envecon 2022 took place on Friday, 18th March, 2022.
Now in its 20th year, envecon is the UK’s only environmental economics conference which brings together delegates from academia, private, and public sectors to showcase the latest research and applied practices in environmental economics.
You can access this year's conference booklet here.
Welcome & Keynote
9:30 - 10:00 - Emily McKenzie, Technical Director, TNFD (Taskforce on Nature Related Financial Disclosures)
Session 1: Economics for Nature - 10:00 - 11:30
Chair: Nicholas Hanley, University of Glasgow
The Value of Species Data in England, Ian Dickie, eftec
Delivering Connective Nature Based Solution: Barriers Faced by Farmers and Potential Solutions, Diane Burgess, AFBI - Northern Ireland
Ecological and Economic Implications of Alternative Metrics in Biodiversity Offset Markets, Nicholas Hanley, University of Glasgow
Lunch Break including Power Lunch Sessions: 11:30 - 13:00
Session 2: Economics for Climate Change - 13:00 - 14:30
Chair: Prof. Ben Groom, University of Exeter
Decomposition of the Temperature-driven Output Losses in India: Plant-Level Evidence for the Climate Change Adaptation Policy, Olexiy Kyrychenko, CERGE-EI, Prague
The Near-miss Effect of Forest Fires: Evidence from Western Australia, Maria Teresa Gonzalez Valencia, University of Birmingham
The Social Value of Offsets, Ben Groom, London School of Economics and Political Science & University of Exeter
Break: 14:30 - 14:45
Session 3: Preferences and Economic Valuation - 14:45 - 15:45
Chair: Silvia Ferrini, University of East Anglia
Environmental Valuation of Elements of Biodiversity in the Titicaca National Reserve, Diana Quispe, Universidad Nacional Micaela Bastidas of Apurímac
Testing the Stability of Preferences in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Three-Wave Cross Country Choice Experiment for Sustainable Chocolate Bars, Gaetano Grilli, University of East Anglia
What is the Value of EU Habitat and Species Maintenance Policy? From Model Results to Policy Uses, Silvia Ferrini, University of East Anglia
Break: 15:45 - 16:00
Session 4: Working in a Multidisciplinary World - 16:00 - 17:00
Chair: Ece Ozdemiroglu, eftec
Asif Noorani, Managing Partner, Epiphany Productions
Rosie Hails, Director of Nature & Science, National Trust
Nicola Beaumont, Head of Science, Sea, and Society, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Emily Aime, Senior Managing Editor, British Ecological Society
Topics discussed in this session will include building interdisciplinary teams, designing projects, and communication across disciplines. The session will aim to provide participants with skills and ideas to foster collaborations between economists and ecologists, and research users and creators.
Keynote: Emily McKenzie
Technical Director, TNFD (Taskforce on Nature Related Financial Disclosures)
The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) released the first version, a beta release, of its framework on 15 March. TNFD’s Technical Director, Emily McKenzie, will take the audience through TNFD’s mission and vision. She will outline the way the framework is set up and dive into its three main components.
A set of fundamental concepts and definitions for understanding nature and nature-related risks
A draft set of recommended nature-related disclosures that are closely aligned with the disclosures for climate-related risks produced by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Prototype guidance for corporates and financial institutions to support their internal assessments of nature-related risks and opportunities.
During the presentation, Emily will show how the TNFD framework aligns with and builds on existing initiatives as well as those that are under development, such as the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and a global baseline of sustainability reporting standards led by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).
She will also talk about TNFD’s open innovation approach, how market players can test the framework, and the upcoming iterations of TNFD’s framework that are due to be released in June 2022, October 2022, and February 2023. This iterative approach based on market testing will help maximise the relevance, usability, and effectiveness of TNFD’s final recommendations released in Q3 2023.
Session 1: Economics for Nature
The Value of Species Data in England
The value of environmental data is underexplored even though some studies have highlighted the significant benefits of collating data and the need for investment to support its use in decision-making.
