Spatial Analysis


Research Project: Cutting edge spatial analysis for decision support

EnvEcon have invested heavily in the development of their spatial analytical capacities and incorporate this methodology into many facets of their research and consulting services. EnvEcon maintain a wealth of mapped data and have developed numerous in-house methodologies to integrate and analyse these data in ways that can offer advantageous and accessible advice to clients. Examples of our spatial analysis work includes :

  • The targetting of policy interventions to areas where the greatest impact can be achieved;
  • The application of advanced spatial econometric techniques to improve understanding of the relationship of location to specified variables;
  • The evaluation of locations for business investment, setup and expansion;
  • The analysis of spillover effects and clustering;
  • The localised assessment of health and other social impacts from a given intervention.

Cost Benefit Frameworks


Research Project: Tailored cost-benefit analytical frameworks

EnvEcon research have developed and maintain an in-house framework structure for cost-benefit analysis. The framework provides an adaptable structure for the initial evaluation of a broad range of policy interventions or capital investments. The framework incorporates a template and methodology for addressing in an integrated fashion, economic and environmental considerations at a variety of scales and from a number of persepctives. The approach includes linked modules for assessing components ranging from the direct private investment values to the indirect national scale societal impacts of a policy or investment as appropriate. The system offers a useful basis for tailored cost benefit analysis, but in all cases must be recalibrated and extended to fit the needs of the specific project.

On a national scale EnvEcon have led work in relation to valuing climate policy compliance costs, as well as valuing the marginal damage of air pollutant emissions in ireland. The latter was released as a public guidebook to support the appropriate weighting and consideration of air pollutants in national and local policy decisions.


Sample of work

Evaluation and Development


Research Project: International economic development and evaluation

EnvEcon research and team members have significant prior expertise in the area of environmental and economic development.  Team members have developed and taught courses in countries developing in these areas, and have led and supported World Bank, International development agencies and the overseas development agency (ODA Ireland) missions to :

  • Ghana
  • Gambia
  • Cambodia
  • Nigeria
  • Tanzania
  • Ethiopia

The team have also conducted evaluations of economic and environmental development aid programs in :

  • North Africa
  • South Africa
  • South America
  • China

EnvEcon are actively investigating opportunities to participate in research partnerships with colleagues, and other international organisations on topics of environmental and economic development.

Transport Policy Modelling


Research Project: Road transport sector modelling

EnvEcon maintain a national fleet modelling system, calibrated annually in detail from a range of empirical transport data sources in Ireland. This modelling system offers the capacity for rigorous and structured analyses of fleet evolution and activity change intervention outcomes in respect of climate and air pollution outcomes. Combined with extensive expertise in transport policy research more generally the team are well placed to support the modelling, design and management of transport policy interventions at a variety of scales.

EnvEcon research have also redeveloped and reprogrammed the European Commission’s TREMOVE transport model for use as a transport policy assessment tool in an Irish context. This work has entailed extensive research into collating and integrating new and novel data to the system, as well as rewriting the model code to reflect internal research on the functioning and interactions of key parameters. The modelling system remains under ongoing research and development and can also be used for EU wide analysis.

GAINS Ireland


Research Project: GAINS Ireland multi-sectoral integrated modelling

GAINS Ireland is the national instance of the GAINS Europe model. GAINS Europe is developed by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and is the model used to inform a broad swathe of European environmental policy decisions. Informing inter alia, the initial European climate and energy package 2008 and the subsequent discussions for the step-up towards 30%. The model has also played a direct role in the development of the European non-traded sector targets (NETS), the National Emissions Ceiling Directive (NECD), and the Gothenburg Protocol (GP). EnvEcon research maintain and develop the GAINS Ireland system as a policy evaluation tool for Ireland that can also link with GAINS Europe and beyond. The GAINS Ireland system is focused upon supporting effective policy decisions and evidence led negotiations.

The GAINS Ireland system is currently playing a leading role in developing national and sectoral responses in regard to key policy challenges such as the European GHG emissions challenge anticipated in the context of the NETS targets from 2013 to 2030, as well as an ongoing central role in the air pollution driven objectives for 2020 and 2030 under European (Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution) and UNECE (Gothenburg Protocol) agreements.

The GAINS Ireland model draws on historical and projected activity, as well as control and cost data from every sector of the economy to model the emissions, impacts and cost-effective abatement potential of the market with respect to a given constraint. The model is a powerful tool in its own right, but also serves as a pivot for broader complementary research by EnvEcon and as a valuable integrator for the work of others in this context.

Macro Economic Modelling


Research Project: Macroeconomic modelling

EnvEcon Research have developed an in-house dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of the Irish economy. This tool affords the team an independent and flexible system that has been calibrated, and is now maintained, on the best available statistical and estimated data sets for Ireland. Principally the model offers EnvEcon the capacity to explore, in-house, a variety of macro economic outcomes based on selected sensitivities. This capacity offers an important feed into the other modelling and analytical tools managed by EnvEcon and rounds out our capacity for economic and environmental analysis.


Research ProjectPolicy and Measures Online Resource Initiative

EnvEcon research have devised and developed an open policy measure resource at The initiative is focused on building and sharing information on policy interventions for the environment. Providing information on theoretical and specific applications of policy under a range of headings and across a multitude of topics and policy priorities. The site offers a modern, dynamic and interactive dissemination channel for users and will remain open access to the international community. The goal for the site is to build a critical level of content, specifically to have over one hundred unique policies or measures evaluated in the database. A revised version of the site will launch in 2019 with an additional focus on the national climate and air challenges in an Irish context.

Visit the site at:



Research Project: European Union Emissions Trading System Research

EnvEcon were a partner in the European Framework 7 project – ENTRACTE, led by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) of Mannheim Germany. Our role within this important research was led by Professors Convery and Ellerman and focused upon the initial direction, final synthesis, and policy communication aspects of this ambitious project. ENTRACTE ran from 2012 to 2015, culminating in a major policy event in Brussels with participation of key stakeholders such as Jos Delbeke.

ENTRACTE analysed the European Union Emissions trading System (EU ETS) taking into account its interaction with additional policy instruments such as energy efficiency standards, renewable policies, carbon taxes, innovation policies and trade measures. Practical barriers in the implementation, such as information asymmetry, uncertainty, political and legal constraints as well as behavioural aspects were considered. The joint endeavour of all the project partners allowed for a synthesis of research results identifying strengths and weaknesses of different instrument mixes. EnvEcon provided the two major policy brief deliverables from this work, offering valuable advice and insights with regard to practically applicable recommendations for policy makers on how to design the environmentally effective, economically efficient and politically and legally feasible climate policy mix needed to achieve medium-term and long-term GHG reduction targets in Europe



Research Project: Youth Unemployment

The CUPESSE project was an EU FP7 project focused upon youth unemployment in the EU. Specific components of this work include research to explore supply side issues influencing youth unemployment, ex post evaluation of previously implemented policy measures with the primary purpose of isolating and identifying the factors that make a difference, research into the long term effect of unemployment, and an in-depth analysis of employers’ expectations and strategies in regards to youth employment. EnvEcon served on the external advisory panel of the FP7 CUPESSE project along with Prof. R Jagannathan and Prof. M. Camasso of Rutgers University, USA.