Mattijs Smits, Assistant Professor at ENP since September 2014, is ‘in the field’ throughout April 2015 for a new research project on carbon markets and mechanisms in Southeast Asia, as well as a conference in India.
The first project builds upon his previous work on energy transitions in the region (see forthcoming book) and his research on the Clean Development Mechanism in Vietnam. This project is more ambitious than the latter, trying to get an overview of the various market-based climate mitigation instruments in Southeast Asia. What is the current state of these instruments and at what scales do they operate? Who are involved, and who are excluded? Can these mechanisms contribute to ‘real’ emission reductions or merely promote business-as-usual? What is the role of donor funding? In order to answer some of these thorny questions, he spent one week in Thailand and one week in Vietnam – two frontrunners in the region – to visit various Ministries, other government organisations, academics, private companies, and civil society organisations. This allows him to look ‘behind the scenes’ of a dazzling array of actors and acronyms, such as NAMAs, INDCs, JCM, PMR, CDM, LCCs, … This trip has extends his network in the region, providing potentially great opportunities for future Master and PhD students. Please enquire!
To top it off, Mattijs attends a conference on Micro Perspectives for Decentralized Energy Supply ‘on the way back’ in Bangalore, India. This conference brings together engineers, practitioners and social scientists in the field of decentralised (renewable) energy systems, such as micro-hydropower, PV solar, community energy, micro-grids, etc. Mattijs is chairing a session at the conference on ‘The Political Economy of Decentralised Energy: Empirical and Conceptual Perspectives at Different Scales’.
Combined, this trip provides a nice snapshot of Mattijs’ research interests, ranging from energy and climate policy and governance to the implementation of such policies and their impact ‘on the ground’.