Innovation: Assessment of Climate Change Mitigation Pathways and Evaluation of the Robustness of Mitigation Cost Estimates

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Keywords: 
climatology, environmental economics, environmental protection, meteorology, climate change & carbon cycle research, economic aspects
Climate policy needs to aim at ambitious long-term climate stabilization. This will require managing the transition from carbon intensive to low carbon economies within this century. Research on mitigation pathways to a low carbon society and the associated mitigation costs is indispensable for informing policy makers. The project AMPERE is aiming for a broad exploration of mitigation pathways and associated mitigation costs under various real world limitations, while at the same time generating a better understanding about the differences across models, and the relation to historical trends. Uncertainties about the costs of mitigation originate from the entire causal chain ranging from economic activity, to emissions and related technologies, and the response of the carbon cycle and climate system to greenhouse gas emissions.

AMPERE will use a sizable ensemble of state-of-the-art energy-economy and integrated assessment models to analyse mitigation pathways and associated mitigation costs in a series of multi-model intercomparisons. It will focus on four central areas:
(i) The role of uncertainty about the climate response to anthropogenic forcing on the remaining carbon budget for supplying societies around the globe with energy,
(ii) the role of technology availability, innovation and myopia in the energy sector,
(iii) the role of policy imperfections like limited regional or sectoral participation in climate policy regimes, and
(iv) the implications for decarbonisation scenarios and policies for Europe.

PROJECT GOALS:

The AMPERE project will focus on four central areas:

(i) The role of uncertainty about the climate response to anthropogenic forcing on the remaining carbon budget for supplying societies around the globe with energy,
(ii) the role of technology availability, innovation and myopia in the energy sector,
(iii) the role of policy imperfections like limited regional or sectoral participation in climate policy regimes, and
(iv) the implications for decarbonisation scenarios and policies for Europe.
Over the first project period, AMPERE has established a model intercomparison framework, including scenario specifications, harmonised baselines, reporting formats, and model documentation templates. Based on this framework, AMPERE is currently gathering, evaluating and refining scenario results. This framework has been established to combine results from the various participating models, covering both the international and regional dimension. Results are discussed with a focus on both the EU and the global perspective.

To ensure comparable model results within the AMPERE modelling exercises, population and gross domestic product (GDP) trajectories have been harmonised and a policy benchmark capturing current and planned climate policies has been established. These specifications are laid out in a report, which also establishes a validation framework based on diagnostic and epistemological tests, as well as a comparison with stylised facts of historical trends. This model validation concept has generated considerable interest in the research community as there is currently no community-wide understanding of what the validation of integrated assessment models means nor are there standards or protocols on how to evaluate them. The AMPERE validation framework will be tested in the second phase of the project.

Building on the model harmonisation and benchmarking framework, AMPERE has completed two series of model comparisons, including:
a) a preliminary assessment and diagnostic exercise of a EU-27 decarbonisation scenario modelled after the climate and energy roadmap; and
b) a diagnostic exercise of global models to characterise differences in model response to carbon pricing.
Both model comparison exercises are documented in reports.

The AMPERE model diagnostics analysis, a first-of-its-kind exercise, established a rough classification scheme based on patterns of model responses to carbon price signals. This classification will be used to diagnose mitigation cost differences between the AMPERE models when evaluating mitigation pathways. The diagnostic findings are intended for publication in a scientific journal and are expected to add value to community-wide integrated assessment modelling efforts beyond the scope of AMPERE. In this context, AMPERE collaborated with the US DOE-funded programme on integrated assessment modelling development, diagnostics and intercomparison (PIAMDDI) in holding a joint workshop on model diagnostics and validation at Stanford University in May 2012.

AMPERE has also assessed differences between the emissions response of climate modules in integrated assessment models. While all models show a close correlation of climate stabilisation targets and cumulative Kyoto gas emissions budgets, larger variation was found in the relative weight of emissions from different sources and in the required timing of emissions reduction over the 21st century. A key factor is the availability of mitigation options in different models, particularly regarding the possibility to produce negative emissions through a combination of biomass combustion with carbon capture and storage. These findings are important for the ongoing evaluation of scenarios with long-term climate targets.

The primary effort in progress as of September 2012 is the completion of model runs for the policy-relevant scenarios covering prominent questions in current climate policy debates: how short-term policies relate to long-term goals and the importance of broad regional and sectoral coverage. The evaluation of these scenarios is scheduled for the second half of 2012 and the AMPERE participants are preparing publication of the findings in a special issue of a scientific journal.

To ensure that the research direction leads to outcomes that are valuable to policymakers and stakeholders, the AMPERE team received stakeholder input and feedback through a workshop in May 2012. A further stakeholder workshop is planned for the second half of the project.
The AMPERE project findings are expected to be useful for the preparation post-2015 climate policy roadmaps with a long-term path toward climate stabilisation. As a basis for these findings, the project is expected to provide improved explanations of model differences and robust insights into climate mitigation scenarios reflecting possible political and technological inflexibilities. This information is intended for use by policy makers and stakeholders, particularly in EU, as well as by other scientific efforts evaluating climate policy scenarios through model intercomparisons. The gained insights will be disseminated through publications and workshops.

The systematic comparison of a wide range of models participating in AMPERE is expected to result in improved explanations of how model differences originate from distinct model types (growth models, general equilibrium models, partial equilibrium models, energy system models), different assumptions about system parameters (technoeconomic parameters, energy resources, elasticities) and policy variables (available mitigation measures, coverage and flexibility of mitigation policies). The experience from model intercomparisons in the climate modelling community indicates that systematic comparisons can lead to:
- greater comparability and transparency of model documentation;
- a basis for standards and experiments to validate and diagnose model behaviour; and
- the establishment of an infrastructure to compare model output that AMPERE has already achieved in terms of a common scenario database management by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

AMPERE is expected to generate insights that combine the long-term perspective of climate protection targets with the short- to mid-term perspective of emissions reduction targets discussed in the policy arena. This contribution will go beyond past efforts, which have often focused on idealised policy settings (e.g. complete coverage of emission caps). The range of models involved in AMPERE is expected to ensure more robust findings, ensuring that possible impacts of high policy relevance, such as carbon leakage and technology lock-ins, are adequately captured.

