Linking indicators – measurements that resonate with the public

boydUsing a linking indicator – a biophysical outcome that is meaningful or directly relevant to the public’s wellbeing can help to relate issues in the nature to a broader set of human concerns.

The importance of ecosystem services is often well known within natural scientists. However, communicating the value of this importance so that it resonates with the public or policy-makers can be challenging. Dr James Boyd visited CERE on 19 September 2019 to talk about how to relate nature to a broader set of human concerns. He is working on connecting knowledge between natural and social sciences through linking indicators. Linking indicators are biophysical outcomes that are directly relevant to social welfare. For instance, excess nitrogen in soils can affect the entire ecosystem in a multitude of ways. But by focusing on particular pieces of the ecosystem, such as an artic fox, the issues affecting human wellbeing become more obvious. In this example, the fox becomes a linking indicator, the biophysical outcome that is meaningful to the public and can embody the issues within an entire ecosystem.

Long-friend of CERE named Honorary Doctor: Jason Shogren

Jason Shogren Photo: Ton KoeneOn October 5th University of Wyoming’s Economics Professor Jason Shogren receives an honorary doctorate from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). Following the Doctorial lecture on October 4th in Uppsala, Shogren will visit SLU’s Umeå Campus and CERE to amongst other things, hold a lecture at the SLU library on the 8th of October at 13.00 (1.00 PM) 

Jason Shogren is the Stroock Professor of Natural Resource Economics at the University of Wyoming, USA. Professor Shogren’s world-renowned research has been a backbone to the emergence and implementation of the bioeconomy as a pathway to achieve sustainable development goals. Among his many accolades, he is a fellow of the American Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics. He served as Senior Economist for Environmental and Natural Resource Policy at the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers in 1997, was a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - which was co-recipient of a Nobel Peace prize in 2007, and was the 2012 Royal Guest Professor of Sweden's King Carl Gustaf XVI at Umeå University (UmU).

Professor Shogren has a longstanding friendship with CERE, SLU and UmU. His contacts and service to SLU are substantial and merited this much-earned recognition. His interactions with SLU faculty have led to numerous scholarly accomplishments. He has coauthored manuscripts with CERE faculty and invited contribution to books of his editorship published by Elsevier and Praeger. He has been a guest instructor at the SLU Department of Forest Economics in addition to serving as an opponent to Ph.D. candidates. His leadership and support to the SLU Forest Science faculty have been instrumental to the creation of CERE. Most recently, he was a keynote speaker at the 2017 Ulvön Conference on Environmental Economics.

Members and friends of CERE celebrate this honorary degree presented to a dear and supportive colleague and friend. Congratulations Jason!

More details on the award and ceremony are available here

Jason Shogren Photo: Ton Koene

Conference: The Barents region in a biobased future

The partners of Barents Forest ForumOctober 15-17, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå

The conference Barents Forest Forum titled: The Barents region in a biobased future, is a cooperation platform for forest sector stakeholders in the Barents region. Over the course of three days, participants from business, policy, research and development, and education will discuss the biobased future of Northern Europe with a particular focus on the Barents region.

The conference commences with a workshop focused on labor supply, equal opportunities and education. The conference continues with high-level practice-oriented presentations with focus on examples from Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. There will be opportunities for networking and practical demonstrations in forest-related excursions. The conference is open to all.

Learn more and sign up

Elkonsumenter förlorarna på elcertifikatsystemet

Det svenska systemet för att subventionera förnybar el är inte samhällsekonomiskt lönsam. Elkunderna bär det största ekonomiska ansvaret i form av högre elpriser i form av avgift för elcertifikat på elräkningen.

I dagens industri 26 augusti 2019 berättar CERE Professorer Bengt Kriström och Per-Olov Johansson om den samhällsekonomiska analysen de utfört av elcertifikatsystemet: ”Vår analys visar att stödsystemet för att subventionera förnybar el som Sverige infört är kraftigt olönsamt för samhällsekonomin. Och att det är elkunderna som är de absolut största förlorarna genom att de tvingas betala högre elpriser genom så kallade elcertifikatavgifter via elräkningen.” (klicka på rubriken för att läsa mer)

Miljöskattar som inte hjälper mot miljöproblemen

Miljöskatterna kritiseras i fPlus den 23 augusti, 2019 för att de skadar svenska företag och inte hjälper miljön. En av de intervjuade är CERE:s Runar Brännlund.

”Det är tre miljöskatter som pekas ut som synnerligen olyckliga skapelser: bonus-malus-systemet på bilar, flygskatten och kemikalieskatten. Runar Brännlund, professor i nationalekonomi vid Umeå universitet, säger till fPlus att miljöskatterna missar målet totalt.
– De flesta av våra miljöskatter är inte ens miljöskatter. De adresserar nämligen inte de faktiska miljöproblemen på ett bra sätt. Därför är miljöskatterna mer fiskala än styrande.”

Läs hela artikeln: ”Miljöskatterna sågas: Förstör för företagen och hjälper inte miljön

Invisible hand guiding recent CERE grads?

Brian and JinggangThe August issue of Forest Policy and Economics contains not one but two papers by recent CERE grads Jinggang Guo and Brian Danley. Jinggang, specializing in forest sector modelling, defended his thesis on October 12, 2018. Just a few months later on January 25, 2019, Brian Danley defended his thesis on ecosystem services and forest policy. Apart from publishing in the same issue of the same journal, and defending in close proximity, they have also both chosen to spend the next chapter of their research careers in the US.

Economists often study self-organizing systems in which participants’ behavior is coordinated based on a set of principles, like supply and demand, without explicit cooperation between participants. As Adam Smith famously observed, by taking cues from market prices and pursuing their own self-interest, buyers and sellers pursue courses of action that may appear as if they are guided by an invisible hand. It may have been the magic of uncoordinated organization at work when recent CERE graduates Jinggang Guo and Brian Danley both published their research papers in the same issue of the same journal and choose the same country as their next research destination. (Click on headline to read more)

Dags att skrota flygskammen

CERE Professorerna Bengt Kriström och Per-Olov Johansson menar på Di debatt den 20 juni, 2019 att svenska flygresenärer trippelbeskattas. Samtidigt innebär minskade utsläpp i Sverige en ökning av utsläpp någon annanstans inom EES på grund av handeln med utsläppsrätter. Det betyder även att utsläppsrätterna blir billigare mellan andra utrikes EES-flygplatser, så även biljetterna.

Läs hela debattartikeln på Dagens industri


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