Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

CERE Working Papers,
CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics

No 2014:11: Eutrophication reduction from a holistic perspective

Erik Geijer ()
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Erik Geijer: CERE, Postal: Department of Economics, Umeå University, S-901 87, Umeå, Sweden

Abstract: Single measures that are implemented in order to reach some goal often have effects on other goals as well. In this paper, we look at the Swedish environmental goal Zero eutrophication, and the two interconnected sub goals of nitrogen and phosphorus reduction. Measures that are taken in order to reduce nitrogen often have an effect on phosphorus emissions, and vice versa. Thus, the cost efficient set of measures has to be identified by analyzing how to reach both goals simultaneously. The paper maps the set of possible outcomes that a policy maker could choose from, and discuss how that choice could be informed by an environmental index (EI). The paper also discusses the benefits of, a priori, formulating the eutrophication goal in terms of an EI instead of, as today, in terms of separate nitrogen and phosphorus reduction goals. Finally, we suggest an eutrophication index and discuss how the results in the paper, based on very crude data, nevertheless could have a practical use.

Keywords: Zero eutrophication; nitrogen reduction; phosphorus reduction; multiple goals; environmental index

JEL-codes: Q50

41 pages, October 10, 2014

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