Dear EAERE friends and colleagues,
The 27th Annual Conferencee of our Association will take place next week. After two years of very successful virtual conferences thanks to the talent and devotion of the amazing Berlin team lead by Georg Meran and Klaus Eisenack, it is with great pleasure that I welcome every one of you to this year’s, in person, Annual Conference.
Over 1,200 papers were submitted and 532 have been selected for inclusion in the final programme. I am delighted to see that the enthusiasm for our conference series remains high: this Annual Conference counts over 700 participants, which is a great result considering the uncertainties linked to the pandemic and the current geopolitical situation.
Our Annual Conference is perhaps the most important and awaited moment of the year for our community. However, I would like to emphasise that EAERE is not just an annual conference. Our Association is a much broader platform, capable of offering many other moments of exchange and enrichment for its members. EAERE is a science community and academy ecosystem that we want to empower and develop further.
Our portfolio of activities is already very rich and includes two very well reputed flagship journals: Environmental and Resource Economics – ERE, and the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy –REEP. I would like to take this opportunity to express our warmest gratitude to the journals editors Ian Bateman (ERE) and Cathy Kling (REEP) as well as the co-editors for their time and commitment to the journals. As recently announced, Cathy is stepping down from her position as REEP editor at the end of 2022, her fifth year in a highly successful tenure. We want to thank Cathy for her many years of service to the journal and to the profession and want to welcome Spencer Banzhaf as next editor of REEP, wishing him much success.
Our portfolio includes also successful educational activities: our Summer School run by Michael Finus and Karl Steininger with the University of Graz, or our Winter School run by Lucas Bretwschger with ETH Zurich, a series of policy webinars jointly organised with CEPR and led by Carlo Carraro, Ottmar Edenhofer and Christian Gollier, an informative quarterly Magazine edited by Frank Convery, a monthly newsletter, and many activities coordinated by our Policy Outreach Committee led by Jos Delbeke and Simone Borghesi (observer status at the UNFCCC, IPCC, the European Chemical Agency are only some examples).
We are working to improve the capacity of our Association to offer its members an even broader and modern platform, which will seize inspiring and new stimuli for their research. As per my nomination letter and keeping the political and ethical challenges in mind, my vision for EAERE is to mobilise and involve our community in new activities that will increase its impact on science (disciplinary and interdisciplinary science) technology and business development, and policy. We will discuss in detail all these activities at our General Assembly. Below I present a selected number of the ones we are working on:
- Financial sustainability and global outreach of the association through the launch of new initiatives that can support the association’s finances while providing opportunities for increased membership and collaboration among our institutional members. With this in mind, we will soon announce a model for a series of Science-Policy-Business Interface webinars that will be organised in cooperation with our members.
- Impact on policy through our Policy Outreach Committee task forces linked to respective European Commission DGs and sections of Multilateral organizations that shape global policy-making (UN, IPCC, EIB, ECB, etc.). Task forces are important in terms of having the capacity to produce annual or bi-annual reports (in collaboration with EAERE member institutions) that can facilitate the interaction with policy makers.
- Support diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. This initiative will be launched in September and at first it will follow a virtual living lab format lead by Ebun Akinsette. We have recently launched a call for expressions of interest for an Executive Committee that will lead these initiatives. We are very proud to include them in our agenda.
- A closer collaboration with the other Associations of Environmental and Resource Economists (American, Latin American, African, Asia, Australian), towards global events and initiatives under the umbrella of the World Council of Environmental and Resource Economists Associations (WCEREA). After a break following the decision to skip a World Congress cycle, the World Council resumes its activities in July with some important items on its agenda, like the definition of the process for assessing applications for WCEREA membership from other associations, WCEREA mission and activities, future events. The WCEREA is a potentially formidable booster to exploit synergies amongst associations worldwide, and we do not want to miss this opportunity. We are already in close communication with the Latin American, North American, Asian, African and Australian associations active in our field.
- Launch of a book series on cutting-edge research topics that we hope will provide useful insights for future research. The book series was inspired by my conversations with many of our senior and junior members, that told me that they usually find that review articles are never long enough to provide the research community with deep technical knowledge and holistic review of a topic. We will prioritize the EAERE Fellows, the most prominent people of our association, as the first round of potential authors for this small books series.
- Transition to hybrid annual conferences and other events to increase the cohesion of the network of our members, as well as the outreach of our activities across the world and to members with physical, social or financial constraints. This transition has been imposing many challenges and difficulties mainly due to the uncertainty related to the kind of participation preferred by our members and the limited financial resources available for each annual conference.
I would like to take this opportunity to deeply thank our colleagues and friends at the University of Bologna who – despite the need to move the conference by a year (the original plan was to gather in Rimini in 2021) and the uncertainties that have arisen over the last two years – accepted the challenge of organising our 27th Annual Conference. Sincere thanks to the University of Bologna and the entire Local Organising Committee chaired by Alessandro Tavoni. It was a huge effort, and we are very grateful for all the time and work they generously offered to our community. Our warmest gratitude goes also to Programme Committee co-chairs Marita Laukkanen, Alessandro Tavoni and Anastasios Xepapadeas, who together with the Local Scientific Committee – Elettra Agliardi, Emanuele Campiglio, and Niko Jaakkola – and with the important contribution of 380 referees, have prepared a rich scientific and social programme. The preparation of the programme was supported by the software produced by Anymeets who also deserves our gratitude. Our gratitude goes also to our Association’s Secretariat team for its constant and careful work for the execution of the Conference. Monica, Silvia, Ottavia, Martina, you are our institutional memory and support the Council and all other EAERE committees and initiatives, with enthusiasm, efficiency and consistency. Thank you! No EAERE president or Council can survive without your excellent support.
Please see our full conference programme, which consists of plenary sessions, parallel paper sessions, egg-timers, three high-level policy sessions, a welcome reception, an informal social event and a conference dinner. A rich programme of related events is also available. The programme also includes two important association events: the session at which we will announce this year’s awards and recognitions, and the General Assembly of Members. We are counting on everyone’s participation to applaud and congratulate our outstanding colleagues and to define our future priorities and strategies together.
I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in Rimini next week for a very productive conference, and in our General Assembly of Members taking place on June 30th, from 13 to 14 CEST. Those members who are not attending the Rimini conference in person can participate in the Assembly online.
Please communicate your thoughts, ideas and vision, to us! We need you in order to do our job well!