The Launch of the European Institute on Economics and the Environment


June 11, 2019

News Type

Press Release

MILAN, ITALY—The name of the centre clearly represents the two institutions carrying out advanced activities respectively on environmental and natural resource economics, and climate change research—two high-profile international institutions that gave birth to RFF-CMCC—European Institute on Economics and the Environment. This is a unique reality which brings to Europe research activities focused on topics considered by many as the major challenge of the next decades: how to tackle climate change while ensuring well-being and sustainable development for actual and future generations.

The relevance of these topics is confirmed by the recognition of the Economics Nobel Prize to William Nordhaus, the economist who is on the frontline in stressing the nexus existing between economics and climate. Prof. Nordhaus indeed inaugurated the centre with a lecture on the need of a carbon tax and on useful mechanisms to make these measures beneficial for all citizens, regardless of their income.

"The scientific community agrees on scientific knowledge of climate change and its causes, but international agreements often lead to small results in term of abatement. We have learned to understand that the reason for this inefficiency is that they are voluntary agreements," explained Prof. Nordhaus, specifying that if there are no sanctions, it is difficult for a commitment to reduce emissions to be carried out. Incentive mechanisms should be created to enhance the value of those who participate in the agreements and sanctions should be created for those who do not.

International and multi-disciplinary

The reduction of GHG emissions, the implementation of technologies that facilitate transition towards a carbon-free world, the nexus between climate change and migrations, the implications in the distribution of inequalities and techniques to promote and recognize citizens’ best behaviours: these are some of the research lines developed at RFF-CMCC—European Institute on Economics and the Environment through collaboration with top institutions worldwide.

Made up by roughly 50 researchers from 13 countries (Italy, Germany, France, Netherlands, Portugal, US, Bolivia, Bangladesh, India, Iran, South Corea, China, Belgium), the research team includes economists, climatologists, data and computer scientists, mathematicians, engineers.

To cut on CO2 without negative repercussions on the economy and taxes

Some examples of recent research, for example, include a study published on Nature Climate Change that opens the way to governments for the achievement of the Paris Agreement goals towards tackling climate change impacts with measures in line with the socio-economic priorities of each national entity.

Another study focused on the reasons why countries resulting today as the biggest CO2 emitters, are the same ones that will suffer the highest economic costs from climate change in the future.

All research results are the fruit of the advanced implementation of the most recent models of climatic projections, empirical estimates of economic damages linked to climate and socio-economic predictions.

The launch event

The new centre was inaugurated on Tuesday, June 11 in its headquarters in BASE Milano with a public event with the participation–in addition to Prof. William Nordhaus–of Matteo Bartolomeo (President of Base Milano), Richard Newell (President, RFF), Antonio Navarra (President, CMCC), Massimo Tavoni (Director, RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and Politecnico di Milano), Valentina Bosetti (Bocconi University).

The event closed with the round table titled "Climate policies and strategies: what shall we do to accelerate action?," with Jos Delbeke (Director, General Climate Action, European Commission), Ottmar Edenhofer (Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and University of Berlin), Karina Litvack (Non-Executive Director Eni), Stefano Venier, (CEO, Hera Group), Gianmario Verona (Rector Bocconi University), moderated by Carlo Carraro, Rector Emeritus Ca’ Foscari University Venice and Executive Council Chair of RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment.

Resources for the Future (RFF) is an independent, nonprofit research institution in Washington, DC. Its mission is to improve environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement. RFF is committed to being the most widely trusted source of research insights and policy solutions leading to a healthy environment and a thriving economy.

Unless otherwise stated, the views expressed here are those of the individual authors and may differ from those of other RFF experts, its officers, or its directors. RFF does not take positions on specific legislative proposals.

For more information, please refer to our media resources page or contact Media Relations Associate Anne McDarris.

Related Content