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Vetting Implicit Normativity in Climate Economics


The project addresses the inherent presence of value judgments in current integrated assessment models (IAMs) of climate change impacts. Though widely used to inform public policy, many aspects of IAM design and use require making assumptions of an implicitly normative nature: assumptions that are ultimately about the values that individuals and communities ought to pursue. This raises a host of philosophical and methodological questions for which an interdisciplinary approach is needed: which actors and in which contexts – scientists at the model design stage, policy makers at the decision stage, etc.– should be in charge of making the normative choices that IAMs require? What practices and protocols are best suited to facilitate the recognition of normative assumptions in IAMs, the oversight by experts and stakeholders, and (if possible) the resolution of the uncertainty that surrounds them? To answer these questions, the project will first propose a taxonomy of implicitly normative assumptions in IAMs. Then, for each type identified, it will aim to determine which of several approaches is best suited to deal with that type of normativity. The resulting account will be a new model of IAM research that indicates how one ought to proceed in concrete contexts of IAM design, assessment and use. To achieve these objectives, Dr. Nappo will receive crucial training at Politecnico di Milano. Under the co-supervision of a philosopher of science and of a climate economist, he will integrate his demonstrated competences in the epistemology of scientific modelling and climate change ethics with new skills, which include first-hand experience with IAM modelling practices and grasp of their mathematical underpinnings. This training will allow Dr. Nappo to not only advance the literature on IAM normativity significantly beyond its current limits, but to also contribute to making IAM research more reliable and objective through an effective dissemination and exploitation plan.


Net EU contribution
€ 172 750,08
Piazza Leonardo Da Vinci 32
20133 Milano

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Nord-Ovest Lombardia Milano
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
No data