Economics of natural capital and ecosystem services
IVM is part of a consortium of 14 research institutions implementing the MOVE project, to facilitate mapping and assessing the state of ecosystems and their services (MAES) in Europe’s Outermost Regions (ORs) and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). MOVE is being funded by the DG Environment of the European Commission to support the implementation of Action 5 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy. MAES is important for the advancement of biodiversity objectives, and also to inform the development and implementation of related policies, on water, climate, agriculture, forest, and regional planning. EU ORs and OCTs are located at distance from continental Europe but their richness in biodiversity is of utmost importance for EU Member States, and therefore, special attention is dedicated to them within MAES through the MOVE project.
Cleaning marine Litter by developing and Applying Innovative Methods (CLAIM) is an EU Horizon 2020 project whose remit is to find new ways of tackling pollution in marine areas, with a specific focus on the Mediterranean and the Baltic Seas.
With millions of tons of plastic litter dumped into marine environments, marine litter increased twenty-fold in the last 50 years, according to CLAIM. Now a widely known environmental issue, plastic litter has been detected worldwide in all major marine habitats, in sizes from microns to meters.
IVM is leading a work package in CLAIM with a focus on the social and economic implications of the new technologies being developed. This work package involves cost effectiveness analysis, legal and policy frameworks, stakeholder acceptance and public preferences, and novel business models. This research will culminate in an integrated assessment of environmental, social and economic impacts of CLAIM technologies. IVM has a team of five researchers working on CLAIM, two senior staff, two junior researchers and one PhD candidate.
Contact information: Prof. Pieter van Beukering.
In this project we value a range of ecosystem services in two locations along the Ghanaian coast. The first location is the urban area of Tema, where we more specifically look into the link between the (currently expanding) port and ecosystem services in order to provide indications on how the port could be designed more sustainably. These efforts are part of the Sustainable Ports in Africa project which incorporates an integrated approach to port design that is stakeholder-inclusive and furthermore also encompasses engineering, ecological and governance aspects besides the by IVM covered economic aspect.
The second location is the Volta delta, a rural area that is dealing with substantial erosion issues next to degrading ecosystems on which large parts of the population depends. For this effort we collaborate with IUCN-NL and The Development Institute. Central to this study was the implementation of a household survey in both locations, for which around 1,200 households were interviewed between October 2018 and April 2019. The results of this household survey show that the coastal ecosystem services are highly valued by local populations and we provide guidance on future management practices along the Ghanaian coast, in urban as well as rural contexts. Results of the study are summarized in the policy brief and report that can be accessed via the links below.
Policy Brief: Hagedoorn, L.C., Appeanning Addo, K., Koetse, M., Kinney, K. & van Beukering, P. (2020). Welfare effects of protecting the Volta delta against erosion.
Report: Hagedoorn, L., Kinney, K., van Beukering, P., Adzah, S., Koetse, M., Commodore, T., Appeanning Addo, K., Apom, B., Simons, H. & Kamstra, J. (2020). Economicvaluation of ecosystem
services at the Ghanaian coast.
ESMERALDA's flexible methodology on mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services contributes to protecting the planet's ecological services. The objective of ESMERALDA is to share experience through an active process of dialogue and knowledge co-creation that will enable participants to achieve the aims of Action 5 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy. ESMERALDA created innovative strategies to facilitate European national and regional mapping for the effective assessment of ecosystems and their services. The project contributes to healthy ecosystems, which help mitigate the impacts of climate change, while supporting a green economy, creating job opportunities and enhancing biodiversity. ESMERALDA receives funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
Contact information: Prof. Pieter van Beukering
Urban food systems and ecosystems (UFSE) demand immediate action. The main goal of CITIES2030 is to create a future-proof and effective UFSE via a connected structure centred around the citizen, built on trust, and with partners encompassing the entire UFSE. CITIES2030 commits to working towards the transformation and restructuring of the way systems produce, transport and supply, recycle and reuse food in the 21st century. CITIES2030 vision is to connect short food supply chains, gathering cities and regions, consumers, strategic and complement industry partners, the civil society, promising start-ups and enterprises, innovators and visionary thinkers, leading universities and research across the vast diversity of disciplines addressing UFSE, including food science, social science and big data. CITIES2030 actively encourages the participation of citizens, moving consumers from being passive recipients to active engagement and motivated change agents.
Contact information: Dr Mark Koetse.
Current production and consumption of food have come at alarming environmental and health costs (e.g. nitrogen crisis, unhealthy diets). In cooperation with food system stakeholders, this project explores the characteristics of sustainable food systems, and pathways to accelerate transition to a healthy and sustainable food system in the Netherlands.
Contact information: Dr Mark Koetse.
The aim of the EU-DG Environment funded project Trade Liberalisation and Biodiversity was to provide a methodological framework for assessing the impact of EU Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) on biodiversity. The methodology outlines a stepwise process on how to set up and carry out an assessment of the impacts of trade liberalisation on biodiversity in a structured and consistent manner, with a special focus on quantifying the impacts. The methodology is designed to be implemented as part of the Commission’s overall trade impact assessment process, both before and/or during the trade negotiations (ex-ante) and when trade agreements are in place (ex-post). It is flexible to be used in the context of various types of agreements and partner countries. In this project IVM cooperated with the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), Trinomics, and the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC).
