Environmental economics

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ambitious global targets exist for mangrove restoration. A meta-analysis reveals how mangrove restoration provides higher ecosystem benefits over unvegetated tidal flats, while generally lower than natural mangroves. Restoration outcomes, however, depend on restoration age, species and method.

    • Jie Su
    • , Daniel A. Friess
    •  & Alexandros Gasparatos
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate change is expected to have impacts on human mortality, e.g. through increases in heat waves. Here, the author proposes a new metric to account for excess deaths from additional CO2 emissions, which allows to assess the mortality impacts of marginal emissions and leads to a substantial increase in the social costs of carbon.

    • R. Daniel Bressler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    European Union’s vulnerability to climate change stretches far beyond its borders. Here the authors find that more than 44% of the EU agricultural imports will become highly vulnerable to drought in future because of climate change.

    • Ertug Ercin
    • , Ted I. E. Veldkamp
    •  & Johannes Hunink
  • Perspective
    | Open Access

    The ocean supports many livelihoods, but this is currently not sustainable with pressures on the climate and ecosystems. Here, in this perspective, the authors outline the barriers and solutions for financing a sustainable ocean economy.

    • U. Rashid Sumaila
    • , Melissa Walsh
    •  & Junjie Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Benefit-cost analyses of climate policies have generated conflicting assessments; as social welfare is affected by regional heterogeneity. Here the authors show that economically optimal pathways are consistent with climate stabilization but are characterized by persistent economic inequalities due to climate damages.

    • Paolo Gazzotti
    • , Johannes Emmerling
    •  & Massimo Tavoni
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Established climate mitigation modelling relies on controversial negative emissions and unprecedented technological change, but neglects to consider degrowth scenarios. Here the authors show that degrowth scenarios minimize many key risks for feasibility and sustainability and thus need to be thoroughly assessed.

    • Lorenz T. Keyßer
    •  & Manfred Lenzen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Agricultural sectors receive US$600 billion per year in government support, providing incentives for GHG emission-intensive production. Here, the authors show that removing this support will not reduce global GHG emissions by much; rather it will need to be radically redirected to contribute to climate change mitigation.

    • David Laborde
    • , Abdullah Mamun
    •  & Rob Vos
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Determining attractive response strategies for international climate policy is a complex task. Here, the authors develop a meta-model that disentangles the main uncertainties using full literature ranges and use it to directly compare the insights of the cost-minimising and cost-benefit modelling communities.

    • Kaj-Ivar van der Wijst
    • , Andries F. Hof
    •  & Detlef P. van Vuuren
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Recent technological, social, and educational changes are profoundly impacting our work, but what makes labour markets resilient to those labour shocks? Here, the authors show that labour markets resemble ecological systems whose resilience depends critically on the network of skill similarities between different jobs.

    • Esteban Moro
    • , Morgan R. Frank
    •  & Iyad Rahwan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The impacts of water scarcity depend on physical basin characteristics and global economic dynamics. Here, the authors show scenario assumptions can yield either highly positive or negative economic impacts due to water scarcity, and the drivers of these impacts are basin-specific and cannot be determined a priori.

    • Flannery Dolan
    • , Jonathan Lamontagne
    •  & Jae Edmonds
  • Article
    | Open Access

    BIPP with biochar sequestration is a ready-to-implement negative emission technology in China. Here, the authors show that its national deployment could contribute to a 61% reduction of carbon emissions per GDP in 2030 compared to 2005, and contribute 13–31% of the global biomass-based negative emission goal by 2050.

    • Qing Yang
    • , Hewen Zhou
    •  & Michael B. McElroy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Temperature changes as a result of climate change are expected to impact electric capacity and investment. Here, the authors show that in the United States under socioeconomic pathway 2 and RCP 8.5 mean temperature rises will drive increased electricity demand (0.5-8%) by 2100, along increases in capital investments by 3-22%.

    • Zarrar Khan
    • , Gokul Iyer
    •  & Marshall Wise
  • Article
    | Open Access

    As countries experience economic growth, diversification of economic activities may occur. Here, the authors develop a probabilistic model to examine the diversification of economic activities and how countries may move from small ecosystem products to advanced product clusters over time.

