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An ICS researcher leads a project on the impact of environmental policies on social inequalities.

A research funded by the Ramón Areces Foundation seeks to reverse the social impact of environmental policies.

/Raúl Bajo Buenestado, researcher of the Navarra Center for International Development of the ICS.

11 | 01 | 2024

Raúl Bajo-Buenestado, researcher of the Navarra Center for International Development of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) of the University of Navarra, has received the prestigious "financial aid senior de research en ciencias sociales" awarded by the Ramón Areces Foundation. This subsidy will support her project of research graduate "Environmental policies, social inequality and equity criteria".

The project highlights the importance of addressing human activities related to pollutant emissions and their impacts on public health and climate change. According to researcher, although some policies have been successful in improving market efficiency by internalizing external costs, their impact on equity and redistribution of benefits has been ignored.

Through empirical examinations, it seeks to demonstrate that, despite restoring market efficiency, these policies effectively benefit higher-income households, generating inequality and social polarization. 

"It doesn't make much sense to have environmental policies that systematically favor those with higher incomes and disadvantage those with lower incomes simply because they can afford to buy goods like solar panels and electric cars," says Bajo-Buenestado.

In view of this status, research will propose alternative instruments to minimize the negative effects on low-income households. In addition, it aims to highlight the trade-off between efficiency and equity in environmental policies and to quantify the economic and social losses derived from the reduction of negative externalities on the environment.