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SNS Konjunkturrådsrapport 2020

Along with eight other researchers from different disciplines, Thomas Sterner is part of SNS Konjunkturråd 2020. Together, they have written Konjunkturrådets annual report, SNS Konjunkturrådsrapport 2020: Svensk politik för globalt klimat, where they focus on how Swedish politics should be designed to deal with climate change. The full report can be found here, and you can watch presentation on the report’s results in a global perspective here (both in Swedish) .

Is the key to saving the climate less meddling from politicians?

In a recent article for Apolitical, a global learning platform for government, Jessica Coria and Thomas Sterner raise the question if politicians are help or just a hindrance when it comes to saving the climate. Many existing environmental regulations are subject to a great deal of policy uncertainty which reduces the profitability of green investment, where the lack of political commitment to long-term emissions targets is at the heart of the problem. Could real progress be made through a fundamental reform of our political institutions? Read the full article on Apolitical’s website.

India in the coming climate G2?

New working paper official together with Jonathan Camuzeaux, Environmental Defense Fund, and Gernot Wagner, New York University. Forthcoming in the National Institute Economic Review next year.

Abstract:

China and the United States are the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, making them pivotal players in global climate negotiations. Within the coming decade, however, India is set to become the most important counterpart to the United States, as it overtakes China as the country with the most at stake depending on the type of global burden-sharing agreements that reached, thus becoming a member of the “Climate G2.” We analyse financial flows that are necessary to equilibrate marginal abatement costs across countries and regions under a wide range of burden-sharing agreements: from pure grandfathering based on current emissions to equal per-capita allocation. Among the four largest players, the United States, the EU-27, China, and India, it is China that would currently be the largest net seller of emissions allowances in all but the grandfathered scenario. The United States would be the largest net buyer. However, India is poised to take China’s position by around 2030. That leaves the United States and India as the two major countries with most to gain and lose, depending on the type of climate deal reached.

Full text available here, and to cite:
Camuzeaux, J., T. Sterner, and G. Wagner, “India in the coming climate G2?” Forthcoming in National Institute Economic Review (12 December 2019).

New Honorary Degree

Congratulations to Thomas Sterner who on December 5th was awarded with a Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science by the University College Dublin (UCD). The UCD awards honorary degrees to individuals who have attained outstanding distinction in their fields. In delivering the citation at the conferring ceremony, Professor Peter Clinch at the UCD Faculty of Environmental Policy spoke of Thomas’s pioneering work, passion and dedication to the field of environmental economics:

“A few notable academics are able to make substantial and original contributions to knowledge and also to come down to where things are done. And when it concerns the environment and, perhaps, the greatest challenge facing humankind – climate change – getting things done is of paramount importance.

Thomas Sterner is one of those noble few. And, today, UCD awards him with the Doctor of Science degree honoris causa for his outstanding lifetime contribution to our understanding of how economics can protect our environment and, in particular, how to design policies to protect us from the perils of climate change. “

Read the full citation here.

INSEE-CESS International Conference, india

On November 6-8, the Indian Society for Ecological Economics (INSEE) together with the Center for Economic and Social Sciences (CESS) organizes its Tenth Biennial Conference ‘Climate Change and Disasters: Challenges, Opportunities and Responses’ in Hyderabad, India. The conference invites researchers, students, and policymakers from different disciplines and countries to discuss the likely impacts of climate change in India, as well as evaluate the alternatives and policy options to address the risks posed by climate change and extreme weather events.

Thomas Sterner is invited to give a keynote lecture about climate politics, titled “Dealing with the climate in an efficient, fair and feasible manner: What can we learn from economics?”. Read more about the conference here and download the brochure here.

New award- Pro Studio et Scientia

Congratulations! Thomas Sterner is this year’s recipient of the “Pro Studio et Scientia – for commitment and science” award. With this award, the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg honors people who have made extensive and longstanding efforts to support and promote school’s activities. Check out the school’s press release here.

Ministry of Finance hosts workshop on Carbon Taxation

On October 3-4th, the Swedish Ministry of Finance hosted a workshop on carbon taxation with participants from a large number of finance ministries in countries that have, or are considering implementing a carbon tax. The workshop was held within the framework of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action, a new coalition launched in April 2019 aimed at boosting collective action on climate change. The topic of the workshop was to address key questions that arise when considering carbon taxation, and to increase the understanding of how an efficient carbon tax can work in different national contexts. The workshop was inaugurated by Magdalena Andersson, Swedish Minister of Finance who emphasized that the time is ripe for this initiative and that this Swedish initiative has already led to participation in the coalition by more than thirty countries across the World. Find the Ministry of Finance’s press release here.

Thomas Sterner contributed with a lecture on the need for complementary policy measures to enhance the impact of carbon taxation. Thomas spoke of how carbon taxes can be efficient tools to reduce emissions, but for the tax to reach its full potential, policymakers need to consider the context in which the tax is implemented and to complement it with additional measures to improve the effectiveness and acceptance. In addition to creating a better understanding of how to design optimal carbon taxes, the workshop also presented an opportunity to spread the word about the initiative on carbon pricing in developing countries taken by Thomas and the EfD. Many of the participants from low and middle-income countries expressed an interest in the EfD’s work on carbon taxes, which will be one of the highlights at the EfD’s annual meeting in Bogotá in November.

New Talk on Nuclear Power

Thomas Sterner recently held a talk on the role of nuclear power in the transition to a fossil free society and participated in a panel debate on the subject at Studieförbundet Näringsliv och Samhälle, Stockholm. See video below (Swedish only). Sterner also followed up the debate with an opinion piece in the daily newspaper Göteborgs Posten.