    • Neave O’Clery
    • , Muhammed Ali Yıldırım
    •  & Ricardo Hausmann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Agricultural greenhouse gas emissions not only amplify the global climate crisis, but cause damage currently unaccounted for by food prices. Here the authors show the calculation of prices with internalized climate costs for food categories and production systems, revealing strong market distortions.

    • Maximilian Pieper
    • , Amelie Michalke
    •  & Tobias Gaugler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Forests are critical for stabilizing our climate, but costs of mitigation remain uncertain. Here the authors show the global forest sector could reduce emissions by 6.0 GtCOyr−1 in 2055, or roughly 10% of the mitigation needed to limit warming to 1.5 °C by mid-century, at a cost of 393 billion USD yr−1, or $281/tCO2.

    • K. G. Austin
    • , J. S. Baker
    •  & A. Bean
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Due to legislative shortfalls, species of global conservation concern can still be captured in commercial fisheries. Here the authors show that 91 threatened species are reported in catch/landing databases, 13 of which are traded internationally despite their conservation concern.

    • Leslie A. Roberson
    • , Reg A. Watson
    •  & Carissa J. Klein
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In the light of nine Earth System Processes (ESPs) and the corresponding planetary boundaries, here the authors assessed the global environmental impact of a global carbon pricing in a multi-boundary world. They show that a global carbon tax would relieve pressure on most ESPs and it is therefore stronger in a multi-boundary world than when considering climate change in isolation.

    • Gustav Engström
    • , Johan Gars
    •  & Badri Narayanan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The environmental and socio-economic implications of the growth in welfare and trade in Asia-Pacific (APAC) remain unclear. Here the authors show that over the past two decades (1995–2015), owing to intraregional trade, the APAC economies have grown increasingly interdependent in natural resource use, air emissions, and labor and economic productivity.

    • Lan Yang
    • , Yutao Wang
    •  & Yuanbo Qiao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Because many primary commodities cause deforestation and deforestation can increase malaria transmission, international trade can thus indirectly influence malaria risk. Here the authors use trade databases for commodites associated with deforestation to demonstrate that consumption of such commodities in developed nations could increase malaria risk in developing nations.

    • Leonardo Suveges Moreira Chaves
    • , Jacob Fry
    •  & Manfred Lenzen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Partners who actually reduce global emissions can be penalized under carbon accounting methods based on production or consumption give an idea of responsibility. Here the authors propose a new framework, emission responsibility allotment that penalizes/credits those that increase/decrease global emissions.

    • Erik Dietzenbacher
    • , Ignacio Cazcarro
    •  & Iñaki Arto
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There are concerns that expansion of marine protected areas could have negative effects on the fishing industry. Here Lynham et al. demonstrate that the expansion of two of the world’s largest protected areas did not have a negative impact on catch rates in the Hawaii longline fishery.

    • John Lynham
    • , Anton Nikolaev
    •  & Juan Carlos Villaseñor-Derbez
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Relative economic benefits of achieving temperature targets have not properly accounted for damages at higher temperatures. Here the authors integrate dynamic cost-benefit analysis with a damage-cost curve and show that the Paris Climate Agreement constitutes the economically optimal policy pathway for the future.

    • Nicole Glanemann
    • , Sven N. Willner
    •  & Anders Levermann
  • Perspective
    | Open Access

    Parks have a previously unquantified economic value attributable to mental health, a health services value. Here, the authors proposed three methods to estimate this, and applied one of these methods to show that this value is at least US$6 trillion per annum worldwide.

    • Ralf Buckley
    • , Paula Brough
    •  & Neil Harris
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Irrigation buffers crop yields from extreme weather, but comes at environmental costs. Here the authors show that in India irrigation has improved wheat yield and reduced its sensitivity to heat, yet further increases are unlikely to offset the impact of warming.

    • Esha Zaveri
    •  & David B. Lobell
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is unclear what opportunities for policy evaluation can be created by various independent Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). Here the authors presented the firm-level evidence of policy effects directly from emissions trading and differential program designs in China and find that China’s pilots largely induced low-carbon innovation of ETS firms without crowding out other technology innovation.

