Johan is Policy Director at SEI. Prior to this role he was Centre Director for the SEI centre in York from 1997-2012, and joined SEI in 1989. Before that he was part of the Beijer Institute, and has been at the University of York, at which the SEI York centre is housed, since 1986. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC).
Johan’s key areas of interest relate to atmospheric issues, including air pollution and climate change. His main focus at the moment is in the linkages between climate and air quality, in particular associated with strategies to reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs). He has also worked on air pollution issues from regional to global scales, particularly related to impacts of acidifying deposition, eutrophying nitrogen deposition and gaseous and particulate pollutant impacts on crops, forests and human health. He is leading the development of an SLCP strategy support tool – LEAP-IBC – an application of the SEI LEAP tool for use by countries and research organisations to understand implications of air pollution and SLCP strategy implementation, by incorporating an ‘Integrated Benefits Calculator’.
As SEI Policy Director he is overseeing the enhancement of SEI’s ability to successfully engage with policy and decision making to promote informed decision-making and help achieve SEI’s goals of inducing change towards sustainable development.
At the University of York he gives occasional lectures on issues related, for example, to climate policy and sustainable energy, co-supervises PhD students and BSc projects.
In recent years he has been supporting the development of the CCAC, partly through the activities of the Scientific Advisory Panel and partly by leading CCAC initiatives, especially the SNAP initiative, supporting National Action and Planning on SLCPs and the Regional Assessment Initiative. He coordinated a UNEP/WMO assessment on Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone, which helped to spark interest leading to the formation of the CCAC. Supporting other UNEP assessments, he was Coordinating Lead Author of the atmosphere chapters in GEO4 and GEO5, UNEP’s flagship Global Environment Outlook assessment, exploring the relationships between air quality, climate change and ozone depletion.
Johan has advised governments and policy processes on atmospheric issues – currently through capacity building through the SNAP initiative and in the CCAC Working Groups. He initially participated in the Task Forces of the Convention on LRTAP in the 1990s, and then assisted the development of the Malé Declaration in South Asia, and the development of APINA, the Air Pollution Information Network for Africa between 1997 and 2012. He was joint convenor of the Global Atmospheric Pollution Forum (GAP Forum), a network of regional air pollution agreements and networks around the world.
He helped the Editors to coordinate the development of Tiempo, a bulletin and website on climate change and developing countries produced by SEI and IIED from 2000 to 2011. He coordinated SEI’s input to the UK CIP Scoping study into the impacts of climate change in Yorkshire. He was also one the key researchers developing a ‘Centre for Low Carbon Futures’, a collaboration across universities in Yorkshire, UK.
Johan is the author of 36 refereed papers and 34 articles, reports and book contributions.