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University of Exeter

EEIST Project's Newsletter December 2021


Welcome to our December issue from the Project Director!


The end of 2021 is upon us, and it is not without emotion that we send this last EEIST newsletter of the year to all of you.  So much has happened since we started EEIST back in summer 2020.

By far our most important achievement this year has been the launch of our stakeholder report at COP26, which has been successful beyond all expectations.  Along with the PR company Greenhouse PR, supported by Founders Pledge, our key messages were included in the information package as part of the World Leaders' Summit, closely aligned with the Glasgow Breakthrough agenda. We launched our report at an event at the UK Pavilion, which attracted a good crowd and kick-started a great discussion.  Our report was featured widely in over 170 media outlets.  One of the key articles from The Guardian can be found here. Our report has already attracted the attention of policy stakeholders worldwide, notably in Brazil and India, with widely viewed videos delivering key messages by Joao Carlos Ferraz and Ulka Kelkar.

But we have done a lot more than that in EEIST.  Our key successes also include the rapidly evolving Communities of Practice in each region, delivering each time invaluable information that guides us in seeking ever higher  policy relevance.  This way we met highly influential and insightful stakeholders in India, China and Brazil.  This includes key officers from Niti Aayog (India), BNDES (Brazil), GIEC (China), the European Commission and many parts of UK government.  We published our EEIST theoretical framework, as well as many other highly influential policy papers. Our interviews and surveys are helping us gradually form a critical picture of how decision-making is actually made on the basis of economic evidence in our regions of application: something that has not been done so comprehensively before.

Thank you all for your hard work, collaboration and commitment that has shaped this success. We wish you all a restful holiday: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Dr Jean-Francois Mercure   


News and Communities of Practice Updates

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The project launched its first stakeholder report initially at the WLS, or World Leaders' Summit, and then on 4th November in the UK Presidential Pavilion.  We secured excellent media coverage internationally, including the Press Association, Der Spiegel, Daily Mail, Independent, China Daily, Estado and Brasil Energia. We also featured on BBC Radio 4. The Guardian article generated significant interest on Twitter. Greenhouse PR produced a series of films from our partners; Ulka Kelkar from WRI India can be seen here.

EEIST Event at Merchant's House, Glasgow


On Tuesday 9th November 2021, Dr Jean-Francois Mercure and Dr Pablo Salas convened a roundtable discussion with members of the Corporate Leaders Group UK (CLG).  Supported by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) this roundtable took place in Glasgow during COP26.  Using recently published studies, participants discussed how complexity-based economic modelling can help businesses and policymakers to take better decisions, and explore risk and opportunities from the new energy geography emerging from the low-carbon transition.  The meeting was attended by twenty members of the CLG UK.


The Latest Stakeholder Report, "The New Economics of Innovation and Transition: Evaluating opportunities and risks" is available online


Our flagship report "The New Economics of Innovation and Transition: Evaluating Opportunities and Risks" reviews evidence and theory to explain the limitations of traditional appraisal methods and the rationale for the Risk-Opportunity Analysis (ROA), illustrating the framework across a series of historical and forward-looking case studies. 

A policy summary is available in Chinese.  Summaries in Spanish, German and Brazilian Portuguese will shortly be available on the website. 

Here are the links for the summaries and main report.

The appendices- which will cover specific case studies on LEDs, Wind energy, Steel, Solar PVs and EVs - will be published on the website over the coming months. 


Along with several internal scientific meetings, the Brazilian CPr has recently organised a meeting with representatives from the Banco Nacional Do Desenvolvimento (BNDES), the key Brazilian development bank, and the world's second largest financer of renewable energy.  The meeting was particularly fruitful, and a second meeting will be organised early in 2022 to discuss the possible applications of EEIST methodologies along with BNDES objectives.  As BNDES is mainly active in the wind energy sector, the Brazilian CPr will also organise as series of meetings with representatives from ABSOLAR, which gathers leading Brazilian actors in the solar energy supply chain.


At COP26 we saw China sign up to several strong pledges for increased progress on climate change action including the Glasgow Climate Pact, the Deforestation Agreement, the U.S.-China Joint Declaration, and the Breakthorugh Agenda.  Most of which were well aligned with the three key EEIST "sensitive intervention points" (SIPs).  For the net-zero pilot strategy for Guandong Province SIP, our Guangdong collaborators, GIEC, requested two presentations of a regionalised application of EEIST's new economic thinking, With Oxford's Zac Cesaro presenting his on 24th November and project director J-F Mercure presenting an E3ME application on 8th November. A follow-up meeting is planned on 15th December between ERI and Oxford to discuss the second SIP on incorporating updated clean technology cost-assumptions in China's sectoral-level plans.  Finally on 7th December, after a successful kick-off meeting in September, a second meeting between ERI, TSU and EEIST took place to evaluate the value of an emissions trading scheme versus direct carbon tax for China.


