The group consists of distinguished researchers within international relations, economics, EU studies, comparative and national climate policy and science and technology studies.
Our researchers develop models for better understanding the interplay between domestic and international politics, and the equilibrium effects of economic and demographic changes, as well as climatic changes. We study climate agreements, policy instruments, different actors’ positions in and influence on climate negotiations. We cooperate with other leading scholars of international environmental governance. Arild Underdal is a ‘Foreign Associate’ of the American National Academy of Sciences.
One key research area is EU studies, including both the development of climate and energy policies in Brussels as well as how the EU affects national policy development. Based on in-depth case studies we contribute to theories relating to European Integration and Europeanisation. Given Norway’s joint implementation of the ambitious climate targets with the EU, this is particularly high on the Norwegian agenda.
Being particularly interested in comparative climate policy, we examine how political and organisational factors affect national policies. We follow policy developments in Norway, other European countries and big emitters (e.g. Brazil and India). We are especially equipped for examining Norwegian climate policy development relating to renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation, primary industries and carbon capture and storage.
Understanding the relation between knowledge and action, is key to dealing with the climate issue. Knowledge will inevitably be an indispensable part of the green transition but will also pose challenges related to the changing character of knowledge production. We analyse such challenges and how to deal with them.
There is broad demand for our knowledge from media, civil society, businesses and decision-makers. We disseminate directly to policy makers and industry actors – enabling them to make better informed climate policy decisions. Our results also gain interest abroad, for example in Brussels and Beijing, where we have had large events, and at COPs. Our research on equity has had an impact on the Paris negotiations.
The researchers have strong competence in three methodological areas: Qualitative research including in-depth analyses of single cases and comparative case studies; formal logic (rational choice models, in particular game theory; simulations applying agent-based modelling); and quantitative research ranging from computable general equilibrium models to agent-based simulations and complex econometric models.