    • Junming Zhu
    • , Yichun Fan
    •  & Lan Xue
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Multinational enterprises (MNE) play a key role in climate mitigation as the significance of the environmental impacts of MNE. Here the authors measured the carbon footprint of U.S. MNE affiliates throughout their global value chains and show their carbon footprint beyond borders at 0.5082 GtCO2 in 2009.

    • Luis-Antonio López
    • , María-Ángeles Cadarso
    •  & Guadalupe Arce
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Investment in watershed services programs is growing, however the factors that contribute to sustainability of such programs are unclear. Here the authors use a large database of cities around the world to show that payment schemes are more likely to be present in watersheds with more agricultural land and less protected areas.

    • Chelsie L. Romulo
    • , Stephen Posner
    •  & Robert I. McDonald
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The rapid growth of South–South trade reflects a new phase of globalization. Here the authors show that some energy-intensive production activities, particularly raw materials and intermediate goods, and related CO2 emissions are relocating from China and India to other developing countries.

    • Jing Meng
    • , Zhifu Mi
    •  & Steven J. Davis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Prioritising areas for conservation is hindered by disagreements over ecological targets. Here, Armsworth et al. combine a simulation approach and case study to test if considering economic return on investment aids in prioritisation, and find that its impact on reaching agreements varies greatly.

    • Paul R. Armsworth
    • , Heather B. Jackson
    •  & Nathan A. Sutton
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate change impacts in models used to calculate the social cost of carbon (SCC) are either poorly documented or based on a small number of dated studies. Here, the authors estimate new damages for the agricultural sector and find that updating this sector alone causes the SCC to increase substantially.

    • Frances C. Moore
    • , Uris Baldos
    •  & Delavane Diaz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The biofuel ethanol has been introduced into urban transportation in many countries. Here, by measuring aerosols in São Paulo, the authors find that high ethanol prices coincided with an increase in harmful nanoparticles by a third, as drivers switched from ethanol to cheaper gasoline, showing a benefit of ethanol.

    • Alberto Salvo
    • , Joel Brito
    •  & Franz M. Geiger
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A Low Carbon Fuel Standard seeks to regulate indirect land use change by including its related carbon emissions in the carbon intensity of biofuels. Khannaet al. show the economic cost of abatement achieved by including this factor is much larger than the social cost of carbon.

    • Madhu Khanna
    • , Weiwei Wang
    •  & Evan H. DeLucia
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Economies dependent on natural resources could gain resilience to abrupt ecosystem and market shifts through proactive risk-buffering approaches. Using data from Alaskan fisheries, Clineet al. show that communities relying on diverse fisheries were more resilient to major ocean and market regime shifts in 1989.

    • Timothy J. Cline
    • , Daniel E. Schindler
    •  & Ray Hilborn
  • Article
    | Open Access

    An ongoing elephant poaching crisis is threatening not only elephant populations but also the local economies that rely on nature-based tourism. Here, Naidoo and colleagues use an economic model to estimate the financial contribution of elephants to tourism and the possible consequences of their loss.

    • Robin Naidoo
    • , Brendan Fisher
    •  & Andrew Balmford
  • Article
    | Open Access

    China’s Grain for Green Program is the world’s largest reforestation program, encompassing tens of millions of hectares since 1999. Here, Hua et al. show that the majority of areas have been reforested with tree monocultures, but that planting mixed forests could increase animal biodiversity without imposing additional economic costs.

    • Fangyuan Hua
    • , Xiaoyang Wang
    •  & David S. Wilcove
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Balancing biological conservation with economic development is a challenge for policymakers. Analysing a range of possible future scenarios, Runting et al, show that coordinated planning would allow the island of Borneo to simultaneously retain forested land, protect species and meet economic goals.

    • Rebecca K. Runting
    • , Erik Meijaard
    •  & Kerrie A. Wilson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Food security and the conservation of natural ecosystems largely rely on the increase in crop yields. Here, the authors examine global crop yield trends since 1960, and establish a robust statistical framework for estimating historical trajectories and identifying yield plateaus.

    • Patricio Grassini
    • , Kent M. Eskridge
    •  & Kenneth G. Cassman