is the recipient of research grants from UK Research and Innovation, the European Commission, and the UK Government.

Previous appointments

Professor Reiner joined Cambridge Judge Business School from MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and the Laboratory for Energy and Environment. He has also taught in the Political Science Department at Tufts University and the Graduate School of International Studies in Geneva.


Selected publications

Journal articles


Books, monographs, reports and case studies

  • Ozawa, M., Chaplin, J., Pollitt, M., Reiner, D. and Warde, P. (2019) In search of good energy policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Newbery, D., Reiner, D., Jamasb, T., Steinberg, R., Toxvaerd, F. and Noël, P. (2009) Carbon capture and storage (CCS): analysis of incentives and rules in a European repeated game situation. London: UK Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Book chapters

  • Reiner, D.M. (2020) “The political economy of carbon capture and storage.” In: Bui, M. and Mac Dowell, N. (eds.) Carbon capture and storage. London: Royal Society of Chemistry, pp.536-558
  • Atoche-Kong, C., Nuttall, W.J., Cobas-Flores, E. and Reiner, D.M. (2010) “Embracing the opportunities of a carbon constrained world: strategic options for global cement companies.” In van Geenhuizen, M. Nuttall, W. and Gibson, D. (eds.): Energy and innovation: structural change and policy implications. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, pp.311-342
  • Reiner, D.M., Gibbins, J. and Holloway, S. (2008) Bridging technologies: can carbon capture and storage offer a bridge to a sustainable energy future in the UK? In: Grubb, M., Jamasb, T. and Pollitt, M.G. (eds.) Delivering a low-carbon electricity system. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.414-442
  • Reiner, D.M. (2006) “From public understanding to public policy: public views on energy, technology and climate science in the United States.” In Cannon, J. and Sperling, D. (eds.): Driving climate change. Burlington, MA: Elsevier Press, pp.201-216

Conference papers

  • Curry, T., Reiner, D.M., Ansolabehere, S. and Herzog, H.J. (2004) “How aware is the public of carbon capture and storage?” In Rubin, E.S., Keith, D.W. and Gilboy, C.F. (eds.) Proceedings of the International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies: vol.1: Peer-reviewed papers and plenary presentations (7th), 5-9 September 2004, Vancouver, Canada. Cheltenham: IEA Greenhouse Gas Programme, pp.[1-9]

Working papers

News and insights

Heat storage units.

Thermal energy storage may hold the key to fully electrifying UK domestic heating to cut emissions, according to research by Professor David Reiner of Cambridge Judge.

Nuclear power and wind turbines.

Support for renewable energy sources such as solar and wind is linked to a belief that climate change will be catastrophic, while supporters of nuclear power tend to be less concerned about climate risks, says study at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Woman speaking on a podcast.

David McKay, an alumnus of the MPhil in Technology programme (MPhil 2010), seeks to make complicated topics understandable through his ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’ podcasts.

Media coverage

Express | 23 September 2022

The Express: Energy: UK taxpayers deserve an accounting of Liz Truss’s prize freeze, experts assert

Cambridge Judge Business School is featured in this Express article about the Energy Price Guarantee. It focuses on a new paper by the Energy Policy Research Group at CJBS ( co-authored by Michael Pollitt and David Reiner) which says taxpayers should be given transparency over who is benefitting from the energy cap, and whether these “war-time profits” are stimulating long term investment in the UK energy sector.

Cambridge Network | 15 March 2022

Cambridge Festival – can we save our planet?

David Reiner, senior lecturer in technology policy at Cambridge Judge Business School, is part of the Cambridge Festival “UK Energy price crisis” panel, exploring the implications and challenges involved in the crisis. They also discuss what the regulatory developments could mean over the short, medium, or long-term for the Treasury and to UK energy and climate policy more generally.

Fortune | 9 December 2021

Bitcoin miners have returned to the record activity they had before China’s crypto crackdown- but they are still looking for a home

Dr David Reiner, Associate Professor in Technology Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School, comments on Bitcoin miners and recovered hashrate. “What this does indicate is that even when you disrupt the largest single center for activity, the Bitcoin community seems to have shrugged it off,” Dr Reiner said, adding that the recovered hashrate displays the miners’ “remarkable resilience.”

Clean Energy Wire, 23 November 2021
UK makes carbon capture central pillar of net-zero drive

IEDP, 18 November 2021
The environment and business post COP26

Deutsche Welle, 12 August 2021
Is carbon capture and utilisation a lifeline for oil and gas?

Cambridge Independent, 30 June 2021
From AI dysfunctions to privatisation debate

The Telegraph, 18 March 2021
Getting industry to go green will not come cheaply

Nature, 5 January 2021
Europe’s ‘green deal’ and carbon dioxide removal

Phys.org, 8 June 2020
Countries must work together on carbon dioxide removal to avoid dangerous climate change

The Conversation, 8 October 2019
Electric cars are here – but we’ll still need fuel for a long time

Energy Watch, 26 September 2019
Researchers warn against one-eyed focus on EVs

Helsinki Sanomat, 12 September 2019
Study finds the cheapest way to reduce traffic emissions: Not everyone should get an electric car

The New York Times, 21 September 2018
In London, electric trucks are helping UPS make ‘eco-friendly’ deliveries

De Volkskrant, 7 August 2018
Minimum price for CO2

Handelsblatt Global, 25 July 2018
Europe needs a minimum price on carbon emissions

Phys.org, 5 June 2017
Revolutionary new materials for troubled carbon times: super filters

BBC Look East, 9 May 2017
Evening news

Carbon Capture Journal, 11 April 2017
UKCCSRC awarded funding until 2022

The New Economy, 27 October 2016
Energy security is important – should it be risked for short-term savings?

Cambridge Business Magazine, 1 March 2016
Don’t abandon carbon capture

Climate News Network, 21 January 2016
Carbon capture plans need urgent aid

China Daily (US), 18 January 2016
Science academy powering research

Financial Times,
Letters: CCS is the litmus test on climate change ambitions

China Central TV, 12 January 2016
Global learning needed for carbon capture and storage from being abandoned

Nature Index China, 17 December 2015
The rapid rise of a research nation

Nord Stream: The sequel, 13 August 2015
EU Observer

Sputnik News, 16 January 2015
Experts believe planned gas hub in Turkey may change its image in Europe

Helsinki Sanomat, 12 September 2019
Study finds the cheapest way to reduce traffic emissions: Not everyone should get an electric car

New York Times, 30 November 2014
Testing the limits of European ambitions on emissions

The Guardian, 23 September 2014
What businesses need to know about the latest climate science

Phys.org, 8 September 2014
Carbon capture and storage struggling to be heard amidst growing public debate over fracking

Carbon Capture Journal,
UK study finds CCS struggling to be heard

Cambridge Network, 14 October 2013
First briefing on climate change reports published