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Ranking Environmental Projects


  • Pannell, David J.


Environmental agencies and organisations face the challenge of deciding which of the many possible environmental projects they should support with their limited resources. Projects vary greatly in environmental benefits and costs, so selecting the best projects can make a major difference to the level of environmental benefits that can be generated for a given budget. Key principles for ranking environmental projects are presented and explained. A suitable formula to use as a metric for ranking projects is developed and explained. The formula accounts for environmental values, the effectiveness of management, time lags, behaviour change, various risks and various costs. The suggested formula includes a number of appropriate simplifications. A number of common mistakes to avoid are outlined.

Suggested Citation

  • Pannell, David J., 2013. "Ranking Environmental Projects," Working Papers 156482, University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uwauwp:156482

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Roberts, Anna M. & Pannell, David J. & Doole, Graeme & Vigiak, Olga, 2012. "Agricultural land management strategies to reduce phosphorus loads in the Gippsland Lakes, Australia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 11-22.
    2. Pannell, David J. & Roberts, Anna M., 2010. "Australia’s National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality: a retrospective assessment," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 54(4), pages 1-20.
    3. Pannell, David J. & Gibson, Fiona L., 2014. "Testing metrics to prioritise environmental projects," Working Papers 163211, University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. 259 – Increasing environmental benefits
      by David Pannell in Pannell Discussions on 2013-12-02 21:00:50
    2. 262 – Environmental triage
      by David Pannell in Pannell Discussions on 2014-03-17 20:00:04
    3. 263 – The EQ Index
      by David Pannell in Pannell Discussions on 2014-04-07 20:00:16
    4. 272 – Additionality
      by David Pannell in Pannell Discussions on 2014-09-29 20:00:44
    5. 279 – Garbage in, garbage out?
      by David Pannell in Pannell Discussions on 2015-03-11 20:00:26


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    Cited by:

    1. Rolfe, John & Windle, Jill, 2016. "Estimating supply functions for agri-environmental schemes: Water quality and the Great Barrier Reef," 2016 Conference (60th), February 2-5, 2016, Canberra, Australia 235510, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

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    Environmental Economics and Policy;

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