Europe and the world stand at a turning point. The global climate is heating up. Species are dying out at unprecedented speed, leading to massive biodiversity loss.
Ecosystems are collapsing. Many of the world’s finite resources are being overexploited.
At the centre of this worldwide crisis stands humanity. Citizens are demanding change, while civil society and policymakers are seeking sustainable alternatives for a low-carbon, net zero-emissions future.
This raises the question of how do we evaluate the ramifications and consequences of the various options so as to make informed and wise decisions?
Through Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs), which link socioeconomic, energy and environmental models into a single modelling framework.
IAMs: The future
With funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, the ‘Low-carbon society: an enhanced modelling tool for the transition to sustainability’ (LOCOMOTION) aims to design a new IAM (Integrated Assessment Model) to provide policymakers and relevant stakeholders with a reliable and practical modelling system to assess the feasibility, effectiveness, costs and ramifications of different sustainability policy options. By doing so, LOCOMOTION will help them to identify the most effective transition pathways towards a low-carbon society.
Building on existing IAMs developed by the EU-funded MEDEAS project, and including knowledge from other relevant models (World6, TIMES, LEAP, GCAM, C-Roads, etc.), a number of substantive improvements are planned with respect to the state-of-the-art in energy-economy-environment modelling.
Drawing on research teams from different European countries, the improved IAMs will be the product of interdisciplinary work in data management, policy and scenario assessment, as well as the system dynamic modelling of relevant environmental, economic, social, technological and biophysical variables.
These new IAMs will be robust, usable and transparent diagnostic and scenario assessment tools to help pave the way to a sustainable transition towards a low-carbon society. LOCOMOTION will provide the different stakeholders with a more effective, user-friendly and open-source modelling system for decision support, education and social awareness.