The sustainability crisis is multidimensional, hence efforts to consistently integrate as many relevant dimensions as possible are key for evidence-based scientific policy-advice. The scientific policy advice is improving in variety of approaches that constantly challenges modeling limits in various temporal and geographical aspects. From the first decision models before computers, to plethora of tools available today it has been challenging to model a reality both parsimoniously and accurately in its complexity. Today, these limits are moved further with Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs). Despite continuous development of IAMs there are some key pervasive limitations of most IAMs such as: the simplistic representation of the economic processes, assumptions of technical renewable potentials without considering material limits, energy return of investment or other accessibility constraints, and key sustainability dimensions other than climate change.
Many open questions wait to be answered in this special session through written contributions, presentations, and discussions: boundaries, modelling paradigms, linking the frameworks, data availability and management… Where are boundaries of an energy system model at the physical and conceptual level? How to link economical and technical aspects? Is there an unpredictable World outside our models, or everything is endogenous? Which paradigm to be used: one model for all or a mosaic of interdependent modules? How are the different modules linked? How are the policy assumptions and actions becoming visible in the models? What to do with old models? Should they be constantly improved, or replaced with new ones? How to learn and teach old and new models?
This special session invites researchers which would like to contribute to the development and modelling of next generation IAMs. Potential papers will also include the latest scientific achievements in IAMs modelling emerging from the H2020 project LOCOMOTION. Potential topics include:
- Advanced geographical coverage in IAMs.
- Advanced economic modelling with special emphasis on consumption, production, government, labor, international trade, and financial dimensions.
- The physical changes of the transition reflected through the evolution of the economic structure.
- Detailed land-use, materials and water modelling and their integration in IAMs.
- Detailed modelling of demography, society, and finance, which allow feedbacks rarely taken into account in IAMs.
- Migration and the effects of climate change on population, which further allow the assessment of well-being, and the assessment of the financing of the forthcoming transition (a dimension typically excluded from IAMs).
- Integrating renewable energy sources into IAMs.
- Improved scenario assessment by integrating demand management policies.
A modelling framework that better represents uncertainty.