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Patrik Söderholm Photo: Åsa Stubbfält
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Patrik Söderholm new member of Swedish Climate Policy Council

Published: 18 May 2020

The Government has appointed Patrik Söderholm, Professor of Economics at Luleå University of Technology, as a new member of the Climate Policy Council from 1 July 2020. The Council will in 2020 review whether the corona crisis recovery policy is compatible with Sweden's climate goals.

The Climate Policy Council is an independent expert council whose task it is to evaluate whether the government's overall climate policy will meet the national target of net zero emissions in 2045. The Council consists of eight members, the majority of whom are researchers from different research areas in the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities.

- As I replace Åsa Löfgren, Associate Professor of Economics at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, I will be the only economist in the Council. My own research is about climate policy instruments, including how various policy initiatives can be used to stimulate sustainable technological innovations in the industry, says Patrik Söderholm.

Rapid climate-friendly structural transformation

The Climate Policy Council publishes (at least) one report every year. The next report will be presented in the spring of 2021 and will focus on the consequences for the climate policy of the corona crisis recovery policy. The Council argues in a debate article in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter that the recovery policy opens the possibility for a rapid and climate-friendly structural transformation. If, on the other hand, the recovery policy is characterized by a short-term crisis consciousness, it risks leading to decisions that preserve existing structures and, by extension, worse climate policy outcomes.

Stimulating to work with political reality

Patrik Söderholm thinks it is stimulating to work as a researcher close to the political reality.

- As a researcher, you tend to dig into specific details. At the Climate Policy Council, we are expected to take a holistic approach to climate policy. In the role of expert advisor, we must take some account of the measures that are politically feasible, something that is not necessarily the case in our role as researchers. It gives us a better understanding of the conditions facing political decision-makers. My experience from similar assignments for, among others, the Swedish Energy Agency and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is also that it can inspire my own research.