Runar asks for a more balanced debate

"The discussion needs to be balanced so those values are brought forward more clearly and brought into to the calculation, he says" Runar Brännlund makes a statement regarding the forestry debate in Skogsaktuellt. 

And the Best Paper Award goes to...

At the 27th Ulvön Environmental Economics Conference August 2021 a best paper award was promised and the jury now announce the winner as: “Pigovian policies under behavioral motives” by Nathan W. Chan from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Prize motivation

Nathan W. ChanA well-written paper that has sound theoretical underpinnings grounded in the welfare/public economics domain as well as in environmental economics. The subject at hand tackles an important problem in today’s society: how to design optimal policy when some consumers have social preferences and firms are to some extent self-regulating. The analysis brings novel insights for policy design in a wide range of settings, including markets for environmentally friendly and socially responsible products. More generally, the paper expose and scrutinize foundational assumptions in Pigouvian theory - assumptions that may or may not hold when agents’ behaviors diverge from standard neo-classical motives.
Read more about Nathan.

The jury consisted of Tommy Lundgren, Lars Persson, Adan Martinez Cruz and Mattias Vesterberg.


There was also a raffle and the lucky winner is Keila Meginnis from the University of Glasgow.

Both Nathan and Keila are most welcome to Ulvön next year!
(conference fee waived)

The organizing committee also wish to thank all particpants:
“Your presentations, keynotes, panel discussions, and questions/interactions are gratefully appreciated; we believe it made the conference a success.”

Until next year…

The 2021 Ulvön Conference on Environmental Economics

The 27th Ulvön Conference on Environmental Economics was held August 24-25, 2021. Due to covid, the Ulvön Conference went digital, but as successful as previous ones. With 12 presentations in organized sessions, 3 keynote presentations, and one panel discussion on how to use our forest, the conference attracted more than 50 participants from different universities worldwide, and public and private institutions based in Sweden.

Keynote speakers, as in previous rounds of this conference, are top researchers in their field. This year Amy Ando discussed potential biases in the way environmental economists value ecosystem services. Amy is professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics. Cornelius Van Kooten discussed whether renewable energies are likely to penetrate the Canadian electricity market and the implications of it. Cornelius is professor in the Department of Economics and Senior Canada Research Chair at the University of Victoria, Canada. Brent Sohngren discussed how much CO2 mitigation should we expect to get from forests in the near future. Brent is professor of environmental and resource economics in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at the Ohio State University. (click on headline to learn more)

Contribute to special issue on digital technology and energy sustainability

The Journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling plan for a special issue on Digital technology and energy sustainability impacts and policy needs. CERE’s Tommy Lundgren amongst the guest editors.

“While digital technology may bring substantial positive benefits, it also poses potential challenges to energy sustainability. Despite increasing amount of work on the broad effect of digitalization, understanding the effects of digital technology on energy sustainability remains a challenging task. As digital technology increasing becomes an integral part of the energy system, systematically assessing these diverse, dynamic, and subtle effects in the context of sustainability is particularly important to add new knowledge to existing literature. Some intuitive questions include: what will be the impact of digital technology on the world’s energy system? What opportunities will the investment in digital technology and the induced increase in digitalization practice bring to the energy system? What are the overall structural changes the digital revolution would bring? Broader aspects may concern environmental, economic, and social changes. For example, will the development of digital technology hinder or offer an opportunity for the development of renewable energy? Will it increase or decrease carbon emissions? From the social perspective, how will the emerging digital technology transform societies in which they will be embedded and which they will connect? Examining the diverse and dynamic nexus between digital technology and energy sustainability can produce important policy insights for stakeholders worldwide. It is time for the academic society to pave the road toward a complete jigsaw puzzle. (Click on headline to learn more)

Consider all values

"All values must be made visible and incorporated into the market economy in line with ordinary forest products.
This means that emissions of carbon dioxide from biomass must be assessed in the same way as emissions from fossil fuels, ie. either taxed or included in the European carbon trading system." Runar Brännlund in VK July 19, 2021

Debate contribution regarding the Cementa factory at Slite

"The outcry triggered by the Supreme Land and Environmental Court's rejection of Cementa's application for a mining permit at Slite seems somewhat exaggerated. A production halt entails certain socio-economic costs but mainly of a temporary nature, write economics professors Per-Olov Johansson and Bengt Kriström." 

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”.

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