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Doctoral thesis2014Open access

Goal conflicts and spillover effects in Swedish environmental policy

Geijer, Erik


This thesis consists of a summary and four appended papers on conflicts in inter-related goals in Swedish environmental policies and projects. Paper I analyses conflicts between two of these goals Reduced Climate Impact and Sustainable Forests or, more precisely, the conflict between conserving forests and supplying forest fuel. This is done with the help of a forest sector model including four actors: forest owners, sawmills, the pulp industry and the heating industry. The parameters of the model are estimated, and then used to simulate effects of additional forest conservation actions on forest fuel supplies. According to the results, protection of an additional four percent of forest land would lead to a decrease in the supply of forest fuel, and can lead to an increase in Swedish emissions of carbon dioxide from non-renewable sources by about 0.9 percent. Paper II examines another goal conflict, between the two Swedish environmental goals maintaining A Rich Diversity of Plant and Animal Life and Increasing Use of Renewable Energy Resources or, more precisely, effects of stump harvests on forest fuel supplies and the abundance of saproxylic beetles in northern Sweden. The analysis uses a model similar to the one described and applied in Paper I, but parameter estimates are derived from regional data. According to the results, large-scale implementation of stump harvests would result in a 3% increase in the use of renewable energy sources in heating plants, but a 5% reduction in abundance of saproxylic beetles on future clear cuts, compared to a scenario with no stump harvests. Paper III describes the wind power park on Smöla, Norway, and examines the conflict between clean energy generation and protection of the island's white-tailed eagle (WTE) population. The paper presents a Resource Equivalence Analysis (REA) addressing the required compensation for damage done to the WTE population. It also contains some general remarks on the practical implementation of REAs. Paper IV considers eutrophication, and the two interconnected sub-goals of nitrogen and phosphorus reduction. The paper maps the set of possible outcomes that a policy maker could choose from, and discusses how their choice could be informed by an environmental index (EI). The paper also discusses the benefits of formulating a priori the eutrophication goal in terms of an EI instead of, as today, in terms of separate nitrogen and phosphorus reduction goals. Finally, it suggests an eutrophication index and discusses how the presented results could have practical value although they are based on very crude data.


Goal conflict; Multiple goals; Forest sector model

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2014, number: 2014:10ISBN: 978-91-576-7968-0
Publisher: Department of Forest Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

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