7 January 2015

Mistra co-funds climate meeting
in Brussels

Mistra is take part in a conference on climate change and policy issues on 26–27 February, held by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), the Brussels-based think tank. CEPS is regarded as the most influential think tank in the EU, and it has close ties with the most important decision-makers.

The conference, known as an ‘Ideas Lab’, is entitled ‘How much Europe do we need?’ and will address a broad palette of policy issues. Mistra’s CE Åke Iverfeldt and programme director Thomas Nilsson will attend.

‘Our main interest is in environmental and climate issues, of course. But there are also other themes at the conference that can affect the questions we ask and our future initiatives. I see it as part of our global monitoring,’ Iverfeldt says.

The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) is seen as one of the foremost think tanks in the EU and a discussion arena that attracts decision-makers at the highest level. CEPS also has meetings behind closed doors, when the discussions are strikingly frank.

‘You’re not allowed to quote what is said, but it gives a more correct picture of various stakeholders’ premises and bargaining positions in the area of climate change,’ Iverfeldt relates.

The conference in February is, however, of a more open nature. This is the second year in which it is being held, but the first time that Mistra will be taking part.

Long cooperation with CEPS

Since 2007, as a member of the think tank, Mistra has been collaborating with CEPS. This has benefited the now concluded Clipore (Climate Policy Research) programme and also Mistra Indigo (Instrument Design for Global Climate Mitigation), which is still under way. Both these programmes have focused on such policy issues as the system of carbon allowances and how international trade regulations can promote sustainable development.

‘These are issues that CEPS is very good at,’ says Thomas Nilsson.

He explains that CEPS, for its part, has access to early research results from Mistra’s world-class programmes.

­‘There isn’t much environmental research with Mistra Indigo’s policy focus.’

Mistra Fellowship continues

Another part of the liaison with CEPS is that a researcher from Mistra Indigo stayed there from spring 2013 to spring 2014 as a Mistra Fellow. Åke Iverfeldt emphasises how valuable this is.

‘It’s tremendously good for the Mistra Fellow to spend a year in an environment located so close to where decisions are made — a superb opportunity to forge contacts. It’s good for Mistra, too, for the Fellow to return to Sweden with new knowledge on how policy is made.’

Iverfeldt would like to see the Mistra Fellowship and the researcher’s stay at CEPS forming a model for similar initiatives in the future, not only at CEPS but also in other organisations and involving researchers from various Mistra programmes.

Text: Thomas Heldmark, Vetenskapsjournalisterna

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