In 2021, eftec and eCountability led a study, published by the Cabinet Office Geospatial Commission, on the benefits and costs of the species data pathway in England. A data pathway manages the flow of species data from where it is first collected into a form that is suitable and accessible for use in decision-making (e.g. through collating, verification and storage). The benefits of having the existing species data pathway relate to the improved decision-making it can inform. Species data plays a role in directing £billions of investment in the natural environment each year in the UK.
The study quantifies benefits to: (i) biodiversity, water framework directive and agricultural policies; (ii) management of invasive species; (iii) the land use planning system; (iv) reduced data search time; and (v) volunteering. Comparisons to the costs (covering the pathway’s capital, operating and user costs) suggest that the benefits of the species data pathway outweigh the estimated costs by over 10:1. This suggests that better investment in the species data system, such as implementing the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-useable) data principles, is a highly beneficial use of public money.
About Ian Dickie
Ian is a Director at eftec. His work covers natural capital accounting and investments, and the impacts of biodiversity and environmental policies. He has led the development of over 30 natural capital accounts for organisations in the public, private and third sectors. He managed over £2.5million of research for the UK Government, including the production of UK ecosystem accounts, economic analysis in impact assessments for multiple suites of MPA designations in Scotland; modelling of the expected BNG market; and economic evidence for prioritising investment in natural capital. Further, he led the development of Greater Manchester’s Natural Capital Investment Plan, and is an author of the Natural Capital Protocol, and UNDP’s 2016 Biodiversity finance guide.
Delivering Connective Nature Based Solutions: Barriers Faced by Farmers and Potential Solutions
Diane Burgess, AFBI, Northern Ireland
Creating networks of Nature Based Solutions (NBS), such as riparian zones and the planting of trees/ wildflower margins have the potential to deliver economic benefits to both landowners and wider society, the latter attracting funding from agri-environment schemes. This presentation provides highlights from the Interreg project “ALICE” which explored the barriers facing the implementation of NBS and identifies potential solutions. It reports the findings of a qualitative study of landowners undertaken within the Carlingford Lough Catchment which lies on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, identifying the barriers faced by farmers and the potential role of intermediaries in the development of connective-NBS.
About Diane Burgess
Diane is an environmental economist working on the interface between the environment and economics, providing evidence to support policy makers in Northern Ireland to bring the environment into decision making. Natural capital is central to her work. She is particularly interested in the relationship between the environment and society from an economic perspective. For her, society and environment are not separate entities: "what we do as humans affects the environment as much as it affects us". Her work involves exploring these links to improve valuation studies and to understand the barriers and solutions faced by the providers of ecosystem services.
Ecological and Economic Implications of Alternative Metrics in Biodiversity Offset Markets
Biodiversity offsets are increasingly seen as a valuable tool for achieving net gain or no net loss targets in the face of development pressures on land. One of the key design parameters of markets for offset credits is the metric, or currency, which they are traded in – in other words, how are biodiversity gains and losses quantified? Using an ecological-economic modelling framework, our study shows that there are significant economic and ecological implications depending on whether a habitat-based or a species-based metric is chosen. This research is part funded by the European Commission under the Effect project (817903). The paper is a joint work with Katherine Simpson, Paul Armsworth, Martin Dallimer and Frans de Vries.
About Nicholas Hanley
Nick Hanley is Professor of Environmental and One Health Economics at the University of Glasgow. The research group specializes in the application of economic methods to biodiversity conservation, human and animal disease management, invasive species, and sustainable development. He is assistant editor of Resource and Energy Economics, Q Open (an Open Access Journal of Agriculture, Climate, Environmental, Food, Resource, and Rural Development Economics) and Ecological Economics. He is a member of Defra’s Science Advisory Council.
Power Lunch Sessions
In each of these sessions, a pair of experts will share their experience with networking, narratives and visual arts to showcase how economists can use these to increase the impact of their research.
Power of Networking: 11:45 - 12:05
What is the role of networking in resolving some of our most complex challenges in the stewardship of land, water, and nature? In this informal 'fireside' conversation, Dr Bruce Howard, Director of the UK-wide Ecosystems Knowledge Network, and Jenny Phelps MBE, Senior Farm Conservation Adviser at the Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group in South West England will share their insight. They will speak of their work in harnessing the expertise and experience of diverse professionals... including environmental economists!
