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Advancing computer simulations of climate change mitigation costs: EU project hosted by PIK scientists

12/28/2012 - Computer simulations of energy systems, the economy and land use are key for assessing the impacts of climate mitigation strategies. Policy-makers therefore rely on these assessments to decide between different options on the basis of robust information. The ADVANCE project – the acronym stands for Advanced Model Development and Validation for the Improved Analysis of Costs and Impacts of Mitigation Policies – sets out to achieve a substantially better understanding and representation of some rather complex phenomena in the interaction between climate policy and the economy. It is coordinated by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and funded with 6 million Euro by the European Commission.
Advancing computer simulations of climate change mitigation costs: EU project hosted by PIK scientists

The interaction between climate policy and the economy can be complex. (Photo: Thinkstock)

“Together, 14 leading modeling groups from institutions across Europe will work to improve energy-economy-land use models, as a basis for informed decision-making on mitigating climate change,” says Elmar Kriegler, project chair of ADVANCE. “This is an unprecedented effort, and it’s great that we join forces to succeed.” The list of partners goes from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, based in Austria, to the University of East Anglia (UK), and from the Italian Fondazione Enrico Mattei to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. The project is intended to run for 4 years. The cooperation aims at “improving the transparency about various models’ strengths and limitations,” says Kriegler.

“This is about methodology, which might sound boring but in fact is of great importance for stakeholders,” Gunnar Luderer points out. He will serve as a project director of ADVANCE. Different outcomes of different models most often are not a matter of right or wrong but of different assumptions and design which have to be made explicit. Yet, ADVANCE aims at achieving more. One of the key products of the project is to create on open access data-base of methodologies and input parameters. This will help to enhance comparability of model input assumption and promote mutual coordinated model developments. Key challenges are, for instance, a better representation of infrastructures or role of technological change and uncertainty. “This is ambitious,” says Luderer, “but we have to tackle these problems to tackle the climate challenge itself.”

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