Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (CEENRG) continues its weekly CEENRG Seminar Series throughout the 2023-2024 academic year. Our seminars are informal and friendly talks allowing discussion of on-going work for early career researchers, senior academics, and policymakers. Presenters are expected to speak for 30-45 mins to allow substantial time for discussion. Talks focus on issues in law, policy and governance of climate change, environment and energy. All are welcome!

In 2024 Easter term, our weekly seminars continue to take place in a hybrid format: in person in the David Attenborough Building (DAB) and online in Zoom every Thursday at 3-4 pm*,**,***,**** (UK time) between 24 April and 24 June 2024. We warmly invite our colleagues in Cambridge to attend the seminars in person in the DAB - no registration needed. Alternatively, if you would like to join any of the seminars online via Zoom, please register using this online form. Upon registering, you will receive an e-mail with the Zoom meeting link on the day of the respective seminar.

The full programme of the 2024 Easter term CEENRG Seminar Series, including time and location of each seminar, can be found in the 2024 Easter Term Card below, or in a poster format here.

* Joint CEENRG/CCI Conservation Seminar on 24 April with Dr Ivan Hajdukovic took place on Wednesday (rather than Thursday) at lunchtime from 12 to 1 pm.

** Seminar on 6 June with Francesco Scarazzato takes places one hour later than usual, from 4 to 5 pm.

*** Seminar on 13 June with Jorge Ossandon Rosales takes places at lunchtime from 12 to 1 pm (rather than the usual 3-4 pm time).

**** Seminar on 24 June with Prof. Yuval Feldman takes places on Monday (rather than Thursday) at 3-4 pm.

CEENRG Seminars - Easter Term 2024

  • 24 April 2024* - Dr Ivan Hajdukovic [Joint CEENRG / CCI Conservation Seminar]

    Dr Ivan Hajdukovic
    Researcher, Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association
    A sustainable financing scheme for agroforestry in Europe
    Time: 12-1 pm. Hybrid: in-person in Main Seminar Room (1.25) in DAB + online in Zoom

    Abstract: This presentation outlines a sustainable financing scheme for agroforestry, emphasising payments for ecosystem service. Agroforestry is a multifunctional system that can play an important role in advancing the objectives of the European Green Deal, given its known environmental, economic and social benefits. To promote the uptake of agroforestry in Europe, it is essential to develop innovative financial instruments and policies based on payments for ecosystems, which recognise the co-benefits of agroforestry practices and reward farmers for providing them. In this context, this study proposes a scheme that integrates ex-ante payments, action-based payments, result-based payments, and advisory services. The scheme is underpinned by key design principles and aims to overcome financial and knowledge barriers, while being practical and flexible, to accommodate different local conditions and project scales. Building on this framework, I propose a methodological approach structured around six key steps to effectively design and implement a sustainable financing scheme for agroforestry. These include identifying environmental results related to ecosystem services, mapping land management practices, estimating associated costs, identifying financing mechanisms, developing measurable indicators, and setting payment rates based on an economic valuation of ecosystem services. The study then examines potential public and private financing mechanisms for agroforestry, emphasising the need to combine different sources of funding to cover the costs of establishing and managing agroforestry systems, rewarding farmers for environmental results, and providing advisory services to farmers. It proposes a flexible approach to setting payment rates based on the costs of implementing specific land management practices and/or on an economic valuation of ecosystem services. The practical application of the scheme in the living labs as part of the ReForest project will ensure real-world case studies and thorough testing of the scheme to tailor it to the needs and local conditions of agroforestry practitioners.

  • 9 May 2024 - Erik Grigoryan

    Erik Grigoryan
    Special Envoy of Armenia on Debt-for-Climate negotiations | Founder and CEO, Environment Group
    Debt-for-climate swap: An innovative climate finance mechanism
    Time: 3-4 pm. Hybrid: in-person in Weston Seminar Room (2.49) in DAB + online in Zoom

    Abstract: The challenge of climate change requires significant investments, but many developing countries are hindered by the burden of external debt. At the same time, developed countries are obligated under the Paris  Agreement to finance climate actions in developing countries with an  annual commitment of 100 billion USD. However, they have been unable to reach the target and have not fulfilled their obligations. A "Debt for Climate Swap" is an innovative approach to climate finance that allows climate-vulnerable countries to obtain financial resources to implement mitigation and adaptation measures. This mechanism proposes reallocating the debt to climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives that align with the debtor's Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement. The parties involved in a debt-for-climate swap will guarantee that the funds allocated towards climate adaptation and mitigation efforts are recorded and acknowledged by the UNFCCC Secretariat within the framework of the creditor's commitment under the Paris Agreement.

