The Economics and Environmental Policy Research Network (EEPRN), hosted by uOttawa’s Institute of the Environment in partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and the Smart Prosperity Institute (SPI), works to fund and disseminate cutting edge research on economics and environmental policy priorities for Canada, from our network of over 100 academics across Canada, and internationally.

 The EEPRN funds academic research projects in the following research areas.

  • Policies for a Low Carbon Economy;
  • Innovation & Competitiveness;
  • Conservation (including species at risk protection);
  • Data Set Development & Linkages

 


List of projects selected for 2017-2018 :


Evaluation of Growing Forward Environmental Stewardship Programs: Is Beneficial Management Practice Adoption Environmentally and Economically Effective

Principal Investigator: Peter Boxall (University of Alberta)
Student: Curtis Rollins (University of Alberta)

This project attempts to evaluate the performance of the Alberta Growing Forward Environmental Stewardship programs in generating environmental improvements through the adoption and implementation of various types of agricultural beneficial management practices (BMPs). Using spatial and expenditure BMP project data at the Municipal level the research examines: targeting of the projects to environmental risks, levels of expenditures on public versus private benefits generated, and the efficacy of extension efforts in promoting adoption. The research will attempt to develop some predictive models of adoption based on these factors as well as indicators of farm and agronomic characteristics.  Since this program is the largest of its kind in Canada the need for evaluation of its effectiveness in promoting environmental stewardship is important.

 

Optimal finite resource royalties in the presence of priced externalities

Principal Investigators: Andrew Leach (University of Alberta), Branko Boskovic (University of Alberta) and Chuck Mason (University of Wyoming)

A debate often arises over whether emissions policy should be applied “upstream" in the supply chain on producers or “downstream" on end-users. Economic theory suggests it does not matter: the same amount of cost pass-through will occur regardless of whether the policy is applied upstream or downstream. However, this neutrality might be questionable in the context of natural resource development, where private firms pay the natural resource owner--usually the government--royalty taxes in exchange for generating a profit from extracting and selling the resource. Upstream and downstream policies lead to different carbon costs and royalty payments, challenging conventional economic wisdom. Because the payments and costs affect economic behavior, how the policy is applied can, have a real effect on resource development and emissions. This project explores the interaction between resource royalties and emission policies, which will help inform how to appropriately design royalty taxes in conjunction with climate policy.

 

Do Carbon Taxes Kill Jobs? Evidence of Heterogeneous Impacts from British Columbia

Principal Investigator: Hendrik Wolff (Simon Fraser University)
Student: Deven Azevedo (Simon Fraser University) B.A Economics (Honours)

One common concern regarding carbon taxes – and that appears to make many governments hesitant to adopt them – is that they displace workers. However, in the case of the BC, the province’s carbon tax is revenue neutral by lowering provincial business and (low bracket) income taxes. Hence, it is not theoretically clear how this concern plays out empirically.

The goal of our study is to estimate the causal effect of the BC carbon tax on employment, and, importantly, how these employment effects differ by various sectors, ranging from very carbon intensive industries (i.e. petroleum and steel industry) to carbon neutral industries (health sector). These results will help policymakers make more informed decisions on the future of carbon policy, particularly with regard to what policies could be bundled with carbon taxes in order to minimize the distributional impacts. In addition to conference presentations, this project will create one working paper intended for publication in a top-tier economics journal. In addition, this project will result in a policy brief which will succinctly present the policy-relevant findings.

 

Strategies and Policies for Integrating the Canadian Financial Sector into Financing the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy

Principal Investigators: Olaf Weber (University of Waterloo) and Michael Wood (University of Waterloo)
Students: Truzaar Dordi (University of Waterloo, PHD Candidate Climate Finance) and William Moniz (University of Waterloo, M.A Candidate )

In order to achieve Canada’s climate goals significant investment is needed in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Therefore, t project will develop policies to incentivize the Canadian financial sector to invest in the transition to a low-carbon economy in Canada through answering the questions, what policies exist on a national, regional, and global level that support the integration of the (private) financial sector into climate finance, what Canada can learn from these policies to increase the participation of the Canadian financial sector in financing the transformation to a low-carbon economy, and what strategies and policies are needed to incentivize the Canadian financial sector to invest into the transformation into a low carbon economy. In addition to academic publications, the project will develop policy recommendations about how to integrate the financial sector into climate finance in Canada.

 


Call for Proposals

The 2017-2018 call for proposals is now closed but please stay tuned to learn more about the network’s research outcomes and find out about other funding opportunities.

Interested in knowing more? Please contact us at research.network@smartprosperity.ca

 


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