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Ecorys studies economic valuation of climatic change impacts in the Arctic region

Ecorys is conducting a research project on the valuation of climate change impacts for the Arctic region. The aim of the study is to contribute to the debate regarding the economic valuation of physical changes taking place in the Arctic as a consequence of climate change and to aid policy makers in decision-making for the short and longer term. The study is funded by the Ecorys Research Programme, in which Ecorys and the Foundation NEI cooperate with the goal of furthering applied economic research. Today 19 March a workshop was organised where a number of highly seasoned academics discussed the challenges of valuating uncertainties and interactions.

The Arctic is increasingly moving into the centre of academic, political and commercial attention. Climate change continues to pose great challenges for our society and some areas, such as the Arctic, are especially important. Economic valuation of ecosystem services is a relatively new research area, but one that is growing rapidly. Governments are particularly interested in economic valuation as a way to help solve environmental problems, to quantitatively underpin choices in complex trade-offs that they are facing, and raise awareness of the potentially (large) costs of inaction or delayed action. However, the economic valuation of complex ecosystem services like climate regulation is not easy, and there is much room for improvement.

Ecorys has a strong base in economic research and methodology development, and is well acquainted with policy issues and translating research findings into policy measures.  Having performed an initial analysis into existing approaches of economic evaluation of ecosystem services, Ecorys has organised a workshop with experts from several areas such as Arctic expert Prof. Peter Wadhams and creator of the PAGE-models used for the renowned Stern-report Prof. Chris Hope, both from Cambridge University, UK. Several economists also participated in the event including prof. Carl Koopmans, prof. Henri de Groot, and sustainability prof. Gail Whiteman. The workshop serves as a platform for experts to debate on what steps are required to develop possible avenues of valuation exercises that respond to the current weaknesses in the field. In further steps, Ecorys will translate these findings into further research programs and policy recommendations on how to deal with the challenges that climate change poses.

For more information, please contact the Marketing & Communication Department: +31 (0)10 453 88 00.