Report: IEEP, Trinomics, IVM and UN Environment WCMC (2021). Methodology for assessing the impacts of trade agreements on biodiversity and ecosystems. Service contract for the European Commission (No 07.0202/2019/812941/SER/ENV.D.2), Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), Brussels/London. (under embargo till 15 April 2021).
Similar to many other Caribbean coastal wetlands, the Simpson Bay Lagoon in Saint Martin suffers from heavy development, wastewater pollution, and overexploitation. To show the environmental, societal, and economic importance of the Simpson Bay Lagoon, three scientific assessments have been conducted over the period March 2019 to June 2019, respectively focussing on the three pillars of the Triple Bottom Line – Planet, People & Profit. Central in these three studies was the implementation of a household survey in Saint Martin, in which 219 households were interviewed about how they perceive and value the Simpson Bay Lagoon. The results of the three studies signify that the rehabilitation of the lagoon’s ecosystem would greatly benefit the long-term economic, environmental, and social wellbeing of Saint Martin.
Client: This report was commissioned by Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC), https://epicislands.org/index.html
With the Dream Fund project (i.e. Droomfondsproject) Haringvliet six nature organizations invest in Haringvliet’s nature, landscape and recreational infrastructure. The idea behind this project is that a simultaneous improvement of the natural environment of Haringvliet and its recreational use benefits the local economy and regional quality of life. The Institute for Environmental Studies, Blueconomy and Wageningen University jointly address the question: “What are the societal benefits of the Haringvliet dream fund project and can these benefits be increased in the future through far-reaching nature and recreational development of the area? To answer this question, this study evaluated three future scenarios for the Haringvliet area on their effects on the Triple Bottom Line (i.e. Planet, People, and Profit).
Contact information: Prof. Pieter van Beukering
Climate change economics
The aim of the project is to contribute to the design of new flood insurance arrangements that offer sufficient coverage and incentivize flood risk reduction. To do so, this project will advance our scientific understanding of developments in flood risks and related uncertainties, economic evaluation of insurance arrangements, and individual behaviour with respect to flood risks. This research will have implications for other low-probability/high-impact risks.
Contact information: Prof. Wouter Botzen
In an interconnected world, Europe’s economy will be increasingly affected by climate change impacts that occur beyond its border. The movement of goods and services, people and capital occurs at ever increasing rates and volumes. This complex network reveals Europe’s globalized climate exposure, vulnerability and risk structure, through which both gradual and sudden impacts of climatic features at any location on the world (hurricanes, droughts, melting ice sheets) propagate, ultimately impacting Europe’s socio-economic welfare.
Contact information: Prof. Wouter Botzen
The project includes:
- a comprehensive assessment of climate adaptation model and tool methods, including recommendations for future research and a database detailing the use of individual models and tools,
- a recommended approach for future work on climate adaptation to inform the next EU Commission climate adaptation strategy,
- a series of use cases and case studies to highlight the potential application of rapid analysis of reviewed models and tools for policy and decision making.
This study was conducted in collaboration with Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC), Deltares, Paul Watkiss Associates (PWA).
CO-designing the Assessment of Climate CHange costs (COACCH) is an EU H2020 project that aims to produce an improved downscaled assessment of the economic costs of climate change in Europe that is of direct use to end users from the research, business, investment, and policy making community. Damage costs are assessed with a «sectoral» perspective including agriculture, fishery, forestry, infrastructure and transportation, trade, health, and ecosystems. Climate and socio-economic «tipping points» are identified and their consequences are assessed under different climate and socio-economic scenarios. IVM contributes to the project with its integrated assessment models DIFI and CLIMRISK.
Contact information: Prof. Wouter Botzen and Dr Onno Kuik.
Policy brief 1: The Economic Cost of Climate Change in Europe: Synthesis Report on State of Knowledge and Key Research Gaps. Policy brief by the COACCH project. Editors: Paul Watkiss, Jenny Troeltzsch, Katriona McGlade. Published May, 2018.
Policy brief 2: The Economic Cost of Climate Change in Europe: Synthesis Report on Interim Results. Policy brief by the COACCH project. Editors: Paul Watkiss, Jenny Troeltzsch, Katriona McGlade, Michelle Watkiss. Published October, 2019.
For the municipal Courts of Auditors in Breda and Wageningen IVM has carried out evaluation studies on the climate policies of these cities. Both have ambitious climate objectives, but the studies show that additional efforts will be needed to achieve them. The reports can be found here for Breda and here for Wageningen.
Contact information: Frans Oosterhuis.