  • 16 May 2024 - Dr Liliia Bilous

    Dr Liliia Bilous
    Visiting Fellow, Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University
    Barriers to Green Hydrogen technology development and deployment: the case of Australia
    Time: 3-4 pm. Hybrid: in-person in Manatee Room (1.41) in DAB + online in Zoom

    Abstract: Each country chooses its own path towards the transition to net zero. This paper focuses on the features of Australia's transition to net zero through the implementation of hydrogen initiatives. Australia aims for global leadership in hydrogen technologies, as it states in its strategy. It is also a country-continent with a unique geographical position, surrounded by oceans, which gives it many advantages, as well as a number of notable challenges that create barriers to the introduction and implementation of energy technologies. Through the analysis of the database of suspended and closed hydrogen projects,  I identify how these challenges translate into specific barriers to the development and deployment of green hydrogen technologies in Australia.

  • 23 May 2024 - Dr Katinka Johansen

    Dr Katinka Johansen
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Lund University | Visiting Scholar, CEENRG, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge
    To invest or not to invest in Danish wind farm cooperative? Stakeholder decision-making and rationalisation processes in the face of a renewable energy technology policy incentive and compensation scheme
    Time: 3-4 pm. Hybrid: in-person in Weston Seminar Room (2.49) in DAB + online in Zoom

    Abstract: This study explores stakeholder reactions and rationales as they face local renewable energy technology (RET)-related change processes. Two specific policy initiatives for the promotion of local engagement in and acceptance of new local RETs provide an empirical lens via which to explore how basic human phenomena and dynamics are triggered among the key stakeholders of these processes. Research data include in-depth qualitative enquiry and household specific survey data collected from 700 properties with known distances to the coast where the total of 344 MW, 41 x 200m offshore coastal wind farms were being deployed. The abductive research approach, and the creative synthesis of empirics and conceptual insights from mixed disciplinary turf provide evidence of phenomena such as loss aversion, the endowment effect, and value (in)commensurability.

  • 30 May 2024 - Dr Frieder Mitsch

    Dr Frieder Mitsch
    Postdoctoral Research Officer, London School of Economics and Political Science | Research Associate, Policy Evidence Unit for University Commercialisation and Innovation, University of Cambridge
    The political effects of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone
    Time: 3-4 pm. Hybrid: in-person in Weston Seminar Room (2.49) in DAB + online in Zoom

    Abstract: Abstract: This study contributes to the ongoing debate on whether there is a political backlash against green transition policies. The unexpected defeat of the Labour party in a recent by-election has been attributed to the expansion of London's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). Using a difference-in-difference methodology across two ULEZ expansion phases and three election sets, we find inconsistent political effects. In all scenarios, the Labour party experienced minor, statistically insignificant impacts. Green Party support fluctuated, while the Conservative party lost vote share in one election with no significant outcomes in the others. Individual-level analysis shows no discernible effects on political party support due to the 2017 ULEZ expansion announcement among those with non-compliant cars. Our study suggests caution in generalizing about the political effects of green policies based on mixed evidence from a single case, highlighting the complexity of establishing wider political consequences of such policies across different contexts.

  • 6 June 2024** - Francesco Scarazzato

    Francesco Scarazzato
    PhD Student, Vienna University of Economics and Business
    Causal effects of adverse temperature shocks on schooling outcomes in India
    Time: 4-5 pm. Hybrid: in-person in Weston Seminar Room (2.49) in DAB + online in Zoom

    Abstract: Do extreme weather events adversely affect the educational outcomes of kids in India? To address this question, we link records from primary school exams with information on local weather conditions, with a special focus on extreme heat. Preliminary results show that a constant increase in temperature by merely 0.5°C means a drop in the number of students passing the exam by 2% and a drop in the number of highest grades of almost 15%, hinting towards a sizable potential loss in human capital. The effect on the probability of passing the exam is increasingly negative for higher temperature brackets, and the effect is largest for days with a maximum temperature above 40°C. Furthermore, we show evidence that vegetation in the proximity of schools has a strong mitigating effect. These findings suggest that increasing vegetation in the vicinity of schools may foster adaptation to expected long-term changes in climate.

