NERA economists provide leading expertise and broad knowledge in the field of environmental and natural resource economics. We offer advice and analysis based on sound economic principles and innovative techniques, including proprietary economic models. We have particular expertise assisting clients with environmental strategy, litigation, and regulatory compliance. We also conduct and support policy analysis (e.g., in regulatory and legislative settings), natural resource valuation, and environmental and human health damage assessments. Our clients include government agencies and ministries, intergovernmental organizations, individual companies and multinationals, and industry organizations across a range of sectors around the world.
NERA economists are widely recognized as leading experts in environmental economics. Our expertise covers a broad spectrum of environmental issues that affect households, businesses, and governments worldwide. We regularly work on matters of air quality, water quality and allocation, climate change, and natural resource use. We also have extensive experience evaluating the economic impacts of government policies and commercial investments affecting the environment, such as through land use change or environmental features like wetlands and marine reserves.
We apply rigorous methods and the fundamental principles of environmental economics to perform a variety of types of analysis for our clients. Our work covers construction of marginal cost curves in permit and product markets, analysis of allocation issues in permit markets, cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, willingness-to-pay analysis, damages valuation, and evaluation of market and distributional effects. Our analysis relies on relevant technical expertise—we often work with technical and scientific experts—and accounts for economic behavior and institutional considerations.
In Business: NERA helps companies better understand the costs and benefits of environmental regulations and pending legislation as well as the effects of possible alternatives. By analyzing the benefits and costs of various options, we help clients determine the most economically efficient approach to complying with appropriate environmental regulations. NERA also models the effects of environmental regulations to understand how market behavior will affect both environmental and economic outcomes. NERA’s experts draw upon decades of direct experience with the regulatory process that can be helpful in understanding the implications of alternative policies. We also help businesses estimate potential environmental damages and clean-up costs to guarantee adequate insurance.
In Government: Our economic analyses help government officials understand how different policy choices and designs influence the effectiveness of alternative environmental, health, and safety policies and regulations. We provide expert testimony and workshops in various proceedings involving environmental policy. NERA experts have designed and evaluated emission trading programs, water pricing and trading frameworks, and other innovative approaches to environmental regulation that achieve environmental objectives in a flexible and economically efficient way.
In the Courtroom: Civil and criminal litigation concerning environmental liabilities often involves complex economic and financial issues. NERA assists companies and counsel by providing objective analysis, expert testimony, and a wide variety of support services. Our ability to present analyses in understandable terms contributes to effective pre-trial activities and testimony. We prepare analyses and present them in court in support of litigation or as information for settlement proceedings. Our worldwide network of experts enables us to support companies with international operations.
NERA has extensive experience translating environmental claims of alleged harm to health and value into the objective, quantitative, and monetary values required by courts and regulators to determine appropriate damages awards. The analysis, reports, and expert testimony our experts provide to courts and arbitration and regulatory bodies include rigorous, defensible measures of the value of damages. We provide careful, independent valuation of the actual damages incurred or the changes to processes or remediation efforts that may be taken.
We are skilled in identifying and critiquing the benefit (BEN) model used by the US EPA and have successfully challenged values initially generated by this model.
Climate Policy, Design, and Impacts
NERA has helped companies and governments understand the complex interactions among policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (and other emissions), promote renewable energy, and improve energy efficiency. We work with companies to apply this understanding to their strategies, mitigate risks, and capitalize on potential opportunities. Drawing on unmatched expertise, experience, and economic modeling capabilities, NERA experts analyze the macroeconomic and microeconomic impacts of specific climate policies. This gives our clients a fuller understanding of the overall strategic implications of policies for their markets, their industries and companies, and their operations.
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)
NERA’s team of experts have deep experience related to three pillars of ESG: Environmental, Social, and Governance. NERA energy and environmental economists have deep experience with all types of fossil and renewable energy resources, environmental attributes, such as greenhouse gas emissions, as well as renewable energy credits, carbon offsets, and many types of arrangements that companies utilize to make claims about their environmental commitments. With respect to diversity and anti-discrimination concerns, our experience includes litigation and internal review matters related to discrimination in employment and financing, including projects related to PACE financing. We have provided expert testimony in securities class actions with claims of misrepresentations related to unfair and deceptive acts and practices and worked on false advertising claims actions before the Federal Trade Commission and in consumer class actions. With respect to governance, we have been engaged in matters related to the False Claims Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and various white-collar matters. We also have deep experience with antitrust, labor, and consumer protection litigation and energy regulatory and investigation experience.
Environmental Regulatory Process
NERA has extensive experience with federal, state, regional, and local environmental regulatory processes. We have produced major analyses for corporate and industry association clients on all major issues of environmental policy affecting various markets. Our experts testify frequently on environmental regulation before bodies ranging from the US EPA and the US Congress to European environmental agencies and Asia-Pacific environmental courts and hearings panels.
We are experts in all key disciplines necessary for dealing with environmental regulatory procedures, including cost-benefit analyses, risk assessment, economic modeling and impact analyses, and valuation of health and ecosystem effects.
NERA has an extensive collection of proprietary models developed to assist in the economic evaluation of climate change and other environmental policies. NERA also develops specific proprietary models to meet individual client needs. Our proprietary NewERA model allows us to provide invaluable help to companies managing unprecedented change and uncertainty in the energy sectors related to factors such as technology improvement and environmental regulation. The NewERA model is a unique tool for effectively measuring the macroeconomic and detailed sectoral impacts of changes affecting the energy sectors. Its macroeconomic outputs include forecasts of prices of energy commodities, demand and supply of all goods and services, changes in imports and exports, gross domestic product, gross regional product, consumption, investment, disposable income, and changes in employment statistics. Detailed electric sector outputs include new builds, retrofits, and dispatch decisions for generating units. NERA also has extensive experience using other economic models, including detailed models of the electricity sector and state, regional, and federal economies.