WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE?
International climate policy is at a crossroads. Although some progress was made at the latest UN climate talks it is doubtful whether, in the next few years, a legally binding international agreement on far-reaching emission reductions along the lines of the Kyoto Protocol is attainable. At a time when different countries’ climate policies pull in different directions, the importance of companies and other stakeholders acting outside the international negotiation process increases.
For market reasons, many businesses and industries will probably take action independently from new international agreements, and work for reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and other measures capable of reducing the impact of ongoing climate change. To understand what drives this development and how it can be supported and coordinated to bring about cost-effective climate inputs, research on critical parts of climate policy is required.
HOW CAN THE PROGRAMME HELP TO BRING ABOUT A SOLUTION?
The Mistra Indigo research programme is headed by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute in cooperation with the University of Gothenburg School of Business, Economics and Law and Resources for the Future, the leading American research centre in Washington DC. The intention is for the researchers to monitor and support climate policy, and their work is divided into four integrated areas of research aimed at clarifying the role of industry in combating climate change:
- How can a robust trading system for carbon markets be devised, with pricing that contributes to development and becomes part of the global economy?
- What are the effects of climate policy on distribution among countries and different sectors of society?
- How can the workings of the interplay between climate policy and incentives for technological development be improved and prevent market failures for new climate-friendly solutions?
- What role does industry have in efforts to combat climate change, and how do companies act strategically on the basis of different parts of climate policy?
WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THE RESULTS?
In view of the uncertain international political situation in the area of climate, the objective of Mistra Indigo is to develop tools and instruments that are not dependent on the international framework. The focus is on identifying the optimal ways of devising economic incentives and instruments of climate policy, in order to promote and strengthen measures in the business sector and elsewhere.
The researchers seek to work in close contact with decision-makers from the political arena, public agencies and the business sector; to find out what knowledge is needed; and to arrange workshops and events. These activities will include a target-oriented dialogue between researchers and users at various levels.