  • 13 June 2024*** - Jorge Ossandon Rosales

    Jorge Ossandon Rosales
    Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Chile | Associate Lawyer, Aylwin Estudio
    Delivering the European Green Deal in the energy sector: Between regulatory and competition law
    Time: 12-1 pm. Hybrid: in-person in Main Seminar Room (1.25) in DAB + online in Zoom

    Abstract: More or less regulation? More or less market? These questions cross several sectors of the European economy. The electricity market is no exception. From an era of state monopolies, through mixed models, to the complete liberalization of certain sectors of the energy market such as generation, this evolution has been justified by the reduction of monopoly inefficiencies and the increase of general welfare, mainly through the reduction of prices for system players. This has not been possible without a legal framework and rules that establish obligations for market players. In the design and control of these rules, EU member states move between regulatory law and competition law. This presentation aims to show how this evolution has taken place with the conflicts between areas of law that are not always compatible. The idea that the electricity market should move towards competition law as a pillar of its functioning is promoted, taking as an example the so-called ex-post models in the electricity industry of Sweden and Finland.

  • 20 June 2024 - Trevelyan Wing

    Trevelyan Wing
    Baltic Fellow, Cambridge Centre for Geopolitics | Centre Researcher, CEENRG, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge
    A transition from below? The role of citizen and community initiatives in Germany’s renewable energy revolution
    Time: 3-4 pm. Hybrid: in-person in Weston Seminar Room (2.49) in DAB + online in Zoom

    Abstract: This presentation explores the role of citizen/community initiatives in advancing Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ (alternatively translated as ‘energy transition’ or even ‘energy revolution’). Situating the transition in its historical context – rooted in the social movements of the 1970s – it examines how grassroots pressures prompted federal policy change, triggering complementary bottom-up/top-down dynamics that have facilitated a dramatic expansion of renewables nationwide, with over 50% of total installed renewable power generation capacity citizen-owned by the early 2010s. Changes to the Energiewende’s legal/regulatory frameworks are analyzed, as subsequent governments sought to control the growth of renewables and adjust the transition’s building blocks to prioritize market-oriented instruments, despite stiff opposition from below. Drawing on over 100 semi-structured interviews conducted with stakeholders involved in the Energiewende, among diverse other sources, this presentation sheds further light on the impact of ‘energy democracy’ initiatives in the evolution of this multidecadal transformation. Here, it contributes a fresh perspective regarding the interrelated nexus of sustained grassroots action, evolving policy, and shifting sociopolitical realities that form the context in which Germany’s Energiewende has been (re)launched, reformed, and reimagined over the decades.

  • 24 June 2024**** - Prof Yuval Feldman

    Prof Yuval Feldman
    The Mori Lazarof Professor of Legal Research, Bar-Ilan University
    Can we trust the public to protect the planet?
    Time: 3-4 pm. Hybrid: in-person in Main Seminar Room (1.25) in DAB + online in Zoom

    Abstract: While most research on trust in the context of regulation and compliance focuses on the decline of public trust in institutions, the forthcoming Cambridge University Press book "Can the Public Be Trusted: The Promise and Perils of Voluntary Compliance" by Yuval Feldman challenges this prevailing narrative by highlighting a neglected issue: the inability of governments to gauge the extent and quality of public cooperation with their policies. The book examines why voluntary compliance (VC), despite being viewed as more sustainable, beneficial to society, and of higher quality than coerced compliance, remains largely an unrealized ideal rather than a realistic normative and practical paradigm. By synthesizing interdisciplinary research spanning regulation theory, behavioral ethics, behavioral public policy, and social cooperation, the book analyzes the pros and cons of extensively adopting VC into the existing debate on new governance, regulation, and compliance. It explores which regulatory interventions are more likely to elicit higher quality compliance and why regulators often resort to monitoring and sanctions, even though these measures can undermine intrinsic motivation and yield suboptimal results over time.

    In this presentation, the general ideas discussed above will be illustrated through the particular insights from chapter 10 of the book, which focuses on voluntary environmental compliance. It will examine what is unique in environmental behavioral barriers to change, voluntary compliance in environmental contexts, and what's unique in environmental compliance in terms of trust in science, local vs. global harms, cooperation in purchasing behaviors, the prediction of behavior by environmental motivation, cultural aspects of environmental compliance, and the feeling of minorities that environmental policies harm their ways of life. The presentation will also explore the efficacy of voluntary components of ESG reporting regimes.

Past seminars

Use the file downloads below to view the posters for past seminar series