Automatgenererad bild.
Published

12 September 2014

Intensive year as Mistra Fellow in Brussels

Susanna Roth, a climate scientist and economist, spent a year working at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), a think tank in Brussels. Back in Sweden, she is putting her experience of climate and energy policy to use in the Mistra Indigo research programme.

Susanna Roth’s everyday job is at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, as one of the researchers in Mistra Indigo. In spring 2013, as a Mistra Fellow, she had the opportunity to move to Brussels for a year as a guest researcher at CEPS, one of the most highly regarded think tanks in the EU.

‘Workwise, it was intensive, but it was also tremendous fun. I had colleagues from all over Europe and the rest of the world,’ she relates.

CEPS, an independent research body, studies development in several EU policy areas and its work is primarily policy-oriented. During her year there, Roth worked on climate and energy issues, especially the future of the European system for trading greenhouse gas emission allowances, the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). The Brussels location of CEPS affords unique proximity and access to important decision-makers, at EU and national level alike.

‘It’s highly advantageous to be on the spot, close to both the European Parliament and the Commission. At that close range, you get to hear about the latest policy developments.’

During her year at CEPS, Roth not only enhanced her own skills and learnt more about how the EU works, and more about the Union’s climate policy. She also now has new thoughts and ideas that are benefiting the Mistra Indigo programme. One of her tasks was to investigate, on behalf of CEPS, the scope for the EU to minimise ‘carbon leaching’, i.e. the risk of an ambitious EU climate policy causing companies to move operations with an impact on the climate to other, unregulated parts of the world.

‘There are ways of dealing with carbon leakage today, but what’s going to happen after 2020 is unclear. I’d like to carry on studying the issue in Mistra Indigo if I can.’

Susanna Roth is the first Mistra Fellow. The Mistra Fellowship, a new form of funding, gives a participant in a Mistra research programme the chance to spend a year as a visiting researcher abroad. International experience benefits both the individual researcher and Mistra’s research, says Thomas Nilsson at Mistra’s Secretariat.

‘We see the Mistra Fellowship as supplementing our research programmes. Being there on the spot and studying policy issues where the decisions are made, in Brussels or Washington DC for example, has positive repercussions on Mistra’s research.’

Roth’s stay in Brussels was entirely funded by Mistra, with funds provided over and above Mistra Indigo’s regular budget. Mistra is prepared to provide financial support for guest researchers in other research programmes as well.

‘Our idea and hope are that there will be more Mistra Fellows in the future, but nothing is planned at present,’ Nilsson says.

Text: Henrik Lundström, Vetenskapsjournalisterna

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