By weighing up costs and benefits we help clients create policies that will achieve the right balance.

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Designing and Evaluating Environmental Policies

Economics is about using scarce resources efficiently. We draw on sound economic principles to design effective policies which can range from investments, regulatory frameworks, market-based solutions, taxation or subsidy measures, to voluntary measures and behaviour change.

To help decision-makers, we assess the costs and benefits that a policy or intervention is likely to deliver over its lifetime. We also advise on ‘what works’ by looking at policies or interventions already in place to assess their impacts and how those impacts came about. As part of our evaluations we use various techniques to assess the benefits and costs compared to what might happen without the policy.

Questions we have tackled include:

  • how should governments conserve biodiversity on private land?
  • what do global food security concerns mean for agricultural policy in Australia?
  • how should governments ensure optimal private and public adaptation responses to climate change?
  • how should environmental water allocations be managed?
  • what is the intellectual basis of environmental indices, such as virtual water, and what should be their role in regard to consumption and policy decisions?

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