All scientific results as well as the policy reports of the project are intended for public distribution. At the end of the project, the scenario database will be made publicly available under the usual terms of use of scientific data. The AMPERE participants are preparing publication of the findings in a special issue of a scientific journal. Upon request of the European Commission (EC), this effort is timed to allow the published findings to be considered for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fifth assessment report. The contributions to scientific journals are expected to be a resource for both the scientific and policy communities. The AMPERE team plans to directly convey its findings to key players, particularly at the EC, involved in the discussion on long-term climate policy targets.

The expected impact of the results generated and disseminated through AMPERE is an improved ability for policy makers to draw long-term roadmaps for climate stabilisation while taking into account the role of short-term developments and the relevant mitigation cost factors. AMPERE can improve the consistency of cost-related information for a range of scenarios with quantitative information based on multi-model results and qualitative information about the most relevant uncertainties. Uncertainties and differences between model results will not disappear. Nor would this be desirable, as the range of model results provides valuable insights into the various ways in which technological and economic dynamics could play out. However, AMPERE is expected to provide more thorough insights into the most prominent factors that could shape mitigation costs, such as policy timing, regional coverage, and technology availability. Such insights are expected to give a firmer basis to discussions
about mitigation strategies, costs and opportunities.

List of websites: http://ampere-project.eu

Collaboration sought: N/A

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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Assessment Of Climate Change Mitigation Pathways And Evaluation Of The Robustness Of Mitigation Cost Estimates

Acronym: 
AMPERE

Runtime: 
01.02.2011 to 31.01.2014

Status: 
completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

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POTSDAM INSTITUT FUER KLIMAFOLGENFORSCHUNG

(Germany)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Ms. HANEBERG Frauke

Website: http://www.pik-potsdam.de

Phone: +49-3312882698

Contact

CENTRE FOR EUROPEAN POLICY STUDIES

(Belgium)

Contact person: Ms. SCOTT Sally

Website: http://www.ceps.eu

Phone: +32-22293911

Contact

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE

(France)

Contact person: Dr. BOUCHERLE Jean Xavier

Website: http://www.cnrs.fr

Phone: +33-476887924

Contact

CLIMATE ANALYTICS GMBH

(Germany)

Contact person: Ms. DOEBERT Henrike

Phone: +49-3312882481

Contact

ENERDATA SA

(France)

Contact person: Mr. KITOUS Alban

Website: http://www.enerdata.fr

Phone: +33-476422546

Contact

FONDAZIONE ENI ENRICO MATTEI

(Italy)

Contact person: Ms. EBERLE Monica

Website: http://www.feem.it

Phone: +39-0412700437

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INDIAN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT

(India)

Contact person: Prof. SHUKLA Priyadarshi

Website: http://www.iimahd.in

Phone: +91-7966324827

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INSTITUTE OF COMMUNICATION AND COMPUTER SYSTEMS

(Greece)

Contact person: Prof. CAPROS Pantelis

Website: http://www.iccs.gr

Phone: +30-2107723629

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INTERNATIONALES INSTITUT FUER ANGEWANDTE SYSTEMANALYSE

(Austria)

Contact person: Ms. MANCHANDA Monica

Website: http://www.iiasa.ac.at

Phone: +43-2236807410

Contact

JRC -JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE- EUROPEAN COMMISSION

(Belgium)

Contact person: Dr. CARDARELLI Vincenzo

Website: http://www.jrc.ec.europa.eu

Phone: +34-954488324

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MET OFFICE

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Mr. VAN DER LINDEN Paul

Website: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

Phone: +44-1392884163

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MINISTERIE VAN ECONOMISCHE ZAKEN, LANDBOUW EN INNOVATIE

(Netherlands)

Contact person: Mr. VAN LEEUWEN Nico

Phone: +31-703383308

Contact

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND REFORM COMMISSION ENERGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE

(China)

Contact person: Dr. JIANG Kejun

Phone: +86-1063908587

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NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES INCORPORATED ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY

(Japan)

Contact person: Dr. ASHINA Shuichi

Website: http://www.nies.go.jp

Phone: +81-298502227

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PAUL SCHERRER INSTITUT

(Switzerland)

Contact person: Ms. WALTHERT Irene

Phone: +41-563102664

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RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR THE EARTH

(Japan)

Contact person: Dr. AKIMOTO Keigo

Phone: +81-774752304

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SOCIETE DE MATHEMATIQUES APPLIQUEES ET DE SCIENCES HUMAINES

(France)

Contact person: Dr. MAILLES Jean-Pierre

Phone: +33-607808858

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TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET WIEN

(Austria)

Contact person: Dr. RESCH Gustav

Website: http://www.tuwien.ac.at

Phone: +43-158801370354

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UNIVERSITAET STUTTGART

(Germany)

Contact person: Mr. STELZNER Sven

Website: http://www.uni-stuttgart.de

Phone: +49-71168587818

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UNIVERSITE PARIS I PANTHEON-SORBONNE

(France)

Contact person: Ms. BAUDIER Frédérique

Website: http://www.univ-paris1.fr

Phone: +33-144078061

Contact

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT

(Netherlands)

Contact person: Dr. LEEFLANG Bas R.

Website: http://www.uu.nl

Phone: +31-302534980

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