Bruce and Jenny will discuss:
The emergence of networking in their careers
The impact of networking in their experience
The future of networking in stewardship of land, water, and nature
About Jenny Phelps
Jenny Phelps is a Senior Farm Environment Advisor and team leader for the Gloucestershire Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group. She is a member of Defra’s Environmental Land Management Scheme Advisory Board; Trustee for the Foundation for Common Land; Lead Facilitator on the Farmer Guardians of the Upper Thames Facilitation Fund; Lead partner for UK Soil Farm Carbon Code, and Lead on the Upper Thames Catchment Partnership and Cotswolds Payments for Ecosystem Services Defra pilot in association with the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI). In 2016, she was awarded an MBE for ‘Engaging Communities in Environmental Protection’.
About Bruce Howard
Bruce Howard's work focus for the past 15 years has been to bring different organisations and professions together to tackle environment-related challenges. Linking the condition of the environment with 'big issues' in society, such as health and economic development, has been an important part of this. He led the development the Ecosystems Knowledge Network (launched in 2012) and set it up as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation in 2015. Bruce has the experience of work in local authority, in consultancy, in academia, and in the non-profit sector. Bruce originally trained as a landscape architect.
Power of Narratives - What's Your Story?: 12:10 - 12:30
“Stories create community, enable us to see through the eyes of other people, and open us to the claims of others” – Peter Forbes
Why are narratives important? How can you use narratives and tell your story in the environmental space? Secil Honeywill, Founder of WriteNow Berlin, and Ece Ozdemiroglu, Founding Director of eftec, will discuss these questions as well as their experience communicating narratives through varying mediums and styles to different audiences.
About Secil Honeywill
Secil Honeywill is the founder of WriteNow Berlin, a Berlin-based playwriting platform. This year, she is running the Climate Acts programme that encourages people to write short plays about the climate crisis in ways that are thought provoking and empowering instead of demoralising and paralyzing.
About Ece Ozdemiroglu FRSA
Ece is the Founding Director of eftec. She is a Member of the UK Climate Change Committee working on Adaptation and of the Scottish First Minister's Environment Council. She is also the Chair of the British Standards Institute’s Assessing and Valuing Natural Capital Committee. Ece is an environmental economist specialising in valuing natural capital assets and using this evidence in accounting and appraisal. She communicates evidence through her Associate Editor position for the Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy and through co-editing or co-authoring 11 books.
Power of Visual Arts: 12:35 - 12:55
Why are visual arts important in changing minds and inspiring learning? How can visual arts be utilised to communicate complex topics in the environmental space? Prof. Robert Fish and Holly McKelvey will discuss these questions in the context of their collaborative experience producing the new graphic book: Valuing Nature: The Roots of Transformation.
About Rob Fish
Rob Fish is a social scientist and human geographer, based at the University of Kent. Rob has published widely on the social-cultural and participatory dimensions of natural resource management and has played a prominent role in the elaboration of interdisciplinary approaches to the valuation of nature within environmental policy and decision making. He is a founding lead editor of the British Ecological Society’s People and Nature: a journal of relational thinking.
About Holly McKelvey
Holly McKelvey is an illustrator and visual science communicator based in Freiburg, Germany, whose travels as well as her background in geology and ecology flavour her art on the relationship between humans and nature. Her work has been published in the British Ecological Society’s magazine The Niche, and she has collaborated with German Watch and PAN Germany, among others. She is also a founding editor and illustrator for Stonecrop Review, a literary magazine on urban nature.
Session 2: Economics for Climate Change
Decomposition of the Temperature-driven Output Losses in India: Plant-level Evidence for the Climate Change Adaptation Policy
In my paper I empirically examine mechanisms underlying the temperature-output relationship and their potential role in adaptation to the warming climate. Combining plant-level manufacturing data from 1998-2007 with satellite-based estimates for meteorological conditions and air pollution, I find that the temperature-output relationship exhibits an inverted V-shape and that the output losses can be reduced by lowering the sensitivity of labor productivity to temperature and investments in machinery. Labor-related adjustments can offset direct productivity losses or facilitate labor reallocation.
