Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


A study has been made of the use of integrated assessment models for supporting the decision-making process in environmental issues. Special emphasis was given to the case of sulphur emissions and the RAINS model, used in the process of negotiation of the Oslo protocol, in relation to new targets for sulphur emisisons reductions. To illustrate how scientific tools are not simply 'neutral' the particular case of Spain was discussed during the international negotiations leading to the final Protocol. The use of models as providers of scientific input for policy processes has grown during recent years. They are an aid to the policy-makers who may not know in depth all the issues on which they have the responsibility of taking decisions. These tools may indeed be helpful in their technical contribution but they can also have unrecognized consequences, depending on the way in which they are used in the policy-making process. They can also be used as a means to export cultural and technology patterns to late-comers from pioneer countries in the field of environmental policy. In conclusion the post-normal science approach is proposed to deal with the complexity of environmental issues and to design more effective methods for policy formation.

Additional information

Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Fourth Biennial Meeting of The Society for Ecological Economics, Boston (US), July 31 - 7 August, 1996
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 39851 ORA
Record Number: 199610735 / Last updated on: 1996-08-06
Original language: en
Available languages: en