India's CPrs were initiated by familiarising the stakeholders with the ROA framework and deliberated the need for complexity economics-based approaches for policy appraisal and decision making as significant energy system transformations are essential to achieve the desired climate objectives. In the following CPr, the socio-economic and technical interactions during the policymaking were examined using India's successful transition to efficient lighting as a case study.  The discussion highlighted both the use of innovative approaches and the opportunities missed in the process.  This built the context for the need for holistic approaches in the decision making for new energy technology transitions where risks, opportunities and system interactions are to be examined.  The considerations of the EEIST network of Indian stakeholders have now been furthered.  The inputs received in the last CPr held in September have contributed to identifying the critical intervention points and policy question within the focus area of electric mobility, transition to renewables and hydrogen.  Emphasising these intervention points, the following CPrs would now seek inputs from the India stakeholder network focused on addressing the relevant policy issues in these areas as we employ the new complexity-based approaches.


As part of the EU Energy Week we hosted a workshop in September for European policymakers, think tanks, NGOs and modellers to discuss the science-policy interface. Participants from the European Commission, Poland, Italy, Germany, North Macedonia, Netherland, Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium, Russia, Switerzland and the UK attended.  Three publications on our findings will be published in the new year entitled: "Confronting difference in the policymaking-modelling system: comparing energy modeller and policyworker views on uncertainty, innovation, long-term horizons and and diversity of actors'", "Masters of the machinery: The politics of economic modelling within European energy policy" and "Modelling diamond: a framework for successful policy modelling".  


The EEIST UK Community of Practice played an active role in reviewing the EEIST COP26 Stakeholder Report and valuable feedback was received across all areas of the UK CPr.  Developing an EEIST ZEV case study is the next priority and follow up meetings with DFT and OZEV are scheduled to take place in early 2022.  As part of EEIST Stage 1 research outputs, interviews have also been conducted with analysts and policy advisors across UK Government. 



University of Exeter

Staff Changes at Cambridge Economics


After almost twenty years at Cambridge Econometrics, Hector Pollitt has moved on to take on a new role as a senior economist advisting on climate change at the World Bank.  We wish him well.  Unnada Chewpreecha will continue to provide the technical and modelling lead, along with Pim Vercoulen.  They will also be supported by economist Boglárka Molnar and Phil Summerton as the responsible director, ensuring overall quality. 

Promotion for Jean-Francois Mercure


Congratulations to Jean-Francois who has recently been promoted to Associate Professor in Climate Policy at the University of Exeter. 



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EEIST's Conference


On 13th and 14th September 2021 all geographical areas of the EEIST Consortium: Brazil, China, India, the EU and UK joined together for EEIST's first conference. The event lasted two days and provided the team of fifteen partners and around sixty members with their first opportunity as a consortium to meet, network, discuss the latest research insights, and prepare for COP26.  It was heartening to see such close collaboration amongst a wide international group of colleagues, who are all working towards the same goal.

EEIST's Professor Andrea Roventini in Berlin


At the end of October, Professor Andrea Roventini from Sant'Anna University in Pisa recently attended the 25th FMM Conference: Macroeconomics of Socio-Ecological Transition at which he had the role of plenary speaker.  More information on this event can be found here. 


Selected Papers and Publications From EEIST Researchers

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Underestimation of the impacts of decarbonisation policies on innovation to create domestic growth opportunities


The team at Cambridge led by Professor Laura Díaz Anadón published the policy brief, "Underestimation of the impacts of decarbonisation policies on innovation to create domestic growth opportunities" in June 2021.  A link to this can be found on the EEIST website here.

Two New Papers from Sant'Anna


The team at Sant'Anna University (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy) have released two working papers.  The first is entitled "AgriLOVE: agriculture, land-use and technical change in an evolutionary, agent-based model", here.

The second is entitled: "Coping with increasing tides: technological change, agglomeration dynamics and climate hazards in an agent-based evolutionary model", which can be found here.

New Paper from UCL Team


Paul Drummond and RJ Lowe from UCL have had their paper, "Solar, wind and logistic substitution in global energy supply to 2050 - Barriers and implications", recently published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.   You can view this paper here

New Paper from EEIST members in Nature Energy


In addition to the paper "Reframing incentives for climate policy" being published in Nature Energy, this paper received coverage in the Guardian in November.  This was written by a number of the consortium members. You can view this here.

For more of the EEIST team's outputs, please  refer to our website page on outputs. 


Next issue

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Our newsletter will be published quarterly: please send news and events to Jacqui Richards: by 17th March at the latest.  The next newsletter will be published at the end of March