About Olexiy Kyrychenko
Olexiy is a Ph.D. Candidate in Economics and a Junior Researcher at CERGE-EI Prague. He will be joining the Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University as an Assistant Professor. Recently, Olexiy was awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship. He held visiting positions at UC Berkeley (Environmental Economics) and Princeton University (Health and Wellbeing). Further, he held various teaching, research, and administrative positions at Zaporizhzhia National Technical University and obtained a CSc. in International Economic Relations.
The Near-miss Effect of Forest Fires: Evidence from Western Australia
Maria Teresa Gonzalez Valencia, PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham, UK
In this paper, we aim to identify the near-miss effect of the devastating Waroona fire in Western Australia, 2016, i.e., the capitalisation of pure information effects into property prices for properties that luckily escaped the fire. To capture implicit variations in perceived safety correlated with the information updates from the forest fire occurrence, we use the hedonic price method. Moreover, we use difference-in-difference as empirical identification strategy to determine causality. Compared to existing hedonic analyses of the impact of forest fires we distinguish between areas that received emergency warning alerts and areas that are merely close to the burn scar. More specifically, we argue that proximity to the burn scar controls for disamenity impacts of the fire (e.g., changed landscape) whilst emergency warnings control for pure information updates only. We present evidence suggesting that the disamenity impact of forest fires and the near-miss effect are empirically different.
About Maria Teresa Gonzalez Valencia
Maria Teresa Gonzalez is a PhD Candidate in Economics at the University of Birmingham and Forest Edge scholar. Her interests lie in understanding the links between environmental and socioeconomic outcomes. Maria Teresa’s thesis focuses on the impacts of forest fire events, management and public policy on perceived safety as revealed by market outcomes. Before joining the University of Birmingham as a PhD student, she worked in academia and as consultant for the World Bank, in Lima (Peru).
The Social Value of Offsets
In this paper we develop a simple pricing formula to establish the value of the damages averted by offsetting when offsets are i) impermanent; ii) at risk of failure (force majeure or property rights failure); and iii) at risk of being non-additional: do nothing to prevent climate change compared to the counterfactual. The SVO lies between zero and the Social Cost of Carbon and we present a matrix of adjustment factors that can be applied to any offset with sufficient project level information. The crucial insight is that although offsets, particularly nature-based offsets, may be risky, impermanent and otherwise have non-additionality risks, their social value could well be positive due to the value of delaying emissions. Being low cost, nature-based solutions could therefore form a legitimate and cost-effective part of any net-zero policy.
About Ben Groom
Ben works at the Department of Economics at Exeter from the London School of Economics as the Dragon Capital Chair in Biodiversity Economics. He is a member of the HM Treasury Biodiversity Working Group which is tasked with looking at how to ensure biodiversity is accounted for in Cost-Benefit-Analyses of public policy and investment. He consults on intergenerational equity and the environment and has written reports to HM Treasury, the Office of National Statistics, the Department of Transport, and international organisations such as the OECD and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Session 3: Preferences and Economic Valuation
Environmental Valuation of Elements of Biodiversity in the Titicaca National Reserve
Biodiversity conservation is one of the main policy targets in Peru. This paper studies whether there are significant differences in the valuation of elements of biodiversity in the Titicaca’s National Reserve, Peru, using a monetary and non-monetary approach in different population groups (urban and rural). We used choice experiments to estimate the implicit prices associated with each of the biodiversity’s attributes. Our results show that in the monetary approach, the willingness to pay (WTP) for elements of biodiversity is higher in the urban compared to the rural areas while in the non-monetary approach, this WTP is higher in rural areas compared to urban areas. This seems to be correlated with the direct use of the resources by the communities and the degree of market development.
About Diana Quispe
Diana holds a PhD in Economics of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development from the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in Peru. Currently, she is a Research Professor at the Universidad Nacional Micaela Bastidas in Apurímac. Her research focuses on the economic valuation of biodiversity, peasant economy, environmental economics and social conflicts.
