MCC enhances research and consultation on carbon pricing in developing and emerging countries

The Climate and Development working group is now advising the Indonesian Ministry of Finance on this issue – and is also steering a new international network.

Greenhouse gas emissions in Indonesia: rush hour on Sudirman Avenue in the capital Jakarta. | Photo: Shutterstock/Asiatravel


How can carbon pricing limit greenhouse gas emissions in an efficient and socially acceptable way? On this central topic of climate policy, Indonesia, a country with a population of 270 million, is now seeking the expertise of the Berlin-based climate research institute MCC (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change). "As of this month, we are regularly consulting with a high-ranking delegation from the Ministry of Finance in Jakarta as part of a three-year project," reports Jan Steckel, head of the MCC working group Climate and Development. "The project indicates that our profile as a scientific think tank is internationally recognised.”

MCC regularly interacts with governments all over the world to actively discuss research results in the political arena and provide solution-oriented policy portfolios. In the past, for example, this has included Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Vietnam. "Our work assignment for Indonesia covers four important aspects of carbon pricing," explains MCC researcher Steckel, "namely the distributional impact, the emissions balance, the competitiveness of the economy, and public finances.” The project is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The MCC is also setting up a new international network entitled "Emissions Pricing for Development" (website:, which is intended to help establish carbon pricing systems in developing and emerging countries. In dialogue with political leaders, research is to be coordinated and initiated with the aim of making economically efficient carbon prices politically acceptable even in poor countries. The initiative is being carried out under the umbrella of the internationally renowned "Environment for Development Initiative" (EfD) – an association of environmental-economic research institutes which is coordinated by the University of Gothenburg. The EfD network is represented globally through so-called centres, from Ethiopia to Vietnam. "The new network will bring together research groups and practice partners from all over the world," explains Steckel. "This will enable us to respond to the special needs of individual countries when introducing carbon prices."