A former Policy Officer at the European Commission, Stefan is a climate policy professional with several years of experience in policy analysis and development. His research investigates a vital climate policy, namely the implementation of carbon tariffs, which is among the most promising options to make much-needed progress on reducing emissions.

 
Vienna
Austria
UBC Public Scholars Award
 

Research Description

A growing number of scholars, business leaders and environmentalists have recommended border tax adjustments (also known as carbon tariffs) to support domestic climate policies. These measures can extend climate or other environmental policies beyond the domestic domain. They offer the promise of environmental, economic and political benefits. However, despite growing political support and potentially substantial benefits, border tax adjustments are conspicuously absent in practice. Indeed, although more and more carbon pricing policies are adopted throughout the world, very few examples of border tax adjustments exist and so far none have been implemented at a general scale in any jurisdiction. To date no study has subjected this puzzle to specific and empirical analysis that focuses on actual decisions taken by policy-makers on the ground. My research seeks to understand the conditions under which governments adopt or do not adopt these measures by comparing the experience of different jurisdictions around the world.

What does being a Public Scholar mean to you?

Being a Public Scholar means being in the driving seat of your research and becoming an advocate for positive change. Essentially, it means assuming the responsibility that you have as a researcher in academia and in society.

In what ways do you think the PhD experience can be re-imagined with the Public Scholars Initiative?

The Public Scholars Initiative aspires to foster the knowledge translation and mobilization of doctoral research. It also furthers the interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge through its network of doctoral students, faculty members and practitioners outside academia. Thanks to these efforts, the Initiative helps broaden the career prospects of doctoral graduates.

How do you envision connecting your PhD work with broader career possibilities?

By widening and deepening my expertise on climate policy analysis and development, I seek to set myself on a path towards a leadership position in the public or private sector. Throughout my research, I am building valuable connections with stakeholders in the public and private sectors. Building on my research to advance effective climate policy, this will facilitate my pursuit of a career outside academia.

How does your research engage with the larger community and social partners?

I connect to and exchange ideas with different research groups that work on sustainability issues at UBC and at other universities across BC. I also seek to communicate my research results to practitioners in the public and private sectors, both in Canada and abroad.

How do you hope your work can make a contribution to the “public good”?

The interdisciplinary approach I take in my research is to strengthen its relevance for policy-makers. I also aim to translate my research results to a wider practitioner audience that goes beyond academia to further maximize the impact of my research. This way, it may be possible to identify opportunities for policy change together with policy-makers. I therefore see my research as a contribution to the development of public policies to reduce emissions and lead us towards a low-carbon economy and society.

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I decided to pursue a doctoral degree to equip myself with in-depth expertise on public policies to address climate change. Through my research, I hope to contribute in a positive and meaningful way to the development of policies that lead us towards a low-carbon economy and society.

Why did you choose to come to British Columbia and study at UBC?

UBC offers an academic environment that allows me to approach my research from different complementary perspectives. I also value the opportunity to connect with different research groups across the university that work on sustainability issues. This strong interdisciplinary focus helps me produce practically relevant research.

 

By widening and deepening my expertise on climate policy analysis and development, I seek to set myself on a path towards a leadership position in the public or private sector.