Tax on plastic bags continues to be discussion topic

Runar Brännlund points out that most carrier bags in Sweden are produced from renewable sources and end up as heating, not in nature. He believes that proper analyses were lacking before the tax was approved.

Emissions decrease slowly despite investments and changed consumption patterns

During the first three phases of the EU emissions trading system, Swedish manufacturing companies have decreased emissions. Companies part of this system have however not decreased their emissions more than companies not part of the system but eligible for carbon tax. This from a new thesis by Sandra Schusser, SLU. She also shows that population behaviour has changed in favour of greener choices, however, only in some areas.

In her PhD work at SLU, Sandra analysed Swedish industry emissions during the three first phases of the EU emissions trading system (EU-ETS) 2005-2016 and found that emissions decrease however in a slow fashion despite green technology investments.

The reason for this could be that company investments have yet to result in useable technique but also that companies await more stringent governmental policy, says Sandra Schusser.

Read the thesis “Moving towards a more sustainable world - Four essays on renewable energy, emissions trading and environmental behaviour
Pressrelease from (only in Swedish) “Trots investeringar och ändrade konsumtionsmönster minskar utsläppen långsamt”.

Suggestion to preserve mountainous forest lack cost-benefit analysis

CERE's Bengt Kriström and Per-Olov Johansson question what they sence has become a routine, leaving out cost-benefit analysis in environmental and resource policy decisions in a debate article in Östersundsposten, published June 1st, 2021. The article revolves around the suggestion to preserve mountainous forest. 

Difficult to get paid for continuous cover forestry

However, if companies could niche themselves with timber from continuous cover forestry and charge extra, then there a chance says Tommy Lundgren in ATL June 1st, 2021.

“In addition to an intensive forestry debate, the last year included an increase in home makeovers due to corona. Construction timber is a sector nearly completely dominated by Swedish raw material. If a company could focus on a niche and thereby make a name for themselves in the private market and the construction industry as well as charging for timber from continuous cover forestry, then more companies would follow says Tommy Lundgren, new Professor at the Department of Forest Economics at SLU in Umeå.
– It is the same principal as eco products. It is very intriguing that there are companies trying to accomplish this now, says Tommy Lundgren.” (my translation) (Schönning 2021)

Schönning, Oskar (2021). Svårt att få betalt för hyggesfritt skogsbruk. ATL lantbrukets affärstidning 41, June 1, p. 4. (only in Swedish)

Ulvön Environmental Economics Meeting 2021

We are happy to announce that the Ulvön Environmental Economics Meeting 2021 will be taking place online on Aug 24 - 25, 2021 (note date change). The meeting is organized by the Centre for Environmental & Resource Economics (CERE), a joint venture between Umeå University and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU/Umeå, Sweden).

Keynote speakers

Amy C. Ando, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Cornelis van Kooten, University of Victoria
Brent Sohngen, Ohio State University

The objective of the meeting is to have a friendly venue for doctoral students and early career researchers to receive feedback on their work. The Call for Papers and more information can be found at website. More information and registration.

Post-doc position in Gothenburg

Do you want to move to Gothenburg for two years, and do research about pastoralism in East Africa? Do you want to - among other things – work on a choice experiment study with Göran Bostedt? Do you want to contribute in a large, interdisciplinary research group full of fun people who love to travel around all day on dirt roads in East Africa that are indescribably bumpy?

Then you will fit right in! Here is an opening for a post-doc position at the School of Global Studies in Gothenburg. You will work in the Drylands Transform, and paradoxically you will partly work with Göran Bostedt, despite being employed by the University of Gothenburg.

Learn more and apply

Contact Göran Bostedt if you want to know more.

Profitable production should not be subsidized

“Intermittent power can by now stand on its own two feet even if it would be forced to bear its socio-economic costs. The electricity certificates that is de facto a subsidy have in practice played out its part with a price that currently amounts to a few pennies per kilowatt hour, kWh. Profitable production should of course not be subsidized and unprofitable production should be phased out." 

The SvD debate article "Introduce fees for solar and wind power" by Per-Olov Johansson and Bengt Kriström was published online March 10, 2021. Only available in Swedish

The EU’s Renewable Energy Directive helped shape healthy forests in southeastern US

The magazine Resources interviews Francisco X. Aguilar where he discusses his recent co-authored study that takes a closer look at how the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive helped shape the health of forests across the southeastern United States and contributed to the growth of the US wood pellet industry.

“A major takeaway is that energy from biomass can be renewable, but it must be tested. We must have data, and we must have information to validate the renewable characteristic of the energy and whether it can reduce carbon emissions or not, compared to other alternative sources … From a policy perspective, I think monitoring, being dynamic, and being open to make sure that we’re balancing economic objectives with conservation objectives, are key.” (23:03)

Listen to or read the podcast "Assessing the Promise and Peril of Wood Pellet Products, with Francisco X. Aguilar", published on February 16th, 2021

Learn more about the study on “Increased carbon stock despite pressure on biomass extraction

The study: Aguilar, F.X., Mirzaee, A., McGarvey, R., Shifley, S. & Burtraw, D. 2020. Expansion of US wood pellet industry points to positive trends but the need for continued monitoring. Scientific Reports.

New year – new constellation

With the arrival of 2021, the CERE management have taken on a new look with two new secretaries and one new Deputy.

Runar Brännlund, UMU continues as the Research Director but now with the newly appointed SLU Professor Tommy Lundgren at his side as Deputy Director. Mattias Vesterberg, UMU and Adan L. Martinez-Cruz, SLU as scientific secretaries. Thank you to the fantastic work of former Deputy Francisco X. Aguilar and secretaries Jurate Jaraite now also at Vilnius University and Thomas Broberg, UMU who will continue working with issues related to the environment, but outside academia.

Coming events