Edwin van der Werf
P.O. Box 8130
Phone: +31 (0)317 48 3318
I'm an Assistant Professor of economics at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. My research is focussed on the economics of climate change mitigation and on answering questions such as
``How do coal producers respond to changes in the price of coal?''; ``What is the impact of large-scale plantations on local livelihoods in Africa?''; ``What instruments can policy makers use to reduce emissions and support technological
change?''. Among other things, I'm currently working on forest management choices in East Kalimantan when damages on residual stand differ between conventional and sustainable forest management techniques, and a paper on eco-label adoption in the Dutch accommodation sector.
Add a carbon price floor to the EU ETS!
The current price of emission allowances in the EU ETS (the emission trading system for greenhouse gasses) is about 5 euro per ton of carbon dioxide. Many observers consider this price too low. With Corjan Brink and Herman Vollebergh of PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency I have published a paper in Energy Policy in which we assess various reform options for the EU ETS. Extending the EU ETS with a variable carbon tax that applies to the power sector only can be an efficient way to support the effective carbon price in the EU.
Interestingly, one day after the paper got accepted for publication, the French government expert group that was tasked with working on the details of a national carbon floor proposal advises against a national carbon price floor. They rather recommend a minimum price at auctions in the EU ETS, which obviously will be much more effective in supporting the price and (if the floor is binding) in reducing EU-wide emissions. In our analysis, this reform option is also effective in supporting the effective carbon price. However, it may lead to larger welfare losses and larger differences in welfare losses across EU Member States, and may hence be harder to sell policitally than a variable carbon tax in the power sector.
Publications on REDD+ and impacts of plantations and associated forestry operations in Africa
With various co-authors, I have published a paper in Forest Policy and Economics
on the potential of REDD+ to store carbon in managed tropical forests on Kalimantan [Link]
, and a paper in International Forestry Review
on the assessment of impacts of plantations and associated forestry operations in Africa [Link]
. Check them!
Winner best publication award Wageningen School of Social Sciences 2015
On June 11, 2015, I won the Wageningen Social Sciences Award 2015 for the Best Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS) Publication for my paper 'Should we be worried about the Green Paradox? Announcement effects of the Acid Rain Program', with Corrado Di Maria and Ian Lange, published in European Economic Review [Link] [WP version]
In the paper, we show that coal prices fell after the announcement of the future cap on sulphur dioxide emissions, and more so for high-sulphur coal. However, only utilities
that were active on the spot market were able to increase their coal demand. What's more, the sulfur intensity of coal decreased rather than increased. Although we can observe the price changes predicted by the theory of the Green Paradox, we only observe one of the two predicted quantity changes. We conclude that market and policy restrictions may prevent the outcomes predicted by the theory of the Green Paradox to occur in full force.
The role of standards in environmental policy and eco-innovation
With Herman Vollebergh, I've published a paper in Review of Environmental Economics and Policy
on the role of standards in environmental policy and eco-innovation. We argue that economists
tend to have a too narrow view on standards and that standards have significantly contributed to eco-innovations. Did I wet your appetite? Read the full paper here [WP version]
The Green Paradox and its empirical relevance for economists
My paper, with Corrado Di Maria and Ian Lange, on the response of coal mines and electric power utilities in the US to the announcement of the Acid Rain Program, has appeared
in European Economic Review. We show that coal prices fell after the announcement of the future cap on sulphur dioxide emissions, and more so for high-sulphur coal. However, only utilities
that were active on the spot market were able to increase their coal demand. What's more, the sulfur intensity of coal decreased rather than increased.
The Green Paradox and its empirical relevance in layman's terms
I've published a column, with Corrado Di Maria and Ian Lange, on VoxEU.org
discussing our findings on the empirical relevance of Hans-Werner Sinn's Green Paradox (the thesis that imperfect climate policies may induce an increase rather than a decrease in
greenhouse gas emissions due to behaviour of resource owners).