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Celebrating Collaborative Research and Expanding RFF’s Horizons

RFF announces the formation of a new institute in partnership with the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change and celebrates the achievements of Senior Fellow Karen Palmer. 

Every four years, a group of the world’s leading economists on environmental issues exchange their research and policy ideas at the World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists (WCERE). The event is particularly important for Resources for the Future (RFF) because it is an opportunity to hear crucial feedback about our research and facilitate conversations with scholars and groups from all around the world. The most recent WCERE, held over five days in June at the University of Gothenburg, was special for two additional reasons: it helped RFF launch a new institute in Europe, and recognized the outstanding achievements of RFF Senior Fellow Karen Palmer.

Introducing the RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment

Global collaboration is crucial in our field. Events like WCERE can help to generate breakthrough ideas and programs of action. So too can partnerships, such as RFF’s involvement with the Environment for Development initiative as one of its international centers. In recent months, RFF has been exploring ways of further expanding our research collaborations and impact, working closely on our plans with two of Europe’s foremost environmental thinkers: Dr. Carlo Carraro, president emeritus of the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice; and Dr. Antonio Navarra, president of the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC).

After rigorous review and approval from RFF’s Board of Directors, Antonio, Carlo, and I were delighted to announce in Gothenburg the formation of the RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment. The institute is a partnership between RFF and CMCC, two distinguished organizations with significant strengths, complementary capabilities, scientific expertise ranging from economics and policy to the physical sciences, and decisionmaking experience in Europe, the United States, and at global institutions.

Dr. Carraro will serve as chair of the new institute, which we expect to house about 30 full-time and part-time staff at the outset, split across offices in Milan and Venice.

The institute’s mission is to improve environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement, and initial activities will focus primarily on climate impacts and policy. Our aim is that the institute is a central focal point for research and policy solutions within Europe, connecting that work internationally through joint research projects, events, and convening. These are exciting developments for RFF and the broader community of researchers and policymakers in this field. We invite our readers to follow developments at the institution’s website: eiee.org.

RFF’s Karen Palmer Named 2018 AERE Fellow

When you ask yourself what makes RFF such a special institution, you quickly realize that it’s the extraordinary people who comprise it. Senior Fellow Karen Palmer is an exceptional example, a gifted scholar who joined RFF as a fellow in 1989 and has spent the last three decades undertaking crucial work around electricity and climate policy. In Gothenburg, Karen was named a 2018 Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE), an award that recognizes significant contributions to the advancement of the profession of environmental and resource economics. As a colleague put it, this is the most important form of recognition in our field.

Karen was introduced in Gothenburg by fellow economist Dr. Laura Taylor, who rightly highlighted the selfless mentorship Karen provides to up-and-coming environmental and resource economists. We’ve seen this firsthand at RFF, and it is one of her defining qualities: Karen never misses an opportunity to cite or credit others for their work, or provide nuanced, thoughtful feedback.

Karen joins RFF Senior Fellows Alan Krupnick and Maureen Cropper to hold this prestigious honor. Past recipients of the award include members of RFF’s Board of Directors Trudy Ann Cameron and Robert N. Stavins; RFF University Fellows Partha Dasgupta, Lawrence Goulder, Michael Hanemann, Catherine L. Kling, Charles D. Kolstad, and V. Kerry Smith; and Carlo Carraro, chair of the RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment.

At the AERE lunch in Gothenburg, RFF’s Marilyn Voigt was also honored upon her retirement as executive director of AERE. Marilyn ably served in this role since AERE’s inception, and I know I speak for the extended RFF family about how much we appreciated her welcoming support over many years.

About the Author

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Richard G. Newell

Richard G. Newell is the president and CEO of RFF.

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