Evaluating Policy Packages for Low-Carbon Transitions


Special Issue Ecological Economics

Guest editor: Prof dr HRJ Vollebergh (Tilburg University and Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency)

Transitions and policy rationales

Limiting global warming to no more than 2°C has become the de facto target for global climate policy. Such an ambitious target requires countries to introduce ambitious transition policies. Such dramatic emission reductions require the mass deployment of low-, zero- and negative emission technologies in all sectors of the economy. While some progress in some sectors, like electricity, are already underway, others such as industry, transport, or agriculture still face huge challenges. The current debate on the European Green Deal is just one example of how difficult such transitions may be. This also relates to a growing recognition of the interdependency of the many environmental challenges we face at the same time including such diverse issues as the availability of physical resources and local air pollution.

Instruments for transitions and their evaluation

Transitions require firms and sectors in countries to adapt in ways that are likely to imply the end of currently profitable business models. Without government intervention, however, it is unlikely that emission reductions and eco-innovations will be supplied by the market at a level that matches those ambitions due to the underlying market failures. Government policies hence play an important role in the transition process. Existing portfolios of environmental and technology policy instruments, however, may not be up to this task. Although a very large literature exists both on the design and evaluation of specific policy instruments, such as taxes and (tradeable) permits, analysis that goes beyond the simple quantity-price dimensionality is limited. The same holds for the combination of policy instruments or so-called policy packages that should steer the challenges posed by the different transitions in tandem are limited. Indeed, such policy packages should typically account for different types of market failures at the same time but may also play a role within different transitions as well.

Invitation to submit papers

Against this background, Ecological Economics looks for high-quality research papers for a special issue on Evaluating policy packages for low-carbon transitions – principles and applications.

A (non-exhaustive) set of topics of interest would be:

  • Rationales for policies to bring forward a carbon robust future
  • Appraisal of design issues related to different policy instruments that aim to steer transitions
  • Proposals for an evaluative framework for and assessments of policy packages
  • Case studies on policy packages for specific sectors or countries

Closing date for submissions: September 30, 2021

Submissions to:

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  1. When is the closing date for submissions to this special issue on Evaluating Policy Packages for Low-Carbon Transitions?

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