Environment / climate / energy

Climate policy

NCCR Climate

From April 2005 until the end of 2012, our lab participated in the NCCR “climate”, which allowed it to develop its activities on the assessment of international climate policies, the economic consequences of measures taken to reduce CO2 emissions by Switzerland, adaptation measures in tourism and the water sector and the acceptance of these measures. See our dedicated website: http://nccr-climate.epfl.ch. (2005-2012)


Tocsin=a signal of alarm given by the ringing of a bell, and hence any warning or danger signal (Wikipedia)
TOCSIN=Technology-Oriented Cooperation and Strategies in India and China: Reinforcing the EU dialogue with Developing Countries on Climate Change Mitigation
Our lab coordinated a vast research project on international post-Kyoto climate policy, with special emphasis on India and China and on technology transfert. It was a European research project of 30 months financed under FP6. More information. (2007-2009)


Enhancing Robustness and Model Integration for The Assessment of Global Environmental Change
From 2011 to 2013, our lab was a partner of the FP7 European research project ERMITAGE. This project i) developped interdisciplinary modelling tools and platforms to address the interactions between natural and socio-economic systems in the assessment of climate policies, ii) handled uncertainties in overall integrated assessments and iii) implemented adaptation and damage costs in economic models. The consortium was led by Open University and included University of East Anglia, University of Manchester, ORDECSYS, EPFL, ENERIS and Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. (2011-2013)


Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project
This is Switzerland’s contribution to the international DDPP. For more info, go to this page.

Effectiveness of Swiss climate policy

Under this heading, we carried out several studies on the impact of the CO2 tax or all the measures taken in the context of climate and energy policy on Switzerland’s greenhouse gas emissions, in particular energy-related CO2. For more info, go to this page.


Green taxes
The Public Acceptance of Green Taxes, article in the April 2004 Public Choice Journal, pp. 179-217

Voluntary Approaches in Climate Policy

Impacts of climate change and adaptation

Integrated economic modeling of adaptation to climate changes

The objective of this research project for the Federal Office for the Environment was to model adaptation to climate changes in GEMINI-E3, the world economic model of our lab, with emphasis on Switzerland and the following sectors: agriculture, tourism, energy, and infrastructures. A climatic module was added to the model, as well as as an explicit description of adaptation to climate changes. This allows studying the economic incidences of climate changes as well as the effects of the adaptation to these changes and its costs and benefits. (2009-2012)

Costs of climate change impacts (CCimpact)

We have been working for several years on estimating the economic consequences of climate change for Switzerland. It has produced several reports. The main goal of this new research program financed by the Federal Office for the Environment was to bundle, update and complete these earlier assessments with a view to producing a full picture of the economic consequences of climate change impacts in Switzerland by 2050. Secondary goals were developments of the methodology, improvements of the simulation models, and updating of the SWIDCHI-Database of the literature on climate change impacts in Switzerland. The results of this research were useful for the Federal office for the environment (FOEN) in developing the federal adaptation strategy and in preparing the consultation documents for the next revision of the CO2 Act. Report. (2014-2017)


Sinergia research programme, in partnership with economists, hydrologists and geographers from the Universities of Berne and Basel. Full title: “Climate Change Extremes and Adaptation Strategies considering Uncertainty and Federalism”. Our contribution consisted in integrating flood risks into a computable general equilibrium economic simulation model. (2014-2018)


We created this open inventory of research on the future impacts of climate change in Switzerland (Swiss Database of Climate Change Impacts). It is freely accessible at URL: http://swidchi.epfl.ch/. Everybody can propose new entries. (2008-2014)

Energy / electricity


Electricity markets and trade in Switzerland and its neighbouring countries: Building a coupled techno-economic modeling framework
Switzerland lacks an economic simulation framework which allows for a suitable consideration of international electricity trade in the analysis of energy and climate policies as well as electricity supply scenarios. The goal of the ELECTRA project, funded by the Federal office of energy, was to build such an integrated bottom up – top down framework. (2011-2015)


Social cushioning of energy price increases and public acceptance
This project investigated distributional and other effects of energy price increases and the acceptability of social cushioning measures. It also investigated how social cushioning and other measures can increase the acceptability of policy-induced energy price increases. (2012-2016)

Energy in buildings

Green building financing, certification and valuation

Green building certification is often seen as a means for clean technology diffusion and enhanced energy efficiency. In this part of his doctoral thesis, Philippe Bélanger examined certified green building investment in Switzerland. First, he examined the actual valuation process on the property market and the extent to which it includes the energy performance of buildings. Next, he defined how high performance buildings should be valued, taking specifically into account forecasts for future energy prices and the option of different energy mixes. This allowed for the investigation of the link between the value of energy savings and the premium paid for green certified buildings in Switzerland. (2010-2014)

Analysis of barriers to the energy refurbishment of buildings in the canton of Vaud

This study, carried out with E4Tech in 2014, made it possible (1) to understand why property owners in the canton of Vaud have relatively little recourse to the federal government’s Building Program, which subsidises energy renovation measures, and (2) to propose measures to remedy this situation. Report (in French). (2007-2014)