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My main research interests are comparative public opinion on climate policies, quantitative text analysis in survey research and evidence-based evaluations of cap-and-trade and other CO2 pricing mechanisms. My public opinion research using quantitative text analysis and public opinion surveys has been published in journals such as Nature Climate Change, Global Environmental Change and Energy Policy. I rely primarily on survey questions and survey experiments run by my team on the Norwegian Citizen Panel, a probability-sample online infrastructure for collecting people's views on current matters. I have also used data from other opinion surveys and countries in my publications, including China and Bangladesh. Using more traditional survey questions, I find that people working in the fossil fuel industry are less likely to support climate policies that imply high costs to their industry, but are as likely as everybody else to support policies with lower costs.
My second stream of research involves the political origins, practical operations and effects of cap-and-trade systems and other forms of emission pricing. One of my key findings is that systems with emission caps often experience greater emission cuts than initially expected, which in turn leads to lower permit prices and public criticism, but which also implies that greater cuts are possible at a reasonable price. At the same time, my co-author Michael Mehling (MIT) and I find that taxes on emissions rarely lead to absolute emission reductions, which means that additional instruments are needed if deep decarbonization is the goal. We summarise our argument in the article "Carbon pricing and the 1.5°C target : near-term decarbonisation and the importance of an instrument mix," which was cited in the 1.5°C IPCC report (chapter 2).
I currently serve as a member of the Executive Council for the Science, Technology & Environmental Policy (STEP) section of the American Political Science Association, elected for the 2018-2021 term. Since 2016 I have served on the Editorial Board of the Nature journal Scientific Data, organizing reviews and evaluating data descriptors, and with the overall aim of making the current wealth of research data in the world more available for replication and new analysis. I am furthermore coordinator of the Climate Change and Environment research group of the Norwegian Citizen Panel alongside Gisela Böhm (Psychology, University of Bergen).
In my previous position at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon, I analysed emission trading and climate policies in Europe and internationally, writing subscription-based and consultancy reports, maintaining emission data sets and communicating with customers. This work gave me ideas for research topics for later publications, networks in industry and government, and experience in communicating with non-scientific audiences. I also gained experience running large surveys, which I have built on in my current public opinion work. I believe in data sharing and routinely publicise the data and code for my publications in open depositories.
Tvinnereim E and Fløttum K. (2015) "Explaining topic prevalence in open-ended survey questions on climate change." Nature Climate Change 5: 744–747.
Tvinnereim E and Ivarsflaten E. (2016) "Fossil fuels, employment, and support for climate policies. Energy Policy 96: 364-371 (17 citations).
Mehling, M. and Tvinnereim, E. (2018) "Carbon pricing and the 1.5°C target : near-term decarbonisation and the importance of an instrument mix." Carbon and Climate Law Review, 12 (1). pp. 50-61. (Article cited in the 1.5°C IPCC report, chapter 2.)
2017-2020 Hidden costs of implementing afforestation as a climate mitigation strategy: A comprehensive assessment of direct and indirect impacts. Work package leader. An interdisciplinary project on ecosystem and societal effects of afforestation, using innovative survey experiments informed by in-house biogeochemistry results. Funder: Research Council Norway (RCN).
2017-2020 Analyzing past and future energy industry contractions: Towards a better understanding of the flip-side of energy transitions. Work package leader. My role is to analyse historical cases of decline in energy industries including societal effects. Funder: RCN.
2016-2019 Pathways to Energy Transition. Project coordinator. Survey experiments on perceptions of energy transitions using open-ended questions and quantitative text analysis. Funder: Akademia agreement UiB-Statoil.