Climate change is projected to increase the frequency and severity of heat stress in many regions. Temperature rise as a result of climate change is expected to have major impacts on human health, and mortality in particular. Death tolls from heat may rise due to climate change when humans are unable to adapt to the heat. This has economic implications since it has been estimated that climate change impacts on health have large costs. This seed money project of the Amsterdam Sustainability Institute project aims to improve upon existing mortality projections for Europe, by conducting a comprehensive analysis of how global warming is expected to affect future mortality in cities, while accounting for the additional warming from the Urban Heat Island. We will produce probabilistic temperature projections that account for their uncertainty originating from climate sensitivity and warming projections from different Global Circulation Models. Moreover, we will update temperature-mortality curves and improve the realism of assumptions about adaptation to warming based on findings from a previous Amsterdam Sustainability Institute (ASI) project, and recent estimates from other literature.
This project is a collaboration between Prof. Wouter Botzen and Predrag Ignjacevic of IVM and Prof. Hein Daanen and Mireille Folkerts of the Department Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, VU Amsterdam.
The aim of this seed money project of the Amsterdam Sustainability Institute is to improve our understanding of the drivers of climate-related human mortality in the Netherlands, vulnerable subgroups of the population, and the economic valuation of climate change impacts on mortality. Improved insights into the meteorological causes of mortality and vulnerable subgroups can aid the design of adaptation policies to limit mortality during extreme weather conditions, such as early warning systems and heat emergency management plans. Estimates of the economic costs of climate change related mortality can contribute to awareness of the impacts of climate change and serve as input for cost-benefit analyses of climate change adaptation and mitigation policies. Economic studies have found that health risks make up a substantial proportion of the economic impacts of heat in cities and from climate change in general, which highlights there is an economic rationale for improving our understanding of drivers and mitigating factors of climate-related mortality.
In the Netherlands, global warming is generally expected to reduce cold-related mortality in the winter, and increase heat-related mortality in the summer. However, existing studies about the relationship between mortality and temperature in the Netherlands are rather old and use outdated time series. Shortcomings in these existing studies, which only looked at simple relations of mortality with temperature, that we address in our project are that we will examine more comprehensively how climate-related mortality is influenced by a variety of weather indexes and variables, which-subgroups of the population are most vulnerable to these extreme weather conditions, and whether adaptation to changing climate conditions occurs. Moreover, we will build upon these new insights by estimating the expected mortality impacts from climate change and assesses these in economic terms.
This project is a collaboration between Prof. Wouter Botzen and Predrag Ignjacevic of the IVM and Prof. Hein Daanen and Mireille Folkerts of the Department Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, VU Amsterdam.
- Botzen, W.J.W., Martinius, M.L., Bröde, P., Folkerts, M.A., Ignjacevic, P., Estrada, F., Harmsen, C.N. & Daanen, H.A.M. (2020). Economic valuation of climate change induced mortality: Age dependent cold and heat mortality in the Netherlands. Climatic Change, 162, 545–562.
- Folkerts, M.A., Bröde, P., Botzen, W.J.W. Martinius, M.L., Gerrett, N., Harmsen, C.N. & Daanen, H.A.M. (2020). Long term adaptation to heat stress: Shifts in the minimum mortality temperature in the Netherlands. Frontiers in Physiology, 11, 225.
The Helix project aims to contribute to the design of new flood insurance arrangements that offer sufficient coverage and incentivize flood risk reduction. To do so, this project will advance our scientific understanding of developments in flood risks and related uncertainties, economic evaluation of insurance arrangements, and individual behaviour with respect to flood risks. This research will have implications for other low-probability/high-impact risks. This project has received funding from the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration.
Contact information: Prof. Wouter Botzen
Economics of sustainable energy
In its most recent Energy Union package, the European Union puts citizens at the core of the clean energy transitions. Beyond policy, disruptive innovations in energy sectors are challenging the traditional business model of large energy utilities. One such disruptive, social innovation is the emergence of new clean energy communities (‘newcomers’). The possible benefits of these ‘newcomers’ for their members and for society at large are still emerging and their potential to support the goals of the Energy Union is unclear.
Contact information: Dr Julia Blash
The energy-efficient renovation of residential homes is one of the big challenges in the Netherlands. According to the Dutch Climate Agreement 7.4 million homes and 1 million buildings will have to be renovated by 2050, and natural-gas using heating systems have to be fully replaced by alternative heating systems. The first 1.5 million existing homes need to be renovated by 2030. To increase the renovation rate, the barriers for energy-efficient renovations need to be overcome. While the slow renovation rate can partly be attributed to market failures such as lack of information, split incentives and credit constraints, also behavioural biases (e.g. high subjective discount rates, risk and loss aversion, status-quo bias) inhibit investments in energy-efficiency. To overcome these behavioural barriers, instruments like financial incentives or interventions that appeal to people’s behavioural biases need to be implemented. As high up-front cost and lack of trust were identified as perceived major barriers for energy-efficient renovations, behavioural interventions need to enhance trust and address the renovation measures’ relative costs and benefits. Behavioural research can provide solutions, yet these will be most effective if they are aligned with the practical insights and needs from the business and public sector. In this project, we collaborate with the scale-up company De Energiebespaarders to test different price and non-price interventions to increase the adoption of efficient home energy audits, as a first step towards an energy-efficient renovation.
Contact Information: Dr Julia Blash, Dr Menusch Khadjavi and Dr Giuliani Spadaro.