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Research project

EIB Climate Chair - EIB Chair on Climate Change Policy and International Carbon Markets

Promoting the transmission of the best climate policy practices through research, teaching and dissemination.

The EIB Climate Chair has received funding from the European Investment Bank.

The EIB Climate Chair serves as a vector for the transmission of best climate policy practices across the world. Given the Paris Agreement’s voluntarist approach, international collaboration will be at the heart of efforts to maximise effect on the one hand and implement a just transition on the other.

Professor Jos Delbeke, PhD in Economics (KU Leuven, Belgium) and former founding Director-General for Climate Action at the European Commission from 2010 until 2018, who is currently responsible for coordinating teaching, training and research activities on climate policy at the STG, was appointed as the EIB Climate Chair in September 2020.

Research pillars

The EIB Chair focusses on effective climate policy design and is built around the following three pillars:

  • Carbon-pricing policies: economists and most businesses recommend using economic instruments to internalise negative externalities in a cost-effective manner. Market-based approaches have become a key element in a wider policy mix, either in the form of taxation, emissions trading, or offsetting emissions. Energy is a key sector. The EU has been at the forefront of energy market reform and has many good and less good examples. Carbon pricing works best in combination with a functioning energy market so as to unleash competition between various low-carbon solutions.
  • Sustainable Finance: the low-carbon transition requires massive investments in new low-carbon equipment. This requires smooth access to large sources of finance to create ‘new’ growth, ‘new’ jobs, ‘new’ markets. Sustainable Finance is dealing with the question of how to redirect financial flows towards climate change and environmental sustainability objectives, on the one hand, while ensuring the long-term resilience of the financial sector on the other.
  • Technological Innovation: technology is needed to significantly reduce emissions from all sectors including from energy intensive industry. Bringing innovative technologies to the market is about much more than R&D activities. It is also about managing political, economic, technological, and financial risk when creating markets for cleaner products and production processes. The current frontier in climate policy is a low-carbon strategy for materials including steel, cement, chemicals, non-ferrous metals, or bio-economy products.

Guiding Principles

Cost-effectiveness: keeping compliance costs down is important both in view of minimising societal and economic disruption but also with a view to maximising emissions reductions.
Distributional issues: the low-carbon transition will have important distributive effects either on income or on shifts in the labour market. These may have a pronounced regional character (e.g., in regions dependent on coal, cars or carbon-intensive industrial clusters). Ensuring a “Just Transition” is becoming a major political issue inside the EU and also worldwide.

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