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Making sense of emission reduction pledges: modeling experts gather in Potsdam

11/16/2015 - Economists and scientists this week come from all over the world to Potsdam for the annual meeting of the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium (IAMC). In the run-up of the UN climate summit in Paris, one focus of the experts’ discussions will be the greenhouse gas emission reduction pledges of governments, the so-called INDCs. To assess their real-world effects is crucial for mapping out policy options for and beyond the summit. Other issues to be debated include the modeling of climate impacts and sustainable development implications, the use of scenarios and the evaluation of model analysis.
Making sense of emission reduction pledges: modeling experts gather in Potsdam

Different scenarios of annual greenhouse-gas emissions. Graph: Fig SPM.4, IPCC WG3, AR5

“We’re of course very glad to host such a high-profile meeting of the scientific community,” says Elmar Kriegler of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “Global integrated assessment modeling plays a central role in relating long term climate policy goals with near term mitigation action. It provided key information for the 5thAssessment Report of the IPCC and the UNEP Gap Reports.”

Participants include representatives of the European Commission, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the German Federal Environment Agency, China's Energy Research Institute, India's Energy and Resource Institute, the Japanese National Institute for Environmental Studies, academics from Stanford University (US), Tsinghua University (China), and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), and members of leading international modeling centres from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, Korea, Japan, and the US, among many more

The assessments are integrated in the sense that they combine various disciplines to understand the interaction of societal and economic development,, energy and land use, and natural systems. To this end, computer simulations are constructed, called models. They help to inform about different policy options and their likely effects.


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