The "Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Management" Research Department investigates the optimal function of markets and institutions with regard to environmental aspects and resource scarcity. A key focus is placed on European energy and climate policy. Economists in the Research Department conduct economic assessments of policies that impact the environment, such as transport, energy, technology, and economic policies. They also identify conflicts between economic and environmental goals. Given the universal shortage of resources, cost efficiency – that is, the ability of a policy to achieve a defined goal at minimal cost – as well as the equitable distribution of costs in society are key criteria in the assessments conducted by the Research Department.