Testing the Stability of Preferences in the Time of Covid-19: A Three-Wave Cross Country Choice Experiment for Sustainable Chocolate Bars
Gaetano Grilli, University of East Anglia, UK
The paper tests the reliability of stated preference applications for informing policy decisions. It explores whether the Covid-19 pandemic impacted individual preferences over time, in particular pro-social and pro-self components associated with food consumption. Using chocolate as a product that holds trade-offs between pro-self and pro-social preferences, the study shows the stability of preferences and welfare values in choice experiments conducting choice experiement surveys in the UK and Colombia at 3 different points in time about preferences and WIP for sustainable chocolate.
About Gaetano Grilli
Gaetano Grilli is Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE), University of East Anglia. His research interests include ecosystem services valuation, discrete choice models, measurement of wellbeing and inequality, natural capital accounting. Gaetano will present results from a choice experiment aimed at testing the stability over time of individual preferences and willingnessto-pay values during the Covid-19 pandemic and health crisis using a case study on sustainable chocolate consumption in UK and Colombia.
What is the Value of EU Habitats and Species Maintenance Policy? From Model Results to Policy Uses
The paper presents a set of economic tools to measure and value biodiversity for policy decision making. Biophysical estimates of habitat and species maintenance are coherent with ecological indicators and accounting principles and stated preference estimates of economic value of biodiversity are derived from a choice experiment, a benefit transfer method and simulated exchanges methods. The policy use of these estimates are critically discussed in the paper with the aim to improve land use planning and management.
About Silvia Ferrini
Silvia Ferrini works at CSERGE as a Senior Research Associate, on projects such as the UK-NEA II and for the Natural Capital Committee. She holds a PhD in Applied Statistics from the University of Florence. As an applied economist, she valued water quality improvements under the Aquamoney (EU-F6) and the ChREAM projects. Her key research interests and expertise are evaluation techniques, environmental and resource economics, discrete choice models, experimental design, simulation methods, and decision theory.
Session 4: Working in a Multidisciplinary World
In this session, topics discussed included building interdisciplinary teams, designing projects, communication across disciplines, and interdisciplinary work to persuasively communicate research. The session provided participants with skills and ideas to foster collaborations between economists and ecologists, and research users and creators. Our speakers were:
Emili Aimé. Emilie is a Senior Managing Editor at the British Ecological Society with over 12 years’ experience working in academic publishing. She looks after the strategic development of several BES journals including People and Nature. She also works on several broader projects in academic publishing including on open data and publication and research ethics.
Prof. Rosie Hails. Professor Rosie Hails MBE FRSB is an ecologist and Nature and Science Director at the National Trust, holding honorary chairs at Exeter and Cranfield Universities. Her role is to develop the Trust’s nature strategy, research portfolio, and advise on science evidence relevant to Trust decision making. She is a member of Defra’s Science Advisory Council, chairing the Biodiversity Targets Advisory Group, Council member of the RSPB, Chair of the Woodmeadow Trust Steering Group and Trustee of the John Innes Foundation and sits on several advisory boards.
Asif Noorani. Asif co-founded Epiphany Productions to foster creativity and collaboration across the domains of art, science, engineering, and design. As Digital Democracy Champion for the Speaker's Digital Democracy Commission, author of two Digital Transformation Guides, and independent Governor of the University of Worcester, he delivers speeches and seminars to empower organisations to absorb uncertainty and thrive in a complex world.
Prof. Nicola Beaumont. Nicola is Head of Science for the Sea and Society team at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory. Her expertise in valuing and assessing biodiversity and ecosystem services is backed by her sustained publication record and her contribution to high level reports such as the NEA. She has honorary professorships at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, and the College of Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter.
Ece Özdemiroğlu FRSA. Ece is the Founding Director of eftec. She is a Member of the UK - Climate Change Committee working on Adaptation and of the Scottish First Minister's Environment Council. Ece is an environmental economist specialising in valuing natural capital assets and using this evidence in accounting and appraisal. Believing that communicating evidence is just as important as gathering it, she enjoys speaking to, and writing for, different audiences and